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Big Bend Scenic Byway

Explore Undiscovered North Florida

Stop #5: City of Sopchoppy

Driving Directions: Return to the Byway and continue south 16.8 miles to the town of Sopchoppy.

Distance and driving time between this and previous stop:16.8 miles/12 minutes.

Sopchoppy Worm Gruntin Festival

Lunch stop: 65 minutes.

Description: Perched on the banks of the beautiful Sopchoppy River, this was one of Charles Kuralt’s favorite stops. Sopchoppy is the Worm Gruntin’ capital of the world, and locals still practice the art of coaxing earthworms from the ground to sell as bait. They go into the “bait woods” at dawn, drive a hardwood stob into the ground, and rhythmically rub the top of the exposed wood with a heavy piece of iron, such as a leaf spring from an old tractor. The friction—which resembles the vibrations of Moles digging—causes the earthworms to escape to the surface where they are collected in bait cans. Each year in early April, the town celebrates its tradition of Worm Gruntin’ with a daylong festival, coronation of the Worm Grunters’ King and Queen, and the Worm Grunters’ Ball.

This is a good stop for lunch. Try Backwoods Bistro in the small historic district near the old Georgia, Florida, and Alabama (fondly called the Gopher, Frog, and Alligator or GF&A) railroad depot or for a real country buffet continue through town to US 319, and bear left (north) for 3 miles to the Buckhorn Shopping Plaza.

Other Nearby Destinations: Myron B. Hodge City Park, Sopchoppy River; Historic Sopchoppy High School and Gymnasium.

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