Sneads, the easternmost town in the county, has a population of about 2,000 people, and is located along the shore of Lake Seminole, about 20 miles east of Marianna. Sneads turned 100-years-old recently, and is the type of town where city officials bring in artificial snow during the annual Christmas festival. It always turns out to be a sight for Florida-born children who have never seen the real white stuff. Festival organizers brought in crushed ice a few years ago for an added effect.
“We let the little kids throw it around and pretend it was real snow,” one resident said. Yet, there is nothing artificial about the beauty surrounding Sneads. Most Jackson County residents say they love the area for its natural environment, with its surrounding ponds, springs, parks and the river that runs through the county.
Lake Seminole serves as a centerpiece to an area rich in natural beauty. The 37,000-acre man-made lake has 376 acres of shoreline that extends into both Florida and Georgia. The lake takes its name from the Seminole Indians, the last Native American tribe to occupy the area before Andrew Jackson’s troops forced the tribe into Central Florida. Today, the lake is home to some of the best bass fishing, both hybrid and largemouth bass, in the United States. Anglers find their way to the lake all year, looking for the big catch, even on rainy, muggy days in mid-July. Lake Seminole is home to three fishing tournaments a year, which bring 75 to 300 anglers each tournament.
“This is a big economic impact for the county,” said a former Sneads city council member.
The town is also home to Three Rivers State Park, where the Flint and Chattahoochee rivers meet in Lake Seminole. The park is ideal for hiking, camping or fishing. Boy and girl scouts often visit the park because of its natural views and outdoor opportunities. The area has many plant species found nowhere else in the state, including the torreya tree and Florida yew, a small, bushy tree found only in Florida’s Panhandle.