Flashback Friday – Wakulla Springs and St. Marks, Florida

Oct 10

Flashback Friday – Wakulla Springs and St. Marks, Florida

Several years ago when my mother-in-law lived near Tallahassee we took a day trip out to Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park. We also ended up seeing St. Marks lighthouse at sunset. It was a beautiful trip and a beautiful day.

Wakulla Springs Lodge was built in 1937 by financier Edward Ball. The lodge is still used today as a hotel and meeting space. The park offers riverboat tours with the opportunity to see manatees, alligators, and several types of birds. The website says (and still says) they offer glass bottom boat tours when the water is clear. The day we went, however, they took the regular boat.

We weren’t disappointed, though. We saw several manatees, herons, and an alligator. The river is fed from a spring and there’s a series of underwater caves. We learned that several prehistoric animals have been found in the river, including a mastadon, an ice age camel, a sloth, a sabertooth tiger and a bison.

I didn’t know that movies had filmed there, including the early Tarzan movies and Creature from the Black Lagoon.

On the way back to Tallahassee we saw the turn off to St. Marks, so we stopped by. The visitor’s center was closing but they let us ride through quickly. We were able to get several pictures of the lighthouse and the ocean at sunset. The beach was completely empty, but the section we found wasn’t a smooth, pristine beach you’d expect to find swimmers. Once we start traveling I want to go back to St. Marks and spend more time looking around and learning more about the lighthouse.

Wakulla Springs and St. Marks is less than twenty miles from Tallahassee and the fees to the parks are reasonable. Let me know if you get to take the glass bottomed boat ride and if you enjoyed it.

Have you visited Wakulla Springs or St. Marks? Let me know in the comments or get in touch on Facebook or Twitter.

 

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