Activities

Some content on this website is saved in an alternative format. To view these files, download the following free software or you can skip to the main content if you already have the appropriate readers.

  • Use Adobe Acrobat to read Portable Document Format (PDF) files: Download Adobe® Reader®
  • Microsoft Word file viewer and converter programs to enable those who do not have MS- Word or have another version of MS-Word to open and view MS-Word files: Download Word file Viewer
  • Microsoft offers Microsoft Excel file viewer and converter programs to enable those who do not have MS-Excel or have another version of MS-Excel to view MS-Excel files:Download Excel file viewer

Wheelchair accessible icon

Wakulla Springs - Accessible Amenities

Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park is committed to providing a variety of accessible amenities to all of its visitors. 

Those amenities include:

  • Wheelchair friendly River Boats
  • A manual wheelchair
  • The Nature Trail has five access characteristics provided by the Universal Trail Assessment Process (UTAP)
  • Accessible picnic shelters
  • Accessible benches
  • Amphibious mobility assist vehicle
Beaches icon

Wakulla Springs - Beaches

The jump from the 22 foot dive/observation tower at Wakulla Springs State Park into the 69 degree fresh spring waters of Wakulla Spring may be one of the most exhilarating things to do in Wakulla County. It certainly is a rite of passage that has been enjoyed by generations of visitors to Wakulla Springs State Park.

For those less adventurous, the grassy beach along the Wakulla River is the perfect place to spread a towel and catch some rays. If the sun gets too hot, it is simple to move to the shade of an ancient cypress tree. The 69 degree freshwater is the perfect antidote to intense summer heat.

Of course, a dip on a cool winter's day is not out of the question for those who cannot resist the water's siren call. The now relatively warm water is great until you need to get out!

The spring and its shoreline are available for park guests to enjoy year round. It opens by 9:30am each day with closing times posted and varying dependent upon available daylight.

The swimming area closes when thunderstorms threaten.

 

Bicycling icon

Wakulla Springs - Bicycling

Bicycles are welcome on the paved park drive.  They are also an excellent way to explore the park's Nature Trail and the Cherokee Sink Trail.  Ranger-led bike tours may be available in winter months.  Please see park events for more information.  Helmets are highly recommended for all cyclists and Florida law requires helmets for cyclists age 16 and under.

Birding icon

Wakulla Springs - Birding

Birding is spectacular at Wakulla Springs State Park.  The river boat tours offer views of wading birds, anhingas, grebes, colorful wood ducks, and many others.  A number of species breed and raise their young in full view of the tour offering rare glimpses into their lives and phenomenal photographic opportunities.

Flocks of songbirds travel through the park or reside in its forests during late fall, winter and spring.  An early walk around the lodge or the park's administration building is an easy way to spot both resident and migratory songbirds.

Boat tours icon

Wakulla Springs - Boat Tours

The refreshing waters of Wakulla Spring have long been an alluring attraction. Glass bottom boats giving passengers remarkable underwater views have been part of the spring’s history as far back as 1875 when locals entertained visitors in a rowboat with a windowpane hull. The incredible water clarity aided the recovery of a complete mastodon skeleton which remains on display at the Museum of Florida History in Tallahassee.

Sadly, Glass-Bottom Boat Tours over the spring basin have become the exception rather than the rule in recent years. Tea-stained or green water impedes the penetration of light needed to view the impressive features of the deep chasm of Wakulla Spring. Heavy rains combined with other factors still to be fully understood are thought to be the cause of decreased visibility.

On those rare days (usually in late winter or early spring) when the “mysterious waters” of Wakulla Spring may momentarily regain their aquamarine tint and crystal clear quality, the gasps of visitors moved by the spring’s abyss can once again be heard. The ancient remains of great furry elephants (mastodons) can be seen resting on the basin’s steep sandy slopes. Schools of catfish dance in the spring’s depths, fish conventions follow the boat, and even out-of-practice Henry-the-Pole-Vaulting-Fish may choose to entertain upon request of the captain.

When possible, the 30 minute Glass-Bottom Boat Tour departs at 12:00pm, 1:00pm, and 2:00pm weather and water clarity permitting. The tour times endeavor to take advantage of the sun’s best light. The cost of the tour is $8 for adults (13 years old and up), $5 for children (ages 3-12), and under the age of three there is no charge. To avoid disappointment, it is strongly suggested that the park be contacted prior to expected visitation to ascertain the feasibility of glass-bottom boat operation. Water quality conditions can change rapidly and unexpectedly.

The River Boat Tour along the Wakulla River is one of the most visited tourist destinations in the Tallahassee area. The 45-55 minute world-class wildlife viewing event takes visitors on a two mile loop downstream and back among majestic bald cypress trees, elegant wading birds and toothy alligators. Manatees are often sighted, but their presence is not dependable. A camera is highly recommended to capture the candid images of the river’s fauna.

