Florida Travel Blog

Travel destinations, beaches, attractions and fun things to do in Florida. 

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Wakulla Springs – A Must See Florida Road Trip

 
Lodge at Wakulla Springs
Lodge at Wakulla Springs

We are fascinated by Florida’s natural springs. Many of them produce the headwaters of rivers that supply the lowlands with nourishing fresh uncompromised water. One of those springs is in the panhandle about 15 miles south of Tallahassee.  On our recent Florida road trip, we visited Wakulla Springs in the panhandle of Florida.

History of Wakulla Springs

As you enter the area known as the panhandle – Florida’s westerly protrusion – you enter Wakulla County, named for a river lumbering through the forest to the gulf.

That river is the Wakulla River which has its headwaters at the largest spring in the world, Wakulla Springs. While the water flow is 300 million gallons a day, which is less than Silver Springs at 550 million gallons, the reason it is considered the largest is the underwater cave system that produces a good-sized lake.

Wakulla Springs forms a lake and river
The Beauty of Wakulla Springs

In 1850 a visitor saw mastodon bones at the bottom of the lake which led to years of study by scientists who found more bones of other animals at a depth of 190 feet.

More studies have continued for over a hundred years. Some of the results are in the Florida Museum of History at Tallahassee. Needless to say, the area has been used by man and animals for thousands of years.

The State of Florida Takes Over Wakulla Springs

72 Degree Spring Water Rushing By

 

72 Degree Spring Water Rushing By

The state of Florida opened a state park called Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park in 1966. The park has over 6000 acres for swimming, camping, hiking and other activities. But what makes the park and this Florida road trip unique is the lodge.

Edward Ball built the Wakulla lodge in 1935 and sold the area to Florida in the late 1960s. The lobby at the lodge is massive and is adjacent to a large gift shop that still has Edward Ball’s custom-built 70-foot granite bar.

If you have a Florida road trip on your mind, this is a place to get away from city life or beach life. The lake supports a large swimming area – but I warn you about the temperature of the spring water – all Florida road trip springs – they are all at a chilling 72 degrees.

There are great trails around the Wakulla River along with canoe rentals nearby.

Things To Do Near Wakulla Springs

Directions to Wakulla Springs from Tallahassee Florida

You are 30 minutes from Tallahassee, 30 minutes from St. Marks on the Gulf and less than 90 minutes from Apalachicola, Florida, the former oyster capital of Florida.

To reach Wakulla Springs from Tallahassee, Florida, you’ll embark on a relatively short and straightforward drive. Here are the directions:

things you need when flying

1. **Head south on Monroe Street (US-27 S/US-319 S)**: Departing from downtown Tallahassee, start by heading south on Monroe Street, which is also known as US-27 S and US-319 S in this area.

2. **Merge onto FL-61 S via the ramp to Woodville**: After traveling for approximately 5 miles, you’ll need to merge onto FL-61 S. There should be signs indicating the direction to Woodville.

3. **Continue on FL-61 S**: Stay on FL-61 S for approximately 10 miles. You’ll pass through the community of Woodville and continue southward towards Wakulla County.

4. **Turn left onto Wakulla Springs Road (CR-61A)**: Eventually, you’ll reach Wakulla Springs Road (County Road 61A). Turn left onto Wakulla Springs Road.

Old Joe at Wakulla Springs, Florida
Old Joe is a legend at Wakulla Springs. Monster Gator that stalked the area.

5. **Continue on Wakulla Springs Road**: Stay on Wakulla Springs Road for about 6 miles. This scenic route will take you through the picturesque countryside of Wakulla County.

6. **Arrive at Wakulla Springs State Park**: After about 6 miles on Wakulla Springs Road, you’ll arrive at the entrance to Wakulla Springs State Park. Follow the signs to the park entrance and visitor center.

7. **Enjoy your visit to Wakulla Springs**: Once you’ve arrived at Wakulla Springs State Park, you can explore the park’s attractions, including the historic lodge, the famous Wakulla Springs, nature trails, boat tours, and opportunities for wildlife viewing and swimming in the crystal-clear spring waters.

Make sure to check the park’s hours of operation and any entry fees before planning your visit, and consider bringing along sunscreen, water, and comfortable walking shoes for your exploration of the park. Safe travels and enjoy your time at Wakulla Springs!

Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park is a must-see for Florida road trip enthusiasts. Even those from Georgia can easily make their way south.

For more information about Florida State Parks we visit, click here.

For more Florida Road Trips, check them out here.

Map of Wakulla Springs in Florida

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