Wakulla Spring is a giant freshwater spring located in the Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park, in the Florida "Panhandle" near Tallahassee.
Its waters come from an aquifer in Georgia, emerging from an underground cave system.
Though little known, Wakulla Spring is a natural wonder, one of the largest and deepest fresh water springs in the world. The natural pool above the spring is exceptionally clear; the bowl is approx. three acres across.
Many different kinds of birds can be seen around the spring. Visitors will see alligators on the river boat tour, and maybe turtles too.
Also in the wildlife department: ancient mastodon bones are visible at the bottom of the spring. Remains of other extinct Ice Age mammals have also been found.
Visiting Wakulla Spring :
Wakulla Springs State Park is open 365 days a year. A carload of people can enter for a modest fee.
visitors can spend the night at the historic Wakulla Springs Lodge, built in 1937. Sample price: $85 - $105 (check for updates). Dining room overlooks the Spring.
River boat tours on the Wakulla River are available: sample price, adult $6, child 12 and under, $4.
glassbottom boat tours are available too; when the water's clear, visitors can see the mouth of the cavern 100 feet down
Of special note for families:
- kids will like swimming and snorkeling in the Spring. The water is about 70 degrees, year-round
- kids also like jumping off the 15' diving platform
- the 4000-acre State Park has nature trails
- ranger-led programs are offered throughout the year
The Creature from the Black Lagoon:
A fun time to visit is Creaturefest. Over 50 years ago, underwater scenes for the monster-movie classic, "Creature from the Black Lagoon", were filmed at Wakulla Spring.
Nowadays the Tallahassee Film Society organizes a "Creaturefest" every fall. Some of the actors from the old movie usuall attend. For info, visit www.creaturefest.com or call the Tallahassee Area Convention and Visitors Bureau at (800) 628-2866.
Keep in mind:
- the Lodge is old, so go with history in mind, not amenities
- access to the river is tour-boats only