At the confluence of the St. Marks and Wakulla Rivers, San Marcos de Apalache Historic State Park is the site of the first coastal fortress in Northwest Florida. This significant archaeological site features faint tracings of the original wooden stockade fort, completed by the Spanish in 1679. You’ll also see the remains of the masonry structure occupied up through the Civil War.
Location: St. Marks
Length: 0.6 mile
Lat-Long: 30.152600, -84.210300
Type: loop and spur
Fees / Permits: $2 for museum, free to walk the trail
Bug factor: moderate
Tour the museum before beginning your walk for a better understanding of the history of this site. The park is open Thu-Mon, 9-5.
From US 98, follow Port Leon Road south through St. Marks to its end.
This 0.6-mile trail interpretive walk (with markers keyed to a brochure you can get at the museum) leads you through layers of ruins of various fortresses that once stood on this spot. The original wooden stockade fort, completed by the Spanish in 1679, was later destroyed by a hurricane that drowned the garrison.
Walk the side trail down to the fort’s location at the confluence of the Wakulla and St. Marks Rivers. You’ll get an excellent view of the estuary, framed by gnarled cedars.