The ranger-led tour not only highlights the wildlife, but often includes stories of human interactions with the spring. They sometimes feature the lives of indigenous peoples, movies filmed during the Edward Ball years, and/or the more recent adventures of explorations within the caves that bring water to the spring.

The River Boat Tours run 365 days a year weather permitting (Temperatures must be above 40 degrees and tours are not conducted during thunderstorms.) The boats are 30 feet long and have a roof. There are also wheelchair accessible boats available upon request.  A manual wheelchair is also available for use upon request at the Waterfront Visitors Center.

The Waterfront Visitor’s Center opens at 9:30am and the first boat departs at 9:40am. Succeeding tours depart at varying times, depending on visitor demand. Greater visitation results in more frequent tours. The last tour of the day during Standard Time departs at 4:30pm EST. The last tour of the day during Daylight Saving Time is 5:00pm EDT. The 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.  Tickets are available on a first-come-first-served basis for the next scheduled tour of the day only. Because of the unpredictable and sudden nature of North Florida weather, tickets are not sold for tours beyond the next one scheduled. Individual or small group reservations are not available.

Groups of 20 or more are eligible for specially discounted group rates Monday-Friday provided arrangements are made a minimum of two weeks in advance and certain criteria are met. Advance reservations for groups of 20 or more may also be made for some non-holiday weekends (No discounted rates are available on the weekends). Please call 850-561-7286 for details and to make arrangements.

Occasionally, Specialty Boat Tours are available. Please see the park’s special event section for dates, times and associated fees.

Concessions icon

Wakulla Springs - Concession and Restaurant

Dining Room

You can enjoy magnificent cuisine and a beautiful view through the arched windows of the Ball Room Restaurant. The array of southern specialties offered will make your mouth water. The Edward Ball Dining Room is a full service restaurant serving three meals daily. Have a delicious meal while enjoying the view of the Spring! The dining room is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner from 7:30 a.m to 10:00 p.m.

Soda Fountain / Gift Shop

Enjoy our old fashioned soda fountain where you can get classics like milk shakes, malts and ice cream sodas, served from the longest marble counter top in the world. We also serve sandwiches, hot dogs and other delicious treats. If you are looking for that perfect souvenir, our gift shop offers many items for you to buy.

For more information, click on Wakulla Springs Lodge or call (850) 421-2000

 

Family reunions icon

Wakulla Springs - Family Reunions

Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park is perfect for family reunions. The park offers lots of outdoor activities and comfortable guest rooms. Call (850) 421-2000 to reserve meeting space in the lodge, arrange for rooms, and/or discuss catering or restaurant arrangements.

To reserve a picnic shelter for your event please call the park at (850) 561-7286.

Geoseeking icon

Wakulla Springs - Geo-Seeking

Geocaching is an outdoor game using hand-held global positioning systems (GPS) devices. It's effectively an inexpensive, interactive, high-tech treasure hunt that's a great way to learn geography. Participants use location coordinates to find caches. Some caches are easy to find; others are more difficult. The biggest reward is the thrill of the search and the discovery of a place where you have never been. Geocaching should have minimal impact to the environment and conscientious land use ethics should be followed.

The Operation Recreation GeoTour hosted by Geocaching.com, stretches from Pensacola to Key West and includes 71 of the First Three Time National Gold Medal Award Winning Florida State Parks and Trails. Visit 20 caches and win the Official Operation Recreation Geocoin. Download and print the Official Tracking Sheet to begin your adventure. Remember to cache and save with unlimited entry for a year with the Florida State Parks Annual Pass.

The Florida Park Service is proud to announce it has launched the Operation Recreation Kids GeoTour. Look inside Operation Recreation GeoTour geocaches for one of six possible Nature Cards. Every cache has one of six species. Record the name of the Florida State Park where you first find each of the six species on the Kids Official Tracking Sheet. Find all six species and win the ORGT Kids GeoTour Geocoin!

Hiking and nature trail icon

Wakulla Springs - Hiking Nature Trail

The Nature Trail in the main park provides up to 9 miles of easy to moderate hiking. Park guests can more accurately gauge the trail's difficulty by reviewing the five access characteristics provided by the Universal Trail Assessment Process (UTAP).  The information is located on the kiosk near the lodge parking lot.  The Nature Trail leads through southern hardwood forests and maple-cypress habitats. Several state and national champion trees (the largest for their species) mingle with other forest giants. The first half-mile of the trail has tree identification markers. 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 trail. The practiced eye can spy both terrestrial and epiphytic orchids along with other beautiful wildflowers in season. From time to time flocks of wintering songbirds such as robins, cedar waxwings, phoebes, various warblers, and others can be heard if not seen along the trail.

