Nick’s Hole and Pelican Point State-Owned Lands
Our private gated community has a unique partnership with the State of Florida. Within our boundaries lies a portion of more than 246,000 acres of state-owned land, mostly in Franklin County, purchased for purposes of conservation, research and recreation. Inside our gate, acres stretch from Forsythia Trail to the airstrip and include several lots at Pelican Point. The Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve (ANERR), a federal and state-funded program, manages the entire area. ANERR’s mission is to conserve the region’s natural bio-diversity and cultural resources using applied research and monitoring through education, training and outreach. ANERR’s new beautiful office and training structure, hidden in trees at the foot of the bridge in Eastpoint, contains a Nature Center, open free to the public, offering fresh and salt water aquariums, natural history exhibits regarding our river and bay systems, and a variety of self-guided displays for children and adults.
The heart and soul of state property lying within our bounds is the deep water cove, and its surrounding land, known as Nick’s Hole. A residential neighborhood of that name lies south of Leisure Lane, but the deeply wooded area to the north of the roadway has provided shelter to mankind for centuries. Historians speculate that human inhabitants lived here as early as the 11th Century, and local residents and researchers have uncovered signs of their existence over the years.
Apalachicola Bay is one of the most productive estuarine systems in the Northern Hemisphere and is exceptionally important as a nursery area for sea life in the Gulf of Mexico. For example, it is believed that Blue Crabs migrate 300 miles to spawn in Apalachicola Bay.
Through a multi-year agreement, the state has dedicated a portion of the Nick’s Hole area, known as George Mahr Seabase, to local Scout Troop #22. The Troop is a part of Suwannee River Council, Boy Scouts of America. In addition to typical scout experiences and opportunities for growth, members are able to use the protected, deep waters of Nick’s Hole Cove and shallower Apalachicola Bay to become skilled sailors under the guidance of Troop Leaders Larry & Pat Hale. The Hales are themselves long-standing Plantation residents. Girls participating in scouting participate as the “Venturing Crew.” In early May the Troop celebrated its 13th annual Boy Scout Youth Regatta, a major fundraising event that draws visitors and sailing enthusiasts from across the nation.