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Big Bend Scenic Byway

Explore Undiscovered North Florida

Accessible Parking

Byway East Itinerary

Wakulla Springs is internationally known as one of the largest and deepest freshwater springs in the world and the park is host to an abundance of wildlife, including White-Tailed Deer, Alligators, Suwannee River Cooters, Manatees, Wood Ducks, Anhinga, Yellow-Crowned Night Herons, other birds, and snakes. A nature trail offers a leisurely walk along the upland wooded areas of the park.

Daily guided riverboat tours provide a close encounter with wildlife and glass-bottom boat tours are offered when the water is exceptionally clear. Swimming is a popular activity during the hot summer months but the water temperature remains a constant 69 degrees year-round.

The Wakulla Springs Lodge was built in 1937 by financier Edward Ball and is open year-round. Wakulla Springs State Park and Lodge is listed on the Natural Register of Historic Places and is designated as a National Natural Landmark.


Byway East Itinerary

Easily Wakulla County's oldest restaurant, Wakulla Springs' dining room has been feeding Wakulla County residents and its visitors ever since it first designated as Edward Ball State Park in 1966.

Learn more about activities at Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park.


Byway East Itinerary

The refuge was 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 over 70,000 acres spread out between Wakulla, Jefferson, and Taylor counties, and includes about 43 miles along the Gulf Coast of northwest Florida.

The refuge includes coastal marshes, islands, tidal creeks and estuaries of seven north Florida rivers, and is home to a diverse community of plant and animal life. The refuge also has strong ties to a rich cultural past, and is home to the St. Marks Lighthouse, which was built in 1842 (current tower) and is still in use today.

  • Over 17,000 acres are protected under the Federal Wilderness Act.
  • Longleaf Pine Land Management Research and Demonstration Area;
  • Globally Important Bird Area
  • Outstanding Florida Waters
  • Class 1 Air Quality area

Byway East Itinerary

The museum at the park displays pottery and tools unearthed near the original fort. Interpretive displays explain the history of the San Marcos site. An 18 minute video recounts the days of the Spanish, English, American and Confederate forces that once occupied this site. The video does a great job of tying all the periods of the Fort together. A self-guided interpretive trail is open to visitors. Guided tours are available. A picnic area is available featuring picnic tables and barbecue grills. Tucker’s Point offers a scenic view at the water’s edge where the St. Marks River joins the Wakulla River and flows out into Apalachee Bay. An excellent spot for fishing to catch redfish, speckled trout, sheepshead and even largemouth bass. 


Byway East Itinerary

City park that offers a boat ramp, picnic areas, bird and wildlife viewing.

1 hr.
Paved access to ramp, restroom directly opposite

Comments:
“Comfortable deck with nice ramp”
“Restroom very clean”
“Great water views and birds”
 


Byway East Itinerary

A local gathering place and site for community festivals, Woolley Park sits on the waterfront of Dickerson Bay in Panacea, FL.


Byway East Itinerary

St. Marks Visitor Center
30 min.
Paved parking, must travel in the roadway,  past the store to curb cut, then to sidewalk & entrance Located in small complex north of town


Byway East Itinerary

 Wakulla River Park - City of St. Marks

1 hr.
Paved surface to tables; dock with steps to water

Comments:
“Nice view of the Wakulla River”


Byway East Itinerary

Great Florida Birding Trail
Drive the route, watching for birds along the shore and the picnic area.


Byway East Itinerary

The Wakulla County Welcome Center in Panacea marks a turn of the century resort community. In the early 1900s, visitors traveled from across the country, and as far away as Europe, to “take in” the healing waters of the renowned Panacea Mineral Springs. Step inside the Welcome Center to see pictures of the mule powered tram car that carried travelers to this spot, and other classic photos from the past. The outside deck overlooks Dickerson Bay with a view of sky, pine forests, salt marsh and sea.