Canopy roads are roads that are shaded by tree canopy. Trees near the roadways grow out over the roads, creating a canopy with their branches and leaves. The canopy shades the road from direct sunlight, providing a cool reprieve from the heat. And they make for a more scenic drive as the canopy creates a “tunnel of trees” through which one drives. Canopy roads are typically country roads, but they may also be urban roads, such as some of the canopy roads in Tallahassee, Florida.
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Approximately 55% of Tallahassee is covered by tree canopy. If you go to the observation deck on the 22nd floor of the Capitol and look out over the city, from above, Tallahassee will look just as much like an urban forest as a city. Nearly half the city will be hidden beneath the branches.
Also hidden beneath this tree cover are the beautiful Tallahassee canopy roads. These roads began as Native American paths that later were used by the local plantations to transport their crops to market in the 19th century. The scenic roads add to Tallahassee’s southern charm.
There are nine roads that are officially designated as canopy roads in Tallahassee and Leon County, making up 78 miles of roadway, 20 miles of which are within city limits.
The nine official Tallahassee canopy roads are:
• Centerville Road and Moccasin Gap Road
• Meridian Road
• Miccosukee Road
• Old Bainbridge Road
• Old Centerville Road
• Old St. Augustine Road
• Pisgah Church Road
• Sunny Hill Road
These official canopy roads in Tallahassee and Leon County are protected by law – trees are protected on each road 100 feet out from the centerline of the road. However, these protected roads are not an exhaustive list of all the canopy roads in the area.