Experiences & Amenities
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 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 Tour information.
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.
Explore the park in a new and challenging way. Experienced Geocachers have requested permission to hide caches containing trinkets, treasures, or information in various places around the park. Please check the Geocaching website for the most current and up-to-date information and clues to locate these caches.
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.
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.
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.
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. Service animals are welcome in all areas of Florida State Parks.
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 accommodate 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.
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.
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.
Weddings are popular at Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park. For more information, please visit The Lodge At Wakulla Springs.
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.
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, guest rooms 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. Please call (855) 632-4559.
Concession and Restaurant
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 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.
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. The spring and its shoreline are available for park guests to enjoy year round. It opens by 9:30 a.m. each day with closing times posted and varying dependent upon available daylight. The swimming area closes when thunderstorms threaten.
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
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.
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.
A playground is offered in our picnic area.
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 accommodate 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.
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.