"Wakulla Springs, "strange and mysterious waters"" Wakulla Springs by 850prc

Wakulla Springs Travel Guide: 20 reviews and 47 photos

A natural wonder in north Florida

Wakulla Springs, located about 30 miles from Florida's capital city (Tallahassee) is a unique historical and ecological wonder in north Florida. Humans have used and occupied the area for nearly 15,000 years. The name Wakulla comes from an Indian word meaning "strange and mysterious waters". Legend has it that Ponce de Leon explored the area on his trip through Florida in 1513.

Wakulla Springs was "developed" in the early 20th century by Mr. Edward Ball, who purchased the approximately 5,000 acre property in 1934. The springs, which feed Wakulla Springs and the resulting Wakulla River have been measured as producing 15,000 gallons of crystal clear and cool spring water every second from a huge underwater cave system. As of 2000, 18,000 feet of this underwater cave system had been explored and mapped by divers. It is the considered scientific opinion that less than 2% of its secrets have, at this time, been seen and recorded.

The Wakulla Springs/river area is home to a remarkable variety of animals and plants. After Mr. Ball's death in 1981, the area was deeded to the state of Florida and opened as a state park in 1986. The park is open 365 days a year, from 8 am until sundown. A small admissions fee (US$3.50 per automobile, up to a maximum of 8 people riding)

Sharing space with nature

As mentioned above, Wakulla Springs is home to a huge variety of animal and plant life. Among the biggest crowd pleasers would be the American alligator, abundant within the confines of the park and the Wakulla Springs/Wakulla River aquatic system.

In this photo, a park ranger holds one of the "junior members" of the Wakulla alligator patrol.

Looking for rest? Spend more than the afternoon

Most people visit Wakulla Springs for, at most, the day. However, there is a gracious historical lodge located on the property. Built by the original developer, Mr. Edward Ball, in 1937, the lodge today retains much of the character of early 20th century Florida.

For more info on the Wakulla Springs Lodge, PLEASE see my accomodations tips for Wakulla Springs.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:History, serenity, nature and relaxation
  • Cons:A little out of the way, but I'd never consider that a true "con"
  • In a nutshell:A unique opportunity to enjoy a vanishing part of Florida
  • Last visit to Wakulla Springs: Apr 2003
  • Intro Updated Apr 27, 2003
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Reviews (16)

Comments (56)

  • iandsmith's Profile Photo
    Sep 19, 2007 at 5:47 PM

    Ah, critter country, now there's something we Aussies can relate to (got a few to spare, don't want any extra by any chance?)

  • JudyinPA's Profile Photo
    Aug 4, 2007 at 10:43 AM

    This is on our "my see" list and after viewing your page we will be there. We have never seen gators in the wild so will be careful and look closely.

  • TheWanderingCamel's Profile Photo
    Jul 1, 2007 at 9:15 AM

    Super page - a beautiful place, wildlife, great accommodation and interesting anecdotes of past times - a terrific combo. I'd like to think I'll get to see it for real one day - leyle

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Oct 20, 2005 at 3:54 AM

    Great travelogues and tips on this page. Nice to see where those old Tarzan movies were filmed. (I see there's a big new hurricane on the way; hope you've battened down the hatches.)

  • nepalgoods's Profile Photo
    Jul 17, 2005 at 4:34 AM

    Very interesting. Thank you for your birthday wishes!

  • 807Wheaton's Profile Photo
    Apr 14, 2005 at 7:48 AM

    This is a great page! We don't live that far from Florida.....maybe a good place to visit when fall comes. Marcia

  • Pawtuxet's Profile Photo
    Apr 12, 2005 at 5:49 PM

    Hi there! Back again. Remembering we used to go on glass bottom boats when we lived in Fla. Forgot which town. I definately remember all the bugs and gators. No, thank you!!

  • deecat's Profile Photo
    Apr 12, 2005 at 4:47 PM

    Your travelogues are marvelous. The "critters" are awesome. I really loved the turtles sunning on the log. Your near perfect tips are entertaining, informative, and helpful. Impressive stuff, Pete.

  • XenoHumph's Profile Photo
    Oct 4, 2004 at 11:35 AM

    Excellent page on this beautiful little park! I enjoyed it very much last week-end! There was a 12 footer alligator nearby where people were diving...

  • karenincalifornia's Profile Photo
    Jul 20, 2004 at 8:37 PM

    Stunning pic of the spring lakes and cypress trees. So restful.


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