(Last Updated On: January 3, 2023)
Visitor center at San Marcos de Apalache Historic State Park

Visitor center at San Marcos de Apalache Historic State Park. Photo: Ebyabe, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Visit the historic site of a Spanish colonial fort along the Wakulla and St. Marks rivers. This National Landmark dates back to the early 1500s and is located in St. Marks, Florida, only 20 miles south of Tallahassee.

Guests arriving at this historical Florida state park are greeted by many colorful flags – the flags of the many countries that have occupied this area since the 16th century. And interpretive displays inside the museum and along the nature trail guide them as they learn more about the complex history of this site.

Activities

In addition to the museum and historical features, San Marcos de Apalache Historic State Park also features picturesque picnic areas and opportunities for guests to fish, birdwatch and hike. Tucker’s Point offers visitors breathtaking views of the river, more specifically where the St. Marks River flows into the Wakulla River and out to Apalachee Bay.

Here are some of the activities that you can do during your visit to San Marcos de Apalache Historic State Park:

The Museum at San Marcos de Apalache Historic State Park

San Marcos de Apalache Historic State Park’s museum features pottery and tools that were discovered near where the original fort stood. It was built during the 1960s as a place to feature those unearthed artifacts and as a way to tell the story and history of the San Marcos site.

The building itself contains a lot of history: its foundation is from a pre-Civil War Marine Hospital which had been built from the original Spanish fort that once stood here. A look inside the museum shows guests exhibits, displays, artifacts and programs that tell the stories of these early sites and the people who lived here. An outside interpretive trail guides visitors out to the historic ruins.

This location has been occupied by different groups throughout history such as the Spanish, English, American and Confederates.

Hiking at San Marcos de Apalache Historic State Park

Learn more about local flora and fauna and history as you make your way along the interpretive trail that leads out to the historic ruins. This easy trail is about 0.33 of a mile and is self guided through interpretive displays.

Fishing at San Marcos de Apalache Historic State Park

Pack your fishing gear and spend the day at Tucker’s Point inside San Marcos de Apalache Historic State Park. This is where the St. Marks River connects to the Wakulla River as it flows into Apalachee Bay.

This fishing spot is perfect for catching freshwater and saltwater fish such as largemouth bass, redfish, speckled trout and sheepshead. Just be sure to pick up a Florida fishing license before heading out to the park.

Birding at San Marcos de Apalache Historic State Park

Guests are encouraged to bring their binoculars and discover the many species of native and migratory birds that may be seen throughout San Marcos de Apalache Historic State Park.

Cooper’s Hawks, bald eagles, pelicans, Red Knots, Peregrine Falcons, Northern Harriers, Marsh Wrens, Scissor-tailed Flycatchers, osprey, wood ducks, Brown-headed Nuthatches, anhingas, cormorants, Hooded Mergansers, vultures, Great Blue Herons, osprey, ibis, hawks, warblers, swallowtails, Great Crested Flycatchers and Northern Parulas may all be sighted in this area.

Nature and Wildlife at San Marcos de Apalache Historic State Park

A visit to this historic site and its surrounding areas will offer guests a chance to see birds, snakes, lizards, fish, sea turtles, White-tailed Deer, squirrels, raccoons, manatees, otters, alligators and butterflies.

Pets at San Marcos de Apalache Historic State Park

Pets are allowed at San Marcos de Apalache Historic State Park as long as they are kept on a hand held leash no longer than 6 feet and cleaned up after. Pets are not allowed inside any park buildings, including the museum.

Camping Near San Marcos de Apalache Historic State Park

Check out these nearby state parks that feature more outdoor activities plus overnight accommodations:

  • Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park, located at 465 Wakulla Park Dr in Wakulla Springs, features an elegant and historic two-story lodge of Mediterranean Revival architecture. This elegant 1937 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.

    Wakulla Springs Lodge’s guest rooms feature large bathrooms with marble floors, walk-in closets and period furniture.

  • Ochlockonee River State Park, located at 429 State Park Road in Sopchoppy, has 30 modern campsites with water and electric hookups, a picnic table and fire ring. And a primitive group camping area. Restrooms, showers and potable water are located near all camping areas within the park.

Park Location

San Marcos de Apalache Historic State Park
148 Old Fort Road
St. Marks, FL 32355
Phone: 850.925.6216

Website

Map

Video

Here is a short YouTube video showcasing several attractions at San Marcos de Apalache Historic State Park: