Bird flying over body of water at sunset
Wildlife and Nature

There’s nothing like a personal encounter with nature to remind us that we should be thankful for all that our planet has given us. The amazing diversity of life throughout Wakulla County is an integral part of this area, and there are many places where you can get a first-hand view of these species.

Looking to the skies

Birdwatchers and ornithology enthusiasts will find themselves in paradise when they come to Wakulla County. Because of the diversity of our natural environment, including an abundance of rivers, lakes, coastline, and forests, a wide array of different avian species call our county home. Some of them live in Wakulla County throughout the year, and others can be spotted during specific seasons as a part of their migration patterns.

One of the premier places for bird watching and photography in the county is the stunning St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge is home to the north-south migratory bird flyway, so you’re likely to catch a variety of different species as they make way to their summer or winter homes. The refuge is also ground zero for the monarch butterfly migration in early autumn, and you might catch majestic eagles and osprey nesting in the trees throughout the spring.

A wonderland of marine life

Waterways are central to the environment of Wakulla County, and the marine species that call this area home are a reflection of the importance that the lakes, rivers, springs, and ocean have to these lands. Wakulla Springs State Park is one of the most notable areas for marine species viewing, as the park offers glass-bottom riverboat cruises throughout the day when the water clarity is high. You may also spot a manatee swimming through the waters of the park between October and January.

The Gulf Specimen Marine Lab in Panacea is also a place where you and your children can interact with aquatic animals and learn about their role in the ecosystem as well. This lab features numerous touch tanks, and showcases many species that are unique to the North Florida coast.

An incredible forest ecosystem

You might not want to spend all of your time near the water, however, because there is a remarkable number of land animal species that live throughout many areas of Wakulla County as well. This region is home to some dense woodland areas, where you might catch a glimpse of animals such as white-tailed deer, feral hogs, and bobcats.

Take some time to explore the massive Apalachicola National Forest, where you are permitted to hike anywhere within. If you’re lucky in the fall, you just might spot a wild turkey roaming the forest floor.

This November, enjoy the beauty of nature in Wakulla County. As the Florida heat begins to cool off, now is the perfect time to appreciate and be thankful for the outdoors. Stay with us awhile and enjoy restful nights away from the big city or bright lights.