|Wakulla Springs State Park and Lodge|
Wakulla Springs is one of the world’s largest and deepest freshwater springs. From deep within North Florida’s limestone interior, cold, clean water gushes forth to form the Wakulla River. The river runs through old-growth cypress swamp with abundant bird and reptile life in the water and along...
St. Joseph Peninsula State Park
|Description: Visitors to this park will be impressed by the miles of white sand beaches set against a backdrop of tall dunes. The park is situated on St. Joseph spit, a long narrow finger of land nearly parallel to the coast near Port St. Joe. The Gulf of Mexico forms the park’s western boundary; St. Joseph Bay lies to the east. In October, birders come to watch migrating hawks soaring over the peninsula. This is the best spot in Florida to see peregrine falcons. The northern part of the park is designated as a wilderness preserve; only hiking and primitive camping are permitted. The park is popular with fishermen, swimmers, and campers. Large numbers of butterflies, including monarchs, pass through the park in the fall.|
Wildlife to Watch: After entering the park, stop at Eagle Harbor. At low tide, great blue, little blue, and tricolor herons join great and snowy egrets in these shallow waters. In the winter, this sheltered harbor may have shorebirds, red-breasted mergansers, common loons, and horned grebes. Bottled-nosed dolphins are occasionally seen offshore. Watch for migrating hawks from this part of the park or from the beach. Look for migratory warblers in the oak hammocks. Bald eagles, northern gannets, and a variety of gulls and terns are regularly seen. Skunks and raccoons make regular evening forays into the campgrounds. Look for the tracks of foxes, bobcats, and beach mice near the dunes and upper beaches. Visitors may hike into the primitive area by following the beach or a central sand road in the island’s interior. Be prepared for insects, sunburn, and thirst.
Special Tips: Rental cabins available.
Ownership: Department of Environmental Protection
Size: 2516 acres
Closest Town: Port St. Joe
Best Seasons for Wildlife Viewing: