|The smallest in area of all 67 counties in Florida, Union County is a cozy part of Northeast Florida. Known for its small community charm and manners, it is a perfect place to raise a family. It was created in 1921, previously a part of Bradford County, and was named to honor the concept of unity. Its county seat is Lake Butler, located approximately 25 miles north of Gainesville and 60 miles southwest of Jacksonville, between Starke and Lake City. Other cities located in Union County include Raiford and Worthington Springs. Adjacent counties include Baker County, to the north, Alachua County, to the south, Bradford County to the east, and Columbia County, to the west. The 2006 estimated population for Union County was 14,842 residents.
Union County Courthouse
Union County offers a quaint environment that is surprisingly complimented by convenient access to everything you need. Union County is an hour’s drive, or less, from some of the finest academic, medical, cultural and historical sites in the state of Florida, including the University of Florida, Jacksonville University, Lake City Community College, and Santa Fe College. It provides a very easy trip to the Jacksonville International Airport and Gainesville Regional Airport, and transportation is convenient via State Roads 100 and 121. There are many nearby hospitals including locations in Starke, Gainesville and Lake City, and its very own Ramadan Hand Institute, which brings patients from all over.
Union County has many unique, attractive things to offer including low property taxes, the Santa Fe River, and many lakes for swimming, boating, and fishing. As a majority of Union County’s 250 square miles are forests and unimproved lands, it has a very country feel, despite is close proximity to more populated cities.
School and church are the foundation for many activities throughout the county. Its rural setting provides for strong family and community values, where school and community involvement is a priority. The Union County district is a top-notch school system, which succeeds in providing students with excellent personal attention, as well as an array of clubs, activities, athletics and academic programs to choose from, including FFA, business academies, dual enrollment and AP classes. Current student enrollment is 2,346, served by 324 employees. Many local businesses support the school system’s educational and athletic programs, which continue to excel.
Union County is a wonderful place to live, with a quaint hometown appeal, and continues to be Florida’s best kept secret.