The Rich History of Wakulla

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Being surrounded by a rich, lustrous history in such a beautiful place is the essence of Wakulla County. In 1843, Wakulla was founded and established by Florida legislation making Wakulla the 23rd county in the state. With fun being in our nature, Wakulla was founded.

From our rivers and forest to our unique festivals and events, Wakulla has so much to offer. In honor of Wakulla’s birthday celebration this month, let’s continue to make memories with family and friends while taking a look back at the past along our trails and at our gatherings.

Trails Full of History

The Tallahassee-St. Marks Historic Railroad State TrailIf you’re enjoying the illustrious trails, you’ve officially arrived with miles to explore during your time in Wakulla County. Our hiking, paddling, and biking trails have much more to offer. The Tallahassee-St. Marks Historic Railroad State Trail was the first paved rail-trail in the state, following a 16-mile[1] stretch along a former railroad route that was used to transport goods to waiting ships in Port Leon (now St. Marks). You can drop into the trail at the Wakulla Station Trailhead on Woodville Highway, where there’s water, shelter, and restrooms. Don’t forget to stop off the trails and enjoy the scenic nature, bird watching, and delicious food we have to offer.

St. Mark’s Lighthouse

St. Marks LighthouseLet us shine some light on the beautiful St. Marks Lighthouse. In the year 1830, the St. Marks Lighthouse was placed in service, by the U.S. Government[2] this 82-foot beauty is covered in limestone that was quarried by the Spanish during the early 1800s. Legend has it, the limestone was sourced from the ruins of Fort San Marcos de Apalachee[3]. The St. Marks Lighthouse is now situated within the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, where there are more than 83,000[4] acres of public land to explore. Although the Lighthouse no longer guides sailors of the Apalachee Bay, it does serve as a beautiful historic landmark with a history that dates back hundreds of years. So, the next time you look out, remember this lighthouse has a very unique story to tell.

Wakulla Springs Lodge

Take a step back in time to the 1930’s and stay at the Wakulla Springs Lodge. Much of the architecture at the Lodge has been restored to showcase its original early 1900’s condition. The Lodge is home to the world’s largest marble soda fountain and an original art deco style elevator.  You can enjoy delicious meals at the Edward Ball Dining Room and one of a kind Root Beer Floats from the marble soda fountain bar. All while enjoying a view of the largest and deepest freshwater springs in the world!

Our Historic Courthouse

The Old Wakulla County CourthouseThe Old Wakulla County Courthouse was constructed in 1894 in Crawfordville, Florida. This building served as the primary Courthouse for Wakulla County until 1948, when the current Courthouse was constructed. This wooden building served as the Wakulla County Courthouse, Wakulla County Public Library, and now serves as the Chamber of Commerce office building. When you visit the Historic Courthouse, one of the first things you will notice is a mullet weathervane. Court records show that in the late 1800’s Wakulla County Judge R. Don McLeod ruled a mullet is not a fish, but rather a bird due to having a gizzard[5]. In addition to the unique weathervane, this is one of the only wooden courthouse structures remaining in the State of Florida. Visiting the Wakulla County Historic Courthouse will take you back in time to the early years of Wakulla County and Florida History.


It’s easy to get lost in the beauty and awe of Wakulla, but with so much rich history to explore, why not seek out the gloriousness of what Wakulla County has to offer? When you’re here, you’ll find a close-knit community and endless options for exploration. With so many places to stay, things to do, and places to eat, you’ll leave already planning your next trip back.

[1] Florida State Parks. (n.d.). Tallahassee-St. Marks Historic Railroad State Trail. Florida State Parks. Retrieved March 9, 2023, from

[2] US Fish & Wildlife. (n.d.). Historic St. Marks Lighthouse: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Retrieved March 9, 2023, from

[3] Friends of St. Marks Wildlife Refuge. (n.d.). The St. Marks Lighthouse A National Historic Landmark. Friends of St. Marks Wildlife Refuge. Retrieved March 9, 2023, from

[4] US Fish & Wildlife. (n.d.). Historic St. Marks Lighthouse: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Retrieved March 9, 2023, from

[5] Arkad. (2015, February 5). J. Harold Thurmond & Judge Mike Carter Share Wakulla County’s Rich History. Wakulla County Historical Society. Retrieved March 9, 2023, from