Enjoy the natural beauty of Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park

July 27, 2013

A anhinga suns itself at Wakullla Springs State Park. Lori Ceier/Walton Outdoors

Bring your camera and watch nature put on a spectacular show

Interested in viewing wildlife from the comfort of a pontoon boat? Head over to Wakulla Springs and watch nature put on a spectacular show at this beautiful Florida State park.

Weather permitting, this family oriented park offers guided riverboat tours 365 days a year. The 40-60 minute journey takes visitors on a three mile loop downstream and back among majestic bald cypress trees, elegant wading birds and toothy alligators. You might even spot a manatee or two during the winter months at this park chock full of wildlife. Cost of the tour is $8 for adults (13 years old and up), $5 for children (ages 3-12); under the age of three there is no charge. On those rare days (usually in late winter or early spring) when has a crystal clear quality, the ancient remains of great mastodons can be seen resting on the basin’s steep sandy slopes.

The Wakulla River. Lori Ceier/Walton Outdoors

Wakulla Springs are the headwaters of the Wakulla River and boasts a number of springs with the main spring a vent 125 ft. in depth. This large vent stays a constant 68 degrees and releases 400,000 gallons of water a minute, making it one of the largest fresh water springs in the world.

Swimming is a popular activity during the summer months, and the park offers a walkway with a diving platform near the main spring vent. Snorkeling is a popular activity as well, however no kayaking or cave diving is permitted.

Picnic areas including tables and grills are provided within the park along with a playground area.

Sometimes during the winter months manatees reside at the spring. Lori Ceier/Walton Outdoors

A nature trail offers a leisurely walk along an upland area of the park.

Wakulla Springs State Park and Lodge is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is designated as a National Natural Landmark.

Humans have occupied the lands around Wakulla Springs for nearly 15,000 years. It is thought to be named for the Timucuan Indian word meaning “mysterious waters.” Archaeological evidence shows intermittent habitation from Paleo-Indian times through 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 wildlife preservation and the surrounding habitat.

Wakulla Springs has had its share of fame. The 1954 horror movie, “The Creature from the Black Lagoon” and three Tarzan movies starring Johnny Weismuller were filmed in the jungle-like wilderness surrounding the springs.

The Wakulla Springs Lodge is open year-round. Built in the 1930s, the lodge features 27 guest rooms with a spacious marble bathroom and walk-in closets. For a quiet and relaxing stay, rooms have no televisions, however do have telephone and data ports.

For reservations call (850) 421-2000.

Concessions at the Lodge:
You can enjoy cuisine and a beautiful view through the arched windows of the Ball Room restaurant inside the Wakulla Springs Lodge. The dining room features daily specials and is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Enjoy an old fashioned milk shake at the soda fountain, which boasts the longest marble counter top in the world.

Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park
465 Wakulla Park Drive
Wakulla Springs, Florida 32327

(850) 561-7276

The park is open from 8 a.m. until sundown, 365 days a year.

Admission Fee:

$6.00 per vehicle. Limit 2-8 people per vehicle.

$4.00 Single Occupant Vehicle.

$2.00 Pedestrians, bicyclists, extra passengers, passengers in vehicle with holder of Annual Individual Entrance Pass.

Overnight Lodging:
$95.00 – $150.00 per night. Click here for reservations/rates.

Boat Tour Fees:
$8.00 per adult.
$5.00 per child, 12 and under.


For more information, click here