Visiting Wakulla Spring
The Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park is one of Florida's great natural and cultural resources. Use the map to plan your visit to Wakulla Spring and learn about nearby attractions.
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1. Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park
Located 15 miles south of the Florida State Capitol building, Wakulla Springs State Park is open 365 days a year. Visitors may come for the day or spend the night at the historic Wakulla Springs Lodge. Built in 1937, Wakulla Springs Lodge offers a unique glimpse into Florida's past. For information about visiting, follow the links below.
2. Wakulla River
The clear, cool waters of the Wakulla River flow from Wakulla Spring nine miles to the St. Marks and offer great kayaking, canoeing and sport fishing. Wildlife abounds along the entire length of the river. From April to November, visitors may be lucky enough to spot manatees seeking refuge. Several boat ramps provide access to the river.
3. San Marcos de Apalache State Park
The site's history began in 1528 when Spanish explorer Panfilo de Narvaez arrived with 300 men. Having traveled overland from Tampa, Narvaez was impressed by the area located at the confluence of the Wakulla and St. Marks rivers. Visitors can see the remains of the stone fort originally constructed in the 1700s and visit the museum to learn about Gulf Coast history.
4. Town of St. Marks
The town of St. Marks is located at the confluence of the St. Marks and Wakulla rivers. St. Marks is the end point for the Tallahassee-St. Marks Historic Railroad State Trail and includes restaurants, an inn and a large marina. Boat ramps afford easy access for canoeing and kayaking as well as sport fishing in the rivers and Apalachee Bay.
5. St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge
Established in 1931 to provide wintering habitat for migratory birds, it is one of the oldest refuges in the National Wildlife Refuge System. It encompasses 68,000 acres along the Gulf Coast. The refuge includes coastal marshes, islands, tidal creeks and estuaries of seven north Florida rivers. The refuge is home to the St. Marks Lighthouse still in use today.
6. Wacissa River
The Wacissa River Canoe Trail is part of Florida's Statewide System of Greenways and Trails. Twelve major springs feed the Wacissa as it winds through swampy lowlands. Wildlife is abundant along this narrow, fairly swift river run. The Wacissa River offers good swimming and snorkeling opportunities.
7. Aucilla River
The Aucilla River Canoe Trail is part of Florida's Statewide System of Greenways and Trails. In some areas, the dark, waters of the Aucilla River flow over shoals providing a rare whitewater encounter in Florida. Wildlife along the river includes river otter, hawks and a variety of wading birds.
8. Econfina River State Park
Econfina River State Park consists of 3,377 acres of pine flatwood and hardwood forests and broad expanses of salt marsh dotted with pine islands. This park offers spectacular vistas, wildlife viewing opportunities and scenic beauty paddling beneath a canopy of green that shades the winding river.
9. City of Tallahassee
Florida's historic State Capital is a short drive from Wakulla Spring offering great museums and other cultural attractions. Home to Florida State University and Florida A&M, the city has a vibrant student life and active city center with great restaurants and shopping. Be sure to plan a visit to the free Museum of Florida History to see the mastodon, which was reconstructed from remains recovered at Wakulla Spring.
10. Leon Sinks Geological Area
Leon Sinks is one of the best places to observe unique "karst" features where the aquifer is exposed at land's surface. Leon Sinks features more than five miles of walking trails that give visitors an up-close look at the clear water of sinks like Little Dismal or the dramatic and deep Big Dismal Sink with plants cascading down its steep walls.
11. Apalachicola National Forest
The Florida Trail in the Apalachicola National Forest is part of the Florida Statewide Greenways and Trails System. It offers some of the most remote hiking areas available in Florida as well as boating and fishing along the Ochlockonee and Apalachicola rivers, and swimming in the numerous lakes.
12. Natural Bridge Battlefield Historic State Park
The Battle of Natural Bridge preserved Tallahassee as the only Confederate capital east of the Mississippi River never to fall into Union hands during the Civil War. Considered an accomplishment by historians, the battle ended when a motley militia defeated seasoned Union troops. Natural Bridge is also a unique "karst" feature where the St. Mark's River disappears beneath a couple hundred feet of limestone before reappearing again.
13. St. Marks River
The St. Marks River originates in the swamps of the Red Hills area north of Tallahassee and flows for 35 miles before emptying into the Gulf of Mexico. The St. Marks River is designated an "Outstanding Florida Water" by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. Its flow is heavily influenced by springs that flow into it along its length. The St. Marks River offers great boating, wildlife viewing and sport fishing opportunities.
14. Tallahassee-St. Marks Historic Railroad State Trail
The Tallahassee-St. Marks Historic Railroad Trail runs from Tallahassee to St. Marks. Through the early 1900's, this historic railroad corridor was used to carry cotton from the plantation belt to the coast for shipment to mills in England and New England. Today, as a paved trail, it provides a workout for bikers, walkers and skaters.
15. Ochlockonee River and Bald Point State Parks
Visitors heading south have access to great sport fishing and wildlife viewing on the Ochlockonee River or at Bald Point State Park. Bald Point State Park is located on the tip of St. James Peninsula in Franklin County where the Ochlockonee Bay meets the Apalachee Bay. Bald Point offers white sand beaches and Ochlockonee offers river access, forest trails and camping.