Blast from the past as inn hosts Bartram tour
Continuing in Putnam County’s dedication to bringing the history of William Bartram back to life, the Bartram Inn Bed & Breakfast will host a nearly weeklong tour of the sites Bartram visited in 1774.
Bartram Inn owner Linda Crider has dubbed the week the Bartram Adventure Tours. A number of people will spend Monday through Dec. 15 at the inn, and they will be given tours of various areas of Putnam County, each of which Bartram documented in his book “Travels.”
“The Bartram Adventure Tours are guided kayaking, bicycling and hiking tours on the historic trails of botanist, artist and adventurer William Bartram along the St. Johns River,” Crider said. “Participants will be treated to five nights at the Bartram Inn and five days of activities with historic commentary along the way.”
Crider said this year would be the inaugural tour, and the hope is it will shed light on all Putnam County has to offer in terms of entertainment via nature. The tour will highlight the county’s trail system, with bicycle rides scheduled on the Palatka Urban Trail and Palatka to the St. Augustine trail.
Crider also hopes the tour will help in the recent countywide effort to boost ecotourism, which focuses heavily on Bartram’s adventures.
For this reason, the tour will not focus solely on Bartram’s visits to Palatka. Instead, it will take tour members to sites Bartram visited throughout the county. The tour members will travel by kayak to Welaka Springs and hike to Mount Royal in Welaka.
With an abundance of events planned to show visitors a taste of Putnam County, Crider has high hopes for Bartram Adventure Tours. She sees it as a good opportunity for people to experience the natural personality and history of Putnam County, which many residents have been experiencing for as long as they have lived here.
“As an avid bicyclist and trail advocate for 50 years, what is happening in Putnam County with expanding trails and our hub network adjacent to the St. Johns River is phenomenal,” Crider said. “To say ‘exciting’ doesn’t even begin to capture the spirit. We are building them, and they are coming. And we get to see the product of all our vision and labors while we’re still able to enjoy it ourselves.”