(Last Updated On: December 6, 2022)

park sign for Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park

A majestic spring and 6,000 acre wildlife sanctuary is safely tucked away just 30 minutes south of Tallahassee in Wakulla County, Florida.

This picturesque area surrounded by Spanish-moss forests and cypress swampland lies along the famous Wakulla Springs. Imagine Tarzan swinging through the trees or catching a glimpse of the ‘Creature from the Black Lagoon’. Both movies were filmed here during the late 1940s and 1950s.

Visitors to Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park enjoy taking a scenic river boat tour, swimming, hiking, wildlife viewing, picnicking and spending a night or two inside the elegant and historic 1930s Wakulla Lodge.

Activities

Stop in for a day or spend a few nights inside this peaceful and scenic Florida state park. Upon arrival check out the visitor center for more information and to purchase River Boat Tours tickets. The visitor center also features interpretive displays of the history of the spring from Paleolithic times until now.

Then stop in for a closer look at the historic lodge. Whether you decide to spend a few nights or not you’ll still enjoy relaxing in the grand lobby, having a bite to eat in the BallRoom Restaurant or splurging on an old-fashioned ice cream soda. This historic lodge also features conference rooms and the Magnolia Room which looks out over a picturesque courtyard. These rooms and the surrounding park are ideal for weddings and other special events.

Here are some more activities that you can do during your visit to Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park:

Boating at Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park

River Boat Tours are offered daily throughout the year and consist of 45 to 55 minute tours offering guests a closer view of one of the world’s largest and deepest freshwater springs. Along this scenic boat ride you may see manatees, alligators, turtles, fish and a variety of native and migratory birds that inhabit the area in and around Wakulla Springs. For more information and to purchase tickets stop into the park’s visitor center.

trees reflecting off the clear water at Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park

Swimming at Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park

Swim, snorkel and float inside the designated swimming area inside Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park. The park features a 22 foot high observation and diving platform at the spring’s head. Guests are encouraged to climb up for a spectacular view from above and a fun way to get wet – by jumping into the refreshing waters of the spring.

Bring a blanket and relax on the grassy beach area along the river or under one of the nearby cypress trees.

Hiking at Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park

Discover miles of trails throughout southern hardwood forest and maple-cypress habitats inside Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park. Trails guide visitors to picnic areas and access to the Wakulla River and the picturesque Cherokee Sinkhole.

Here are a couple of the trails at Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park:

  • The Nature Trail – An easy to moderate 9 mile trail through the hardwood forest. It leads across a wooden bridge over the Sally Ward Spring Run on the north side of the Wakulla River.
  • The Cherokee Sink Trail – An easy 2.4 mile trail that leads past wildflowers and out to Cherokee Sink, an 80-foot-deep sinkhole. Bring a picnic and eat at one of the tables scattered along the rim of the sinkhole lake.

Manatees swimming in the water at Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park

Biking at Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park

Guests are encouraged to bring their bicycles along when they visit Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park. The park’s paved roadways, Nature Trail and Cherokee Sink Trail provide a pleasing riding experience for all ages.

Bike tours may be offered by the park rangers during the cooler months. Be aware that helmets are required for all riders under the age of 16.

Horseback Riding at Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park

Looking for some good riding trails? Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park offers access to 3 miles of trail for guests who bring their own horses. A negative Coggins report is required for each horse brought into the park. The trailhead begins at 10 Rock Springs Road and a large parking lot is available nearby.

Birding at Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park

Wander along the pier, take a ride on a scenic river boat cruise or hike along the trails through the woods to see waterfowl, wading birds, songbirds and birds of prey.

Early mornings or at sunset seem to be the best times to see a variety of birds and other wildlife inside the park.

Some to keep an eye out for are: Anhingas, Hooded Mergansers, vultures, herons, osprey, ibis, hawks, warblers, swallowtails, Great Crested Flycatchers and Northern Parulas.

viewing telescope on the dock at Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park

Nature and Wildlife at Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park

Discover the beauty of Wakulla Springs and all of the wildlife that make their home along its shores. During your visit you will have the chance to see manatees, alligators, birds, turtles, fish and more. Especially if you take a scenic trip along the springs on one of the river boat cruises.

Don’t forget to bring your camera and binoculars for a chance to get a close up look at white-tailed deer, wild turkey, river otters, raccoons, snakes and butterflies. During the late spring many species of butterflies may be seen throughout the park.

Pets at Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park

Pets are allowed within designated areas inside Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park as long as they are kept on a hand held leash no longer than 6 feet and supervised. Pets are not permitted inside any park buildings or in the beach area.

Camping at Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park

Spend the night inside Wakulla Springs Lodge, the historic two-story lodge that was built in 1937 and depicts Mediterranean Revival architecture. This elegant lodge has 27 guest rooms, a spacious lobby with large fireplace, marble-topped tables, and stenciled ceilings, and a dining room that overlooks the spring.

sunset over the water at Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park

Guest rooms feature large bathrooms with marble floors, walk-in closets and period furniture.

Park Location

Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park
465 Wakulla Park Dr
Wakulla Springs, FL 32327
Phone: 850.561.7276

Park Website
Reservations

Map

Video

Here is a short YouTube video showcasing several attractions at Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park: