Located near the center of Florida’s Big Bend region, Wakulla State Forest protects nearly 5,000 acres of land adjacent to Wakulla Springs State Park.
A network of trails is available for hiking, biking, and equestrian use. The route described below is one of the more interesting hikes possible.
Several small springs within the forest empty into a depression known as McBride Slough, eventually draining into the Wakulla River.
Resources for exploring the area
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Length: 2.9 mile loop
Trailhead: 30.243130, -84.279809
Address: Rosa Shingles Rd, Crawfordville, FL 32327
Fees: $2 per person.
Land manager: Florida Forest Service
Open Sunrise – Sunset. Dogs are allowed on a leash.
From the intersection of SR 61 and US 319 in Tallahassee, head south on US 319 for 2 miles, before turning left onto SR 61 S. In 1.8 miles, take the second right at the traffic circle, continuing on SR 61. In 2 miles, turn left onto SR 267, and the parking area will be to the left in 2 miles. SR 267 (Bloxham Cutoff) can also be accessed from US 98, SR 20, or Woodville Hwy (SR 363).
A large information kiosk stands at the southeast corner of the parking area, displaying maps and information about the forest.
From the kiosk, head eastward through a fence gap marked with a trailhead sign.
The hike begins along a service road slicing through highly diverse mixed hardwood habitats.
Southern magnolias and sweetgum trees offer plentiful shade as the sandy path leads deeper into the woodlands.
Morning glories vine around tree trunks alongside ironweed and beautyberry, displaying vibrant bouquets of white and purple flowers in the warmer months.
Follow the wide dirt pathway for 0.9 mile, as the clearly defined road turns toward the east.
Reaching an intersection with the red blazed trail, turn right for a detour to the spring.
In a tenth of a mile, a sign indicates the direction of Double Spring, leading down a short path to a waterside picnic table and kiosk.
A shallow, crystal-clear stream emanates from the grayish-blue hued waters of Double Spring, trickling along the forest floor towards a nearby slough.
Cypress knees protrude from the water’s edge, shaded by a dense hardwood hammock.
Retrace steps when leaving the spring, turning left in after a tenth of a mile, reaching the red trail intersection in another tenth of a mile.
Turn right, heading westward down a mowed path tracing the perimeter of a large clearing.
A lone cabbage palm stands in the center in this open space as the trail meanders across, entering thick tree cover on the other side.
At 1.7 miles, turn right onto the Nemours Trail, following a corridor northward through mixed pine, magnolia, hickory, and oak trees.
Grasses and ferns emerge sporadically from a carpet of pine needles while the trail skirts along the edge of a cypress dome.
Passing a directional sign, the trail turns toward the south to follow a section designated for hiking only.
Orange blazes lead the way along a well-defined corridor through clusters of shrubs competing for limited sunshine under the thick canopy.
The trail snakes though abundantly forested landscapes for 0.7 mile before emerging at the main service road.
Turn right, following red blazes for 0.2 mile before completing the loop at the parking area.
A virtual walk through Wakulla State Forest
More worth exploring while you’re in this area.
Wakulla Springs State Park
A 1930s resort turned nature park surrounding one of the world’s largest and deepest springs, Wakulla Springs State Park leads you back in time at Florida’s only state park lodge
Cherokee Sink Trail
A window into the watery world of the Woodville Karst Plain, Cherokee Sink is a large, deep water-filled sinkhole in a less-traveled section of Wakulla Springs State Park
St. Marks Coastal Loop
Using the Tallahassee-St Marks Trail, the Coastal Trail, and the Florida Trail, ride a scenic 22-mile loop between the St. Marks and Wakulla River floodplains along the Big Bend
St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge
Stretching across 70,000 acres in Florida’s Big Bend, St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge protects one of Florida’s longest wild shorelines, more than 43 miles in three counties.