North Santa Rosa

Coon Hill Day 

Local Jay resident and runner, Matthew Dobson, decided to be creative and coordinate a fundraiser for the preservation and restoration of the Coon Hill cemetery located south of Jay. The Coon Hill Community came into existence around 1820 near a big spring of fresh water and had a general merchandise store, stable, blacksmith shop, Pony Express Station, U. S. Post Office, and a church that alternated between Methodist and Baptist. The Coon Hill Cemetery is recognized as the oldest cemetery in north Santa Rosa County.

Being a competitive runner, Dobson coordinated a run called the “Williams Lake 10K Trail Challenge” in 2013 and 2014. This race was very successful in raising funds for the maintenance, preservation, and restoration of the cemetery. Now, three years later another benefit race is scheduled. This time it’s called the “Coon Hill Day 5K”.

“It’s unique this year because we will actually start and finish the race at the cemetery. Long-time Coon Hill Cemetery Trustee, Alvin Enfinger, who passed away in 2013 wanted us to host a race that included the Coon Hill area. So this race accomplishes that,” said race coordinator, Matthew Dobson. Race day is set for April 8, 2017, beginning at 8 a.m. Dobson said, “We had a very good response from the people in Santa Rosa and Escambia counties a few years ago. Now we are seeking sponsorships to cover the costs of t-shirts and race awards for this year’s race.” Sponsorship amounts range from $50, $100, and $200. Each sponsor, depending on the amount, will have their business and/or name included on the back of the race t-shirt.

The course is out-and-back and includes dirt, grass, and a minimal amount of sand. “It’s a very scenic run and is a much needed break from the numerous road runs that most people compete in.” Dobson says. A half mile Kid’s Fun Run is planned after the 5K runner and walkers finish. All the post-race amenities will be supplied: Gatorade, water, fruit, and cookies. “It will be a family-friendly, fun day in the country. I hope we have a good turn out.” Dobson said.

Online registration is open and mail-in registration is also available. Visit the following internet site for more details and a printable registration form:


(see other side for more details)


The 5K Race/Walk & Fun Run: Will take place in the beautiful, scenic woods of northern Santa Rosa County; south of Jay, but north of Chumuckla in the New York Community. Directions: From Hwy. 90, take Chumuckla Hwy. (197) for about 15 miles, turn left on to Wade road until road intersects at Mineral Springs Road, turn left and follow the road for about 1.5 miles. Coon Hill entrance is to the right on a dirt road. Follow the race signs. Coming from Jay on Chumuckla Hwy, turn right on to Mineral Springs Road for about 2 miles, the race entrance is on the right. Follow signs. The Race start and finish is an out-and-back on a flat red dirt road from Coon Hill Cemetery. Directions to the race and a course map will be made available at packet pick-up.

The Course: Packed dirt with some small areas of gravel and minimal sand. The course is red dirt roads. It’s an Out-and-Back course from Coon Hill to Mineral Springs and back. Restrooms (port-a-johns) will be available at the start/finish area. Water/Aide stations will be available.

Packet Pick-up: Friday, April 7th, 2017 from 4:00 – 6:30pm at New Bethel Baptist Church in the New York Community, 10995 Chumuckla Hwy. 10995, Jay, Florida; and at the Race Site on Race Day. Early registration ends on April 3rd postmarked or online. Day of race registration will be $25.00.

Awards: Overall Awards in 10 categories and Top 3 in the following Age Groups: 10 an under, 11-12, 13-14, 15-16, 17-19, 20-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70-74, 75 and up.

Unique, Rustic, Wildlife themed awards to the winners. ALL ½ mile runners will receive a participation award, and top 1/2 mile runners in each age group will receive a wildlife trophy!

You may be asked to sign a waiver at packet pick-up. Also please visit the Jay Historical Society website ( and click on “Pioneer Stories” to learn more about the COON HILL CEMETERY

Event details and schedule

April 8th at 8:00am at Coon Hill Cemetery – Mineral Springs Road. 

For more information contact: Living With Purpose (850) 217-2603 – Matthew Dobson, If you would like to make a donation and cannot attend the run/walk you may do so by contacting us! All donations and entries are appreciated!

Posted by on Feb 25 2017. Filed under Announcements, Churches, Events, Local, Top News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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