The Cherokee Sink Trail is located in the Cherokee Sink Tract of the park. The entrance to the trailhead is on Hwy 61 two miles south of Hwy 267. It is on the west side of the road just opposite the main park. The trail leads 1.4 miles to Cherokee Sink, an 80 foot deep sinkhole lake. In March crabapple and dogwood blossoms brighten the walk. There are a couple picnic tables along the rim of the sink. The Casseau Cemetery is located somewhere along the south rim. By the late 1970's, (prior to state ownership) vandals had destroyed the markers and any trace of the plots. The park is continuing its efforts to locate and properly respect those buried there. A portable restroom is located at the trailhead.

The Bob Rose Trail is located in the Riversinks Tract of the park. The parking area is on the southeast corner of the Hwy 319 and New Light Church/CJ Spears intersection. The trail follows the cave system. Along its route there are different karst features such as dry and wet sinks, swallets, and collapsed cave.

Historic site icon

Wakulla Springs - Historic Site

Edward Ball purchased Wakulla Springs in 1934 and developed it as an attraction that focused on the preservation of wildlife and the surrounding habitat. The Wakulla Springs Lodge, completed in 1937, is an excellent example of Mediterranean Revival architecture with its quiet elegance. Twenty-seven guest rooms are furnished with period furniture and private bathrooms and provide a retreat from the modern world. The lobby is a perfect place to relax. Its period furnishings include a grand piano, marble checker tables and a massive fireplace. This is where you will find the only television. The ceiling is intricately painted.

The park is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is designated as a National Natural Landmark.

Horse and equestrian trails icon

Wakulla Springs - Horse Equestrian Trail

A Horse Trailer Parking Area is available off of County Road 365 on Rock Road.  The pull through sites allow easy access to the equestrian trail located on the eastern side of the main park tract.

Interpretive exhibit icon

Wakulla Springs - Interpretive Exhibit

An interpretive display that outlines the history of the park and the spring from Paleolithic times until present is available in the boat ticket office located at the Waterfront Visitors Center.  The Visitors Center is also home to wildlife photos, informative cave exploration diagrams, and the movie history of Wakulla Springs.

Lodge icon

Wakulla Springs - Lodge

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Wakulla Springs Lodge, built in the 1930s, features 27 guest rooms, each with a spacious marble bathroom, walk-in closet, and antique or period furniture. All rooms have a telephone. For a quiet and relaxing stay, rooms have no televisions. Located on the second floor, guestrooms are accessible via the elevator or numerous staircases. The Ball Room Restaurant, located on the ground floor, overlooks Wakulla Spring and features modern cuisine and Southern classics.

Reservations are recommended. Call (855) 632-4559.

Rates: $129.00 to $179.00 per night. Group rates are available.

For more information click on Wakulla Springs Lodge.

Meetings and retreats icon

Wakulla Springs - Meetings and Retreats

Make your event special at Wakulla Springs State Park and Lodge, which offers the perfect location for a productive conference, banquet or special event. Facilities are available for groups large and small.

Edward Ball Conference Room
Situated on the second floor, this beautiful conference room overlooks the world famous Wakulla Springs. Board room style for 20 people. - Call for current prices.

Magnolia Room
With windows overlooking both the courtyard and park, this room is perfect for a small group meeting or break out space for a larger group. Board room style for 12 people. - Call for current prices.

Dogwood Conference Room
Nestled in the woods just a short distance from the lodge, the room offers a cottage-like feel with a large outside deck that can be used for pre-function space. It can be set up in a variety of seating arrangements. Accommodates up to 45 people. - Call for current prices.
 

For more information click on Wakulla Springs Lodge or call the Lodge at (850) 421-2000 for more information.

Pets icon

Wakulla Springs - Pets

Domestic pets are permitted in designated day-use areas at ALL Florida State Parks. They must be kept on a handheld leash that is six feet or shorter and be well-behaved at all times. Pet owners are required to pick up after their pets and properly dispose of their droppings. Pets are not permitted on beaches or playgrounds, or in bathing areas, cabins, park buildings or concession facilities. Individual parks may have specific areas prohibiting pets.

Service animals are welcome in all areas of Florida State Parks.

Picnic pavilions icon

Wakulla Springs - Picnic Pavilion

There are two picnic shelters available for use at Wakulla Springs State Park.  The Azalea Shelter is located closer to the park restrooms while the Hickory Shelter is set back further from park foot traffic.  Both shelters are located in the park's picnic area and as a result do not offer a view of the spring or the water.  If the shelters are not reserved, they are available for use at no charge.

Each shelter will accomodate between 80-100 people.  As many as twelve picnic tables will fit under one shelter.  Each shelter has electrical outlets, is wheelchair friendly, and has a nearby grill and water spigot.  The shelters may be reserved a minimum of 72 hours in advance at a cost of $160.50 (includes tax) for the day.  To make arrangement to reserve a shelter for your group or event please call (850) 561-7286.

Picnicking icon

Wakulla Springs - Picnicking

Wakulla Springs State Park has a spacious picnic area complete with large open areas for team games.  Picnic tables are available for use at no charge on a first-come, first-served basis.

There are two picnic shelters available for use.  If they are not reserved, they are available for use at no charge on a first-come, first-served basis.  Each shelter will accomodate between 80-100 people. As many as twelve picnic tables will fit under one shelter. Each shelter has electrical outlets, disability access, a nearby grill and water spigot. The shelters may be reserved a minimum of 72 hours in advance at a cost of $160.50 (includes tax) for the day. To make arrangement to reserve a shelter for your group or event please call (850) 561-7286.

Playground icon

Wakulla Springs - Playground

A playground is offered in our picnic area.

Recycling icon

Wakulla Springs - Recycling

Wakulla Springs State Park actively engages in recycling plastic, glass, and aluminum waste.  Please think 'green' and dispose of your recyclables appropriately.

Restroom facilities icon

Wakulla Springs - Restroom Facilities

The park's main restroom facilities are located adjacent to the picnic area.  There are no restroom facilities in the Waterfront Visitor Center.

The restrooms are ADA accessible and offer changing stalls.  There are no showers in the restrooms, but there is an outdoor shower available for rinsing off after swimming in the spring near the Waterfront Visitors Center.

Scuba diving icon

Wakulla Springs - Scuba Diving

Recreational open water diving is allowed at Cherokee Sink for those who have open water certification. For those certified as cave divers, they may cave dive at Emerald Sink and Clearcut Sink.

Recreational scuba diving is not allowed in Wakulla Spring or the swimming area.

Walk-ins are welcome, but we encourage you to call (850) 561-7276 to make arrangements prior to your visit. Diving participation is limited within each designated area and prior arrangements will avoid disappointment.

Divers are required to visit the park Ranger Station prior to diving at Cherokee Sink or Clear Cut Sink. Upon payment of the entry fee, a gate combination will be provided to access the gate at each site. Because these two dive sites are within secured areas, divers are expected to secure the respective gates after entering and upon exiting.

At Emerald Sink please deposit your entrance fee in the honor box enclosed in the envelope provided.

Please remember that your diver certification card must be displayed on the dashboard of your vehicle at any of the sites visited.

Scuba diving icon

Wakulla Springs - Scuba Diving

Recreational open water diving is allowed at Cherokee Sink for those who have open water certification. For those certified as cave divers, they may cave dive at Emerald Sink and Clearcut Sink.

Recreational scuba diving is not allowed in Wakulla Spring or the swimming area.

Walk-ins are welcome, but we encourage you to call (850) 561-7276 to make arrangements prior to your visit.  Diving participation is limited within each designated area and prior arrangements will avoid disappointment.

All divers must check-in at the main park entrance station to register.

Showers icon

Wakulla Springs - Shower Station

There is an outdoor shower provided near the Waterfront Visitor's Center to rinse off after swimming in the spring.

Snorkeling icon

Wakulla Springs - Snorkeling

Snorkeling is allowed within the boundaries of the swimming area only.

Swimming icon

Wakulla Springs - Swimming

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.  An amphibious mobility assist vehicle is available for use upon request at the Waterfront Visitors Center.

Wedding icon

Wakulla Springs - Weddings

Weddings are popular at Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park.

For more information, please see our flyer weddings at Wakulla Springs State Park.

Weddings and Special Events
Wakulla Springs State Park and Lodge is perfect for your wedding, banquet or special event. Two private dining spaces accommodate groups between 25 and 100 people. Choose between the Cypress Room or the glass-enclosed terrace.

The Ceremony
Select from indoor or outdoor sites. Outdoor weddings may be moved inside up to two hours prior to the ceremony.

The Reception
For a truly memorable event host your wedding or anniversary reception on the beautiful glass-enclosed terrace, with catering by the renowned Wakulla Springs staff.  

For more information click on Wakulla Springs Lodge or call (850) 421-2000.

Wildlife viewing icon

Wakulla Springs - Wildlife Viewing

Wakulla Springs State Park serves as one of Florida’s finest areas for wildlife observation. Visitors come from all over the world to take the river boat cruise for guaranteed spectacular views of resident and migratory birds, alligators of all sizes, turtles and fish. Guests should be certain to bring a camera. Watch for manatees in the river and spring. They can be seen at any time of year but are most common October through January. Populations of whitetail deer, wild turkey and other wildlife live in or along the protected river corridor and surrounding sylvan glades of the park. In late spring or early fall, be sure to catch the amazing twilight roosting display of chimney swifts as they circle and dive into one of the chimneys atop the historic lodge.