Wakulla Springs State Park - Wakulla County, Florida
Updated: Sep 9, 2021
Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park is a Florida State Park in Wakulla County, Florida, United States. This 6,000 acre wildlife sanctuary, located south of Tallahassee, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and designated a National Natural Landmark. It has three nature trail systems which lead the visitor through pine forests, bald cypress wetlands and hardwoodhammock. Hikers, bicyclists and horse riders are welcome. The wildlife found in the forest includes white-tailed deer, wild turkey, and many other bird species, while American alligators, bass, gar, various snakes, and West Indian manatee (during the winter) populate the springs, swamps, and river.
The park draws its name from Edward Ball, the DuPont family financial manager who sold the park lands to the state of Florida.
The park contains Wakulla Springs, one of the world's largest and deepest first-order freshwater springs and an exit point of the Floridan Aquifer. Wakulla Springs' highest outflow has been measured at 860,000 U.S. gallons per minute. The spring's average flow is about 400,000 US gallons per minute. The opening of the spring is 180 feet down, through which cave divers, especially those of the Woodville Karst Plain Project have explored many miles of its underwater tunnels. The spring gives rise to Wakulla River which flows several miles to the south where it empties into the Gulf of Mexico.
The park has such amenities as birding, boat tours (water contamination makes glass-bottomed boat tours now rare, cabins, hiking, horse trails, picnicking areas, snorkeling, swimming, and wildlife viewing. An interpretive exhibit and concessions are also available.
This is one of the Florida state parks you should go a little out of your way to visit. Good family fun and you can spend a good couple of days here.
As for the water contamination as stated earlier, this is from the farm runoff which makes it harder to see the bottom. We were told the water is safe but seeing the bottom beyond 60 feet is difficult.
Things to do and see:
Take advantage of the low-cost jungle cruise which lasts roughly one hour. This allows you to get a little closer with the wildlife. Also very informative about the history of the park and wildlife.
Plenty of swimming and diving into the spring just above the main spring outlet and 180 foot of water. Water temperature averages around 68 degrees year-round so it’s a little cool at first. Don‘t allow the presence of alligators to scare you because the rangers indicate they have it safely under control around the swimming and diving areas.
The Lodge appears vintage and beautiful. Inside is a gift shop which sells sandwich type foods, drinks, and ice cream. There is a restaurant which requires reservations but the dress is casual, prices are reasonable, and food decent.
Plenty of hiking trails in the park.
465 Wakulla Park Drive Wakulla Springs FL 32327
Phone: (850) 561-7276
Jungle Cruise Boats
Swimming and diving area directly over spring cave and 180 feet deep water.
Riverboat launch area