Running over 1,400 miles from Jacksonville, Florida, to Mackinaw City, Michigan, US Route 23 is an eclectic mix of suburban and rural scenery. It takes riders away from the Atlantic Ocean, through alligator infested swamps and over moderately high mountain passes.
It is four lane highway in many places, and at times it runs concurrently with Interstate routes. Riders won't lose much time traveling this road if the intent is to cover miles quickly. But, there are so many places to stop and wander about that those wanting a leisurely pace will still be happy.
At the end of the road lies one of the engineering marvels of the world, the mighty Mackinac Bridge at the top of the lower peninsula of Michigan. From Mackinaw City it's possible to continue a northbound trek across the bridge, or take a ferry to Mackinac Island to soak in the history and atmosphere of a place that doesn't allow motorized vehicles. It's a hoot, but be careful not to step in those road apples.
Jackonville, FL to Folkston, GA
Est 42 miles - .8 hours
(click here for route map)
Leaving the "Bold New City of The South" from Ocean Street, the route first takes the name Kings Road is a one way street.
If you are here between 4:50 and 6:00 PM you are likely going to experience a lot of stop and go until
crossing Myrtle Avenue. Sometimes taking Beaver St (US-90) to Myrtle Ave and then making the jog north back to Kings Road
is quicker. But you started early, didn't you? So traffic in downtown isn't that bad and you can enjoy a few minutes
enjoying the Jacksonville Landing at the riverside - a combination mall and entertainment spot that has highlighted
Jacksonville since the mid 1970's.
The area is residential until merging with Martin Luther King Pkwy, where the route co-locates with US-1 and takes on
an industrial nature until passing the I-95 loop, where it assume a very rural nature for the next two hundred miles.
Be prepared to experience the odor of dairy farms and diesel trucks. The roadway is four lane divided for most of the
way to Folkston, but it not limited access. Stay aware of slow vehicles entering and leaving the roadway.
US-301 joins at Callahan and if you want to make a last visit to the Atlantic Ocean take a right on FL-200 and run over to
Fernandina Beach for a quick seafood lunch or a visit to Fort Clinch State Park.
At Folkston you will find a couple of motels, some fast food choices, and about 70 trains a day passing through the "Funnel",
a two track section of CSX rail that is famous for rail watching. In recent years a nice viewing area, complete with
radio receiver, has been erected for everyone to enjoy. South of town on GA-121 is the Okefenokee Wildlife Refuge, where you
can view hundreds of alligators, venomous snakes, and other reptiles sunning themselves.