The site of the first coastal fortress along Florida’s Panhandle, San Marcos de Apalache Historic State Park protects several generations of battlements.
Location: St. Marks
Fees: Grounds free. $2 museum fee.
Open: Thu-Mon 9-5, except major holidays.
Sitting at the strategic confluence of the St. Marks and Wakulla Rivers, this peninsula was first visited by Panfilo de Narvaez with 300 men in 1528 and pressed into use in 1679 as the Spanish built a wooden stockade fort.
An interpretive trail leads you through the remains of the later masonry structure occupied through the Civil War. For a good understanding of these layers of history, visit the nicely updated museum before walking the trail through fortress ruins and out to the scenic point of the peninsula. There is also a military cemetery on the premises at the north end of the historic site.
A boat ramp and the southern terminus of the Tallahassee-St. Marks Historic Railroad State Trail, a popular 35-mile biking route to Tallahassee, sit just outside the park gates.
Explore the park
- Exploring San Marcos de Apalache - Where the Wakulla and St Marks Rivers meet, explore San Marcos de Apalache Historic State Park, a small piece of ground with a deep history under five flags.
- San Marcos de Apalache Trails - The site of the first coastal fortress in Northwest Florida, San Marcos de Apalache has a 0.6-mile historical trail at the confluence of two major rivers.