“This world, as a glorious apartment of the boundless palace of the sovereign Creator, is furnished with an infinite variety of animated scenes, inexpressibly beautiful and pleasing, equally free to the inspection and enjoyment of all his creatures.”
– William Bartram, Travels
On our website, we have developed interactive maps called Story Maps which can act as a guide to all spots along the trail by water or by land.
You can also explore the site to discover in-depth information about William and John Bartram, their stays in our region, and excerpts from William Bartram’s book, Travels, and his father John Bartram’s Journal.
If you visit our YouTube page, you’ll have access to an introductory video about the trail, videos about each stop along the way, and more. If you wander along the trail, you will see trail markers with a QR code allowing you to learn more about where you are on the fly. You will also encounter interpretive kiosks featuring Palatka, Stokes Landing and Welaka. Each kiosk features a map of the trail and historic context.
William Bartram, a botanist, artist, naturalist, humanist, and author, explored the area along the St. Johns River in Putnam County during his excursions into Florida in the late 1700s.
The heart of William Bartram’s book, Travels, documents our local flora and fauna, and records his colorful encounters with local traders and native tribes. His work has great poetic, historical and educational value.
The Bartram Trail in Putnam County was formed in order to re-establish the sites of William Bartram’s travels in our region and make them accessible via waterway, hiking, biking and driving routes.
William Bartram accompanied his father, John Bartram, a botanist, to Florida in 1765 for King George III.
In 1774, he returned to the Florida he had fallen in love with. His assignment was to research the land for Dr. Fothergill of England. Bartram’s resulting book, Travels, became recognized as one of the pivotal scientific books of his time, also heralded for its poetic language and vivid illustrations.
Bartram was a renaissance man who melded art and science into an indelible record of his passionate encounters with the world.
Now you can follow in Bartram’s footsteps and boat trails here in Florida, and experience much of the same wildlife and scenic beauty he encountered in the 1700s.