The St. Marks River flows from the wetlands east of Tallahassee to the Gulf of Mexico. It is a river of change along its path to the sea. It starts as a series of sloughs and pools at the headwaters (including the portion within the St. Marks River Preserve), flows underground at Natural Bridge Battlefield Historic State Park, emerges just south of the park and flows as a shallow river with shoals, then widens and deepens around the community of Newport, converges with the Wakulla River in the town of St. Marks and then flows to the Gulf. In order to protect the upper St. Marks River corridor, the property now known as the St. Marks River Preserve State Park was purchased. This protects the waters of the river basin and provides recreational opportunities for all to enjoy this important preservation effort.