Edward Ball Wakulla Springs
Brochure of Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park in Florida. Published by Florida State Parks.
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EDWARD BALL WAKULLA SPRINGS STATE PARK HISTORY AND NATURE Humans have occupied the Wakulla Springs area for nearly 15,000 years. It is thought Wakulla means “river of the crying bird” or “strange and mysterious waters.” Archaeological evidence shows intermittent habitation from Paleo-Indian times through the time of European contact in 1513. Later periods are also represented, particularly the Spanish Mission, Creek and Seminole. Edward Ball purchased the property in 1934 and developed it as an attraction focusing on the preservation of wildlife and the surrounding habitat. The Wakulla Springs Lodge, completed in 1937, is an excellent example of Mediterranean Revival architecture. The park is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is designated as a National Natural Landmark. The Wakulla 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. Swim in the designated area only. 465 Wakulla Park Drive Wakulla Springs, FL 32327 850-561-7276 PARK GUIDELINES • Hours are 8 a.m. until sunset, 365 days a year. • An entrance fee is required. Additional user fees may apply. • All plants, animals and park property are protected. Collection, destruction or disturbance is prohibited. • Pets are permitted in designated areas only. Pets must be kept on a handheld leash no longer than six feet and well-behaved at all times. • Fishing, boating and ground fires are not allowed in the park. Fireworks and hunting are prohibited in all Florida state parks. • Swimming is limited to the designated swimming area at the Wakulla Spring. • Alcoholic beverage consumption is allowed in designated areas at the lodge only. • To become a volunteer, please call 850-561-7281. • Recreational scuba diving is permitted in some designated sinkhole areas. • Florida state parks are committed to providing equal access for all visitors to facilities and programs. If you need assistance to enable your participation, please contact the waterfront visitor center at 850-561-7278. Visit us online at FloridaStateParks.org Follow us on social media FloridaStateParks.org #FLStateParks EDWARD BALL WAKULLA SPRINGS STATE PARK One of the largest and deepest springs in the world Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park EXPERIENCES AND AMENITIES Wakulla Springs State Park is a 6,000-acre wildlife sanctuary quietly hidden in Spanish-moss draped Florida woodlands, 30 minutes south of Tallahassee. The heart of the park is the world-famous Wakulla Spring. Its 69-degree Fahrenheit water flows from the majestic spring to create the Wakulla River. Sally Ward Spring Tower Sp rin gR un Sally Ward Trail 1 Park Boundary Sa lly W ar d Wakulla Springs 2 la Hammock Spur Trail 3 Ri ve r The elegant, two-story Lodge at Wakulla Springs was created by Florida business tycoon Edward Ball and opened in 1937. Grandeur and a historic past add to the lodge’s allure. The spacious lobby with large fireplace and marble-topped checker tables leads out to a glass-enclosed terrace with splendid views of the spring. Most impressive, though, is the ceiling stenciled and painted with local wildlife scenes and European folk art designs. The dining room, overlooking the spring, provides elegantly prepared food for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Gift items, light lunches and ice cream treats can be purchased in the soda fountain/gift shop at one of the world’s longest marble counters. For reservations and information about the hotel, restaurant and gift shop, please call 850-421-2000 or visit www.thelodgeatwakullasprings.com. Entrance to the Park ul Bridges Administration Building Cherokee Sink Trail Head Separate Parking Pa rk Bo un 6 5 da ry Lodge ck Ro ad No direct connection to Springs Park Cross walk Cherokee Sink Sinkholes N W E 4 Ro The nature trails, which lead through southern hardwood forests and maple-cypress habitats, provide easy to moderate hiking along a 0.9 mile loop trail or 6 mile linear trail. Several state and national champion trees (the largest for their species) mingle with other forest giants. A bridge over the Sally Ward Spring Run provides access to the upland hardwood forest on the north side of the Wakulla River. October through March are the best months to enjoy the trails. From Tallahassee, go 16 miles south on State Road 61. Then take State Road 267 east. Continue a few hundred feet to the park entrance on the right. ak W The park’s Waterfront Visitor Center is where tickets on world-class wildlife viewing tours can be purchased. The River Boat Tours run 365 days a year, weather permitting. The 45- to 55-minute cruise opens a window into the lives of alligators, native birds, turtles and often, manatees. The tour concludes by drifting over the bowl of Wakulla Spring, one of the world’s largest and deepest freshwater springs. The jump from the dive/ observation tower into the refreshing water of Wakulla Spring is an exhilarating rush. Directions Sally Ward Trail S Pa rk “Upper” Bridge Bo un da ry NOTE: Blue blazes on trees mark Sally Ward trail. Red blazes on trees mark Hammock Spur trail. Biking Restrooms Ranger Station Hiking Playground Boat tours Horse Trails Lodging Multi-use trail Parking Picnic Hammock Spur trail (.9 miles) Sally Ward trail (6 miles) Distance in miles, one-way from trail head. 0021 Rev_08.18