In 1914, a highway system called Dixie Highway was a network of roads that was meant to connect Miami to Montreal, Canada. The prime leader and investor of this operation was American entrepreneur Carl G. Fisher.
By 1916, this portion of the highway near the Florida town of Espanola was complete. With tourists coming down to visit Florida’s east coast, this road would have hundreds of visitors a day driving the road on their Model T’s. By the mid-1920s, the project had a network of more than 5,000 miles of interconnected roads across 10 states.
However, the road would become obsolete in 1926 when the new road US-1 was built along the east coast of Florida close to its beaches, from Key West all the way to Jacksonville. The Dixie Highway Association was disbanded in 1927, and much of the system was absorbed in other national and state routes.
Although this road is not a main route to take anymore, it is still there, and stretches for a little over 10 miles. Many of its red bricks are still intact, and you can see an engraving on them: “GRAVES B’HAM,ALA” for the Graves Brick Company in Birmingham, Alabama. (You’ll also find some of these bricks in the streets of St. Augustine.)
If you’re looking to experience what the route was like as a tourist over 100 years ago, all you have to do is follow this red brick road.
Know Before You Go
From the southern entrance of the road, you will see signs that say "Travel at own risk" and "Removing Bricks is Illegal." According to most people who have driven this road, you most likely will not encounter very many cars, but be careful of logging trucks that use this road. There most likely will not be room for two cars on this road, so one car will need to pull off to the side of the road to let the other pass.
It is recommended to drive slow as the road is bumpy and there are potholes. There have also been people who bike this route.