Sopchoppy
Population (2016)
470
Area (Square miles)
1.7
Year founded
1853
Year incorporated
1905
Unusual as it sounds, Sopchoppy Florida claims to be the "worm gruntin' capital of the world". The annual festival they sponsor commemorating that fact involves people sticking a wooden stake into the ground and vibrating it in such a way as to cause nearby earthworms to come to the surface, where they can be collected. It's a useful technique to know if you need a worm for your fishing hook. And it is a lot of fun when accompanied by other festival events and activities.

That may be Sopchoppy's biggest claim to fame, but it would be a disservice to the community not to mention some of the other interesting features of this small Florida town. Located in the midst of Apalachicola National Forest and St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, it was first established in 1853 on the west bank of the Sopchoppy River. But when the Carrabelle, Tallahassee and Georgia Railroad Company built a spur line east of the river, they platted out the area now occupied by Sopchoppy and sold it to northerners looking for a vacation spot or new home. The original railroad depot building is still standing, and was restored by the city in 2010.

Another historic structure in the town is the Sopchoppy Historic Gymnasium, built in 1935 and restored in 1998. The building is constructed of local lime rock with a Spanish mission style of architecture.

The name "Sopchoppy" is believed to come from a Creek Indian term meaning "long and twisted river", which accurately describes the Sopchoppy River that defines the western boundary line of the town. Fishing and paddling up and downstream on the Sopchoppy is a popular pastime for for locals and tourists alike. Following the winding stream downstream for several miles will bring you to the conjunction with the Ochlockonee River and Ochlockonee River State Park, and then not far beyond that, into the Gulf of Mexico.

Access to the river is available at Myron B. Hodge City Park - also known simply as Sopchoppy Park. The park includes a boat launching facility for motorboats and kayaks, as well as campsites along the bank of the river. Additional features include a fishing pier, playground, athletic fields, and a short nature trail with a boardwalk.
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