The late Wes Skiles, a High Springs resident whose Karst Productions brought a new dimension to the exploration of natural Florida – underground and underwater – shared with millions through PBS specials, will be honored today at a special ceremony at 11 am at Peacock Springs State Park, near Mayo.
One of the little-known projects that was undertaken at Peacock Springs was to develop a hiking trail aboveground that followed the underground, underwater passages that Skiles and others explored and mapped over the years. I’ve just recently found my notes on the trail and will be sharing them soon. It’s a beautiful park, mainly the domain of cave divers, but hikers can enjoy it as well.
Here’s the official press release:
PEACOCK SPRINGS STATE PARK TO HOST SPECIAL NAMING EVENT
~New state park name will honor the late Wes Skiles~
LIVE OAK – The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Florida Park Service will host a special naming event at Peacock Springs State Park in Live Oak on Tuesday, November 16, at 11:00 a.m.
Peacock Springs State Park will be renamed in honor of Wes Skiles, world-class explorer, cinematographer and photographer, who passed away earlier this year. Skiles’ legacy includes a passion for the protection Florida’s springs, cave exploration, a vast understanding of the Floridan aquifer and superb educational and adventurous science films.
DEP Secretary Mimi A. Drew, Florida State Parks Director Donald Forgione, former coordinator of the Florida Springs Taskforce Jim Stevenson and Wes Skiles’ brother James Skiles, along with many of Wes’ family, friends and colleagues will be in attendance.