Florida Crossroads is an award-winning, half-hour documentary series that looks at the people, places, and events shaping Florida. PBS television station WFSU, located in Tallahassee has produced this long running show for nearly 30 years. In 2022, the series partnered with the Florida Scenic Highways Program to develop a multi-year project to produce a series of television segments that explore the nuances of the scenic highways program, its history, and byways.
Crossroads crew interviewing Jim Thorsen, Chair of Florida Black Bear Scenic Byway
WFSU’s film crew and editor met with Dean Stoddart (State Scenic Highway Coordinator) in 2022 to better understand the Program’s history and mission. Once that interview was completed, the crew set off across the state to explore some of the “off the beaten path” experiences our byways offer.
In the fall of 2022, the film crew visited several byways in Central Florida including; Scenic Sumter Heritage Byway, Green Mountain Scenic Byway, and the Florida Black Bear National Byway. The resulting Crossroads show introducing the program and these central byways aired in the fall of 2023.
Individual byway segments of 6-8 minutes are kept online as the “Florida Scenic Highways & Byways” series on the Florida Channel. Links to these videos have been featured on social media, and are showcased on each included byway’s page on the Florida Scenic Highways website.
The full 30-minute Crossroads episodes are also available for viewing on the Florida Channel website.
Dawn Cary tells Scenic Sumter Heritage Byway’s story
Filming has just wrapped up for the second Crossroads episode about the Florida Scenic Highways Program. The crew visited Northeast Florida in October to check out the William Bartram Scenic & Historic Highway, A1A Ocean Islands Trail Scenic Highway, J.C. Penney Memorial Scenic Highway, and the state’s newest All-American Road – A1A Scenic & Historic Coastal Byway.
Catherine Parrott represents J.C. Penney Memorial Scenic Highway on the Florida Channel series
For each corridor visited, the WFSU film crew first collected byway background information including route mapping, lists of key resources, and names of individuals in the community to interview. The crew spent approximately a day on each byway talking to byway and local leaders, collecting thoughts on their community, the value of a scenic highway designation, and challenges they face as grass roots organizations working to advance a mission. The rest of their time was spent visiting and recording the sights and sounds of each byway. With all their field efforts completed, the WFSU crew went back to Tallahassee to produce the actual video segments.
The crew was thankful to all the volunteers associated with the corridors who welcomed the production team into their communities and helped to make this project a success. The WFSU crew is already planning which byways they want to visit in 2024.
Check out the links below to get acquainted with a byway you’ve never traveled and to see what other byways in the collection are doing.
Florida Crossroads Show Links
The next Crossroads segment featuring the Florida Scenic Highways Program is planned to air on the Florida Channel on around Monday, December 18th, 2023 and will show up on affiliated PBS stations for the following week or so. At that time, it will also be loaded to The Florida Channel’s website. Regional station programming will vary – please check Where to Watch on theFloridaChannel.org to find showings in your areas.
The videos created as part of the Crossroad series will also crop up in re-runs after this first featured showing.
As of December 14, 2023, the second episode is loaded on the Florida Channel Website:
You can follow the Florida Crossroads Show online to learn more about this special WFSU television show.