By  Mike Miller  Updated May 28, 2023

Sopchoppy, Florida Things To Do, Lodging, Dining, & Real Estate At End Of Article

The words Sopchoppy, Florida just seem to roll off your tongue.  Along with Two Egg, the name Sopchoppy has become the quintessential metaphor for rural north Florida.

Ochlockonee River near Sopchoppy, FloridaOchlockonee River near Sopchoppy, Florida

Sopchoppy is in the Florida Big Bend country south of Tallahassee, in Wakulla County, where the Florida coast starts its bend west from the main peninsula toward the panhandle.

The city has a population of about 500 in 2022.


The name possibly comes from an old Native American term for a long and twisted river.  This describes the Sopchoppy River.

In 1894 the Carrabelle, Tallahassee & Georgia Railroad Company built a line through the area and platted lots.

In 1906 the railroad was sold to the Georgia, Florida and Alabama Railway, known as the GF&A.

Sopchoppy Railroad DepotSopchoppy Georgia, Florida and Alabama Depot

Locals joked that those letters stood for gopher, frog and alligator, and they called it the Gopher, Frog and Alligator railroad.

For many years the Sopchoppy economy was based on lumber, turpentine, honey, and farming.

Fishing was also an important industry and frog legs, catfish, oysters, and sturgeon caviar were shipped out of Sopchoppy.

The railroad closed in 1946 and Sopchoppy began to quiet down from its more prosperous years.


The town is on the Sopchoppy River at the edge of the huge Apalachicola National Forest.

This 46 mile long river is one of the most natural streams in Florida.  It meanders south from Sopchoppy to Ochlockonee Bay on the Gulf of Mexico.

Walkway on Sopchoppy RiverWalkway on Sopchoppy River

This tiny city has become a popular staging point for outdoor activities such as camping, fishing, hunting, kayaking, and canoeing.

The city has also done a good job of building and maintaining parks, including the Myron B. Hodge City Park

Sopchoppy Grocery StoreSopchoppy Grocery Store
Photographic Destinations by Bob Kyle

This park on the Sopchoppy River has 26 RV sites along with primitive camp sites with bathroom facilities. 

You can also use the boat launch there, the fishing piers, playgrounds, softball field, basketball court, and picnic facilities.

One of the historic buildings preserved in this park is the Curtis Mill School.

Sopchoppy Historic Curtis Mill SchoolSopchoppy Historic Curtis Mill School

The old Georgia, Florida and Alabama Depot was restored by the City in 2010 and is now serving as a museum of local history.

Sopchoppy Florida GymnasiumSopchoppy Historic Gymnasium

An interesting structure in Sopchoppy is the old high school gymnasium.  It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The city makes the building available for special events such as wedding receptions and family reunions.

Sopchoppy City HallSopchoppy City Hall

Part of the novel "Clownfish Blues" takes place in Sopchoppy. The famous Sopchoppy worm gruntin' is part of the plot.  Read more about its popular author, Tim Dorsey.


You may be a true Floridian if you know that Sopchoppy is the location of the annual Worm Gruntin' Festival.

The first festival was in the year 2000.

It always takes place on the second Saturday of April.  People come from all over Florida, Georgia and Alabama to watch the festivities.

The photo is of Gary Revell, a professional worm grunter and a previous King of the Festival.

Sopchoppy Florida Gary RevellGary Revell, Professional Worm Grunter

Sopchoppy claims to be the "Worm Gruntin' Capital of the World", and I for one am not going to challenge their claim.

I remember seeing it featured many years ago on CBS's Sunday Morning back when Charles Kuralt visited and interviewed some worm grunters.

It was also featured on Discovery Channel's "Dirty Jobs" starring Mike Rowe.

Worm grunting involves sticking a wooden stake, or stob, into the ground and rubbing it with a flat piece of iron like a car leaf spring to make the stake send vibrations into the ground.

Rustic Cabin in Sopchoppy
Photographic Destinations by Bob Kyle

The sound it makes when done right sounds like the grunting of a bullfrog.

Worms think the sound is coming from moles, however, who love to eat worms. So the worms wiggle up to the surface thinking they are escaping from the burrowing moles only to end up in a worm grunter's bait bucket.

Some folks are far better than others at worm gruntin. It seems to be an art more than a science.


Sopchoppy Worms Dancing



Ochlockonee River State Park 
429 State Park Road, Sopchoppy, FL 32358 | (850) 962-2771 
Nestled along the banks of the Ochlockonee and Dead Rivers, Ochlockonee River State Park is an untouched paradise for nature enthusiasts. Whether you're into fishing, kayaking, or simply enjoying a picnic by the water, this park has it all.

Don't miss the chance to spot the rare white squirrels that call this park home. It's a favorite spot for a peaceful day in the great outdoors, surrounded by the beauty of unspoiled Florida. 

Sopchoppy Opry 
164 Yellow Jacket Road, Sopchoppy, FL 32358 | (850) 962-3711 
Step back in time with a visit to the Sopchoppy Opry, a historic venue that hosts a variety of musical performances throughout the year. From bluegrass to folk, the Opry offers a cozy, intimate setting to enjoy live music.

It's a beloved local landmark where you'll feel the community's passion for the arts. Join us for an evening here, and you'll see why it's a highlight of Sopchoppy's cultural scene. 

The Sopchoppy Worm Gruntin’ Festival 
Downtown Sopchoppy, Sopchoppy, FL 32358 
Discussed in detail earlier on this page. enjoy live music, crafts, and a worm grunting demonstration as well as the competition.  You'll enjoy the quirky charm and community spirit that make this festival a must-see. 

TNT Hideaway 
6527 Coastal Highway, Crawfordville, FL 32327 | (850) 962-2575 
For adventurers looking to explore the area's natural beauty, just a few miles from Sopchoppy the TNT Hideaway offers kayak and canoe rentals to navigate the serene waters of the Wakulla River.

Paddle through lush, green landscapes and keep an eye out for wildlife, including manatees, alligators, and a variety of birds. It's an unforgettable way to experience the tranquility and splendor of Sopchoppy's waterways. 

Sopchoppy’s Historic District 
Downtown Sopchoppy, Sopchoppy, FL 32358 
Take a leisurely stroll through Sopchoppy’s Historic District to admire the well-preserved buildings and homes that date back to the early 20th century.

This area tells the story of the town's past, with each structure offering a glimpse into a bygone era. It's a peaceful walk that allows you to appreciate the town's history and architecture at your own pace. 

Myron B. Hodge City Park 
252 Park Avenue, Sopchoppy, FL 32358 | (850) 962-5486 
The park is discussed in detail earlier on this page. 

Wakulla Springs State Park 
465 Wakulla Park Drive, Wakulla Springs, FL 32327 | (850) 561-7276 
Around 22 miles from Sopchoppy, Wakulla Springs State Park is home to one of the largest and deepest freshwater springs in the world.

Take a guided riverboat tour to see the springs and the abundant wildlife, including manatees, alligators, and various bird species. The park also offers swimming in the crystal-clear waters of the spring, making it a refreshing stop on a hot Florida day. 


Our Facebook page has more than 130,000 followers who love off the beaten path Florida: towns, tourist attractions, maps, lodging, food, festivals, scenic road trips, day trips, history, culture, nostalgia, and more.  We post articles every day.  Please check it out and if you like it, we would appreciate a "like" from you.