That was 12 years ago; after that first trip, he couldn’t wait to go back. And now every time we visit my parents, we make the one-hour drive south to Wakulla Springs State Park. This time, we made the trip with my mom, dad, aunt, and uncle—and all of us loved it just as much as the first time we visited, whether it was 12 or 70 years ago.
Wakulla has one of the largest and deepest freshwater springs in the world—with an average flow rate of 200-300 million gallons per day of crystal clear, pure water—and I’ve spent many sweltering hot summer days happily jumping from the high dive platform into the cool, deep swimming hole.
Just a few hundred feet downriver, the wildlife is spectacular. Jungle cruises run every hour throughout the day, and it’s just about the best $8.00 you’ll ever spend. Step onto the boat, glide away from the dock, and you’re suddenly face-to-face with alligators, ibis, herons, and turtles. In the fall and winter, curious manatees follow the boats—this is a safe haven for all of the wildlife here, and they seem to know it.
Thank you, you two talented people. The blog and the
photographs are always stellar. I spent three perfect
days at Wakulla Springs a few years ago on an Audubon
field trip and it was such a wonderful experience. So
glad I did it when I could. Our room was right above
the screened in front porch, overlooking the springs.
We had such fun and much success birding the entire area,
after which we went on to St. Mark’s NWR and then Tallahasee. It was a great trip and your photos bring
back the memory of those days. You can be sure that I
am saving your blogs (all of them) so that I can enjoy
them over and over. Thank you. Best, Barbara
Barbara, We’re on our way to St. Marks NWR this morning! I love knowing that you have special memories of so many of the places that we’re visiting.
Yo, Travelers, Great to see the pix as you have traveled; have been liking the Florida set. Years ago I worked for a non-profit that helped add acreage to Apalachicola Bay reserve; Nancy and I have swum in those unbelievably prolific springs; and our time in Tampa sensitized us to the nuances of Florida beauty.
As a young man and before I visited then lived in the state, I read Wallace Stevens poetry about Florida, which he loved. Your alligator pic recalled the below personal favorite to my mind. Flames!
¡que les vayan bien! buena suerte en tus viajes . . . seize ya soon,
BY WALLACE STEVENS
As the immense dew of Florida
The big-finned palm
And green vine angering for life,
As the immense dew of Florida
Brings forth hymn and hymn
From the beholder,
Beholding all these green sides
And gold sides of green sides,
And blessed mornings,
Meet for the eye of the young alligator,
And lightning colors
So, in me, come flinging
Forms, flames, and the flakes of flames.
Bryan, The poem is exquisite, as the title promises. And thank you for your part, many years ago, in helping to preserve the wild beauty of this special place.
I had no idea such places even existed. I really need to get back out there! Would so love to see these things for myself. Thanks for sharing with us! xoxo
Kim, This is a great destination for when you and Rick get your new camper!! I can just about guarantee that it’s not gonna change much anytime soon.