St. Marks

National Wildlife Refuge - Florida

St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, a wintering ground for migratory birds, is located between Wakulla, Jefferson, and Taylor Counties in the state of Florida. The refuge includes several Gulf of Mexico coastal habitats, such as saltwater marshes, islands, tidal creeks, and the estuaries of seven north Florida rivers. It is home to a diverse range of plant and animal life and also has a long history of human use, including structures such as the St. Marks Lighthouse, the second oldest lighthouse in Florida.

brochures

Brochure of St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Florida. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).Brochures - Visitor Brochure

Brochure of St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Florida. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).

Brochure of St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Florida. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).Brochures - Fact Sheet

Brochure of St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Florida. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).

Hunting Regulations for St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Florida. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).Brochures - Hunting Regulations

Hunting Regulations for St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Florida. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).

Refuge Map of St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Florida. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).Maps - Refuge Map

Refuge Map of St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Florida. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).

Map of St. Marks Unit in St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Florida. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).Maps - St. Marks

Map of St. Marks Unit in St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Florida. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).

Map of Panacea Unit in St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Florida. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).Maps - Panacea

Map of Panacea Unit in St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Florida. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).

Map of Wakulla Unit in St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Florida. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).Maps - Wakulla

Map of Wakulla Unit in St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Florida. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).

Map of Hiking Trails in St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Florida. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).Maps - Hiking Trails

Map of Hiking Trails in St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Florida. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).

Map of Primitive Trails in St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Florida. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).Maps - Primitive Trails

Map of Primitive Trails in St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Florida. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).

Map of Florida National Scenic Trail - East for St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Florida. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).Maps - Florida National Scenic Trail - East

Map of Florida National Scenic Trail - East for St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Florida. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).

Map of Florida National Scenic Trail - West for St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Florida. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).Maps - Florida National Scenic Trail - West

Map of Florida National Scenic Trail - West for St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Florida. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).

Amphibian, Reptile and Mammal at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Florida. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).Wildlife - Amphibian, Reptile and Mammal

Amphibian, Reptile and Mammal at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Florida. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).

Alligators at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Florida. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).Wildlife - Alligators

Alligators at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Florida. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).

Birds at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Florida. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).Wildlife - Birds

Birds at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Florida. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).

Bald Eagles at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Florida. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).Wildlife - Bald Eagles

Bald Eagles at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Florida. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).

Bats at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Florida. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).Wildlife - Bats

Bats at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Florida. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).

Butterflies at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Florida. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).Wildlife - Butterflies

Butterflies at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Florida. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).

The Monarch-Milkweed Initiative at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Florida. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).Wildlife - The Monarch-Milkweed Initiative

The Monarch-Milkweed Initiative at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Florida. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).

The Cathedral of Palms at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Florida. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).Nature - The Cathedral of Palms

The Cathedral of Palms at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Florida. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).

Lighthouse Road Drive Guide for St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Florida. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).History and Cultural Signs - Lighthouse Road Drive Guide

Lighthouse Road Drive Guide for St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Florida. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).

Wakulla Beach Hotel at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Florida. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).History and Cultural Signs - Wakulla Beach Hotel

Wakulla Beach Hotel at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Florida. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).

West Goose Creek Seineyard at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Florida. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).History and Cultural Signs - West Goose Creek Seineyard

West Goose Creek Seineyard at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Florida. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).

Port Leon at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Florida. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).History and Cultural Signs - Port Leon

Port Leon at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Florida. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).

Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Florida. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).History and Cultural Signs - Civilian Conservation Corps

Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Florida. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).

Civil War Salt Works at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Florida. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).History and Cultural Signs - Civil War Salt Works

Civil War Salt Works at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Florida. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).

Shell Mounds at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Florida. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).History and Cultural Signs - Shell Mounds

Shell Mounds at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Florida. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).

Naval Stores at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Florida. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).History and Cultural Signs - Naval Stores

Naval Stores at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Florida. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).

Historic St. Marks Lighthouse at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Florida. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).History and Cultural Signs - Historic St. Marks Lighthouse

Historic St. Marks Lighthouse at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Florida. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).

Fort Williams at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Florida. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).History and Cultural Signs - Fort Williams

Fort Williams at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Florida. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).

Spanish Hole and Shipwreck at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Florida. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).History and Cultural Signs - Spanish Hole and Shipwreck

Spanish Hole and Shipwreck at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Florida. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).

Aucilla River at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Florida. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).History and Cultural Signs - Aucilla River

Aucilla River at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Florida. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).

St. Marks NWR https://www.fws.gov/refuge/st_marks/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Marks_National_Wildlife_Refuge St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, a wintering ground for migratory birds, is located between Wakulla, Jefferson, and Taylor Counties in the state of Florida. The refuge includes several Gulf of Mexico coastal habitats, such as saltwater marshes, islands, tidal creeks, and the estuaries of seven north Florida rivers. It is home to a diverse range of plant and animal life and also has a long history of human use, including structures such as the St. Marks Lighthouse, the second oldest lighthouse in Florida.
The National Wildlife Refuge System is an extensive network of lands and waters protected and managed especially for wildlife and its habitat. Refuges stretch across the United States from above the Arctic Circle in Alaska to the subtropical waters of the Florida Keys, and beyond to the Caribbean and South Pacific. The National Wildlife Refuge System is managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which protects and manages over 500 refuges for wildlife and for people to enjoy. The blue goose, designed by J.N. “Ding” Darling, has become a symbol of the National Wildlife Refuge System. Introduction The St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1931 to provide winter habitat for migratory birds, and is one of the oldest refuges in the National Wildlife Refuge System. It encompasses about 70,000 acres in Wakulla, Jefferson and Taylor counties, and includes about 43 miles of north Florida’s Gulf coast. Congress has designated 17,350 acres of the Refuge a National Wilderness Area. Elevations on the Refuge range from the open water of Apalachee Bay to about 30 feet above sea level. Seven rivers and numerous creeks cross the refuge. Annual rainfall averages 55 inches, and the driest months tend to be April, May, October, and November. The St. Marks NWR is divided into four distinct units: The St. Marks Unit is primarily slash pine flatwoods, manmade pools, swamps and marshes. The Refuge’s Offices and Visitor Center are located here on Lighthouse Road, and most public use occurs on this unit. To the west lies the Wakulla Unit, which is mostly hardwood hammocks, swamps and pine flatwoods. Further west lies the Panacea Unit, which is mostly longleaf/wiregrass habitat, flatwoods and sandhills, dotted with lakes and tidal marshes. East of the St. Marks Unit is the Aucilla Unit, which includes a boat ramp on the scenic Aucilla River and 640 acres of adjacent wetlands and swamp forest. About 300,000 visitors come to the St. Marks NWR each year to birdwatch, photograph, hike, fish, picnic, hunt, bike, and simply enjoy the Refuge. A Look Back Paleo-Indians occupied the Florida Panhandle over 10,000 years ago. Their descendants, the Apalachee Indians, encountered Spanish explorers including DeSoto during the early 1500's. By 1639, a port was established at the confluence of the Wakulla and St. Marks Rivers, which is today the City of St. Marks. Fort San Marcos de Apalache, first built there in 1679, suffered numerous attacks by pirates and soldiers. Today, the Fort’s remains and a small museum are a state park. The St. Marks Lighthouse, first constructed in 1831, is located at the terminus of Lighthouse Road (Co. Rd. 59) in the St. Marks Unit of the Refuge, a 15-mile drive from the City of St. Marks. The Light-house has guided maritime activity since 1842. It has survived gun boat battles, the landing of Federal troops during the Civil War, and many major storms. Today it is on the National Register of Historic Sites. Transfer of the Lighthouse from the U.S. Coast Guard to the Refuge is underway. The land which is today the St. Marks NWR has long provided rich natural resources for area residents. Limestone mined from the Wakulla Unit of the Refuge was used to rebuild Fort San Marcos and to build the foundation of the St. Marks Lighthouse. Refuge salt marshes are dotted with the remains of sea water evaporation vats, which were used to make sea salt during the Civil War. Timber was another source of revenue, and much Refuge land was logged before sale to the government. Turpentine production in the area’s pine forests was also a major industry in the early 1900s. The West Goose Creek Seineyard was a major mullet fishing site for decades, and free-ranging cattle and hogs fed on native grasses. Habitat and Wildlife The abundance and diversity of wildlife for which the St. Marks NWR is known is only possible because of the many habitats it possesses and manages. Marshes, tidal flats, and man-made pools (impoundments) attract thousands of waterfowl, shorebirds, wading birds and other animals. Open marshes and swamps also provide homes for turtles and thousands of American alligators. Hardwood swamps support wood ducks, night herons, black bears and river otters, to name a few. Finally, the extensive pine woodlands offer food and cover for turkeys, white-tailed deer, bluebirds, fox squirrels, gopher tortoises, and many more species. Apalachee