WAKULLA SPRINGS STATE PARK
One of the world's largest
and deepest fresh water springs highlights the 2,860-acre Edward Ball
Wakulla Springs State Park. The bowl of the spring covers approximately three acres. The water temperature remains a relatively
constant 70 degrees year-round. A record peak flow from the spring on
April 11, 1973 was measured at 14,325 gallons per second - equal to 1.2
billion gallons per day!
Visitors may observe the natural
serene beauty of the Wakulla Spring and river from boat tours offered
daily. Two types of boat tours are available.
The glassbottom boat, operating
when the water is clear, allows visitors to view the deep spring and clearly
see the mouth of the cavern 100 feet below. An abundance of fish and a
few fossilized mastodon bones can be seen in the spring depths.
The pristine river and sanctuary
provide a natural habitat for an abundance of wildlife. The three-mile riverboat
tour offers a chance to observe alligators, birds, turtles and occasionally
white-tailed deer and wild turkey.
Florida state parks fulfill an important purpose as examples of the "original
natural Florida." The remarkable clarity of the water flowing from
Wakulla Springs permits unlimited viewing of the lush growth of underwater
vegetation. This growth supports an extraordinary abundance of wildlife.
Wildlife is one of Wakulla Springs' chief attractions. The shallow marshes
on the river provide a rich natural habitat for native birds, including
limpkin, purple gallinules, heron, egret, bald eagle, anhinga, osprey, black and turkey
vultures and numerous other species. During winter months, the river attracts
thousands of migrating water fowl including American widgeon, hooded merganzer
and American coot. Not surprisingly, the park has been a popular "birding
mecca" over the years.
Other natural features include
old-growth floodplain forests, extensive upland hardwood forests and a
longleaf pine forest. These plant communities support a large deer and
turkey population. Located within the hardwood forest are three state
champion trees, the Sassafras, American Beech and American Basswood.
A Word About Alligators
River is home to a remarkable variety of wildlife, including alligators.
These animals reside in an area protected from human intrusion and may be
dangerous. Access to the river within the park is restricted to tour boats
SCIENCE AND RESEARCH
Scientific interest in the spring began in 1850, when Sarah Smith
reported seeing the bones of an ancient mastodon on the bottom. Since that
time, scientists have identified the remains of at least nine other extinct
Ice Age mammals, deposited as far as 1,200 feet back into the cave.
The great depth and clarity
of the spring has also made it ideal for deep diving research. Several
projects have been undertaken at the spring that have led to significant
advances in diving technology and safety.
Professional dive teams have explored
the spring cavern to a depth exceeding 300 feet and a distance of 12,000
feet. They found the cavern branches into four conduits, but the source
of the spring still remains a mystery.
Picnic areas including tables and grills are provided within the park. Nature
trails located along the park drive provide convenient access to the many
plant communities found in the park. A six-mile hiking trail is provided
through the use of park service roads. Swimming is allowed only within the
designated swimming area near the spring. An observation and diving platform
at the spring head allows a splendid view of the spring.
A variety of educational and interpretive ranger-led programs are offered
throughout the year. Please contact the park for a list of events.
All plant and animal life is protected
in state parks. Please do not remove, deface, mutilate or molest any natural
resources. For your safety, the regulations prohibiting the feeding of animals
in all state parks are enforced. For safety reasons, recreational
diving is not permitted.
Extensive mapping and research has been conducted
on the underground cave system in an effort to protect our water resources.
For more information about ongoing reseach activities, visit www.wkpp.org
"WELCOME BACK SONGBIRDS AND WILDFLOWERS"
For more information
(WANT TO KNOW MORE)
Wakulla Springs is loacted 14 miles south of Tallahassee on S.R. 267 at S.R. 61.for more information
Wakulla Springs State Park
550 Wakulla Park Drive
Wakulla Springs, FL 32305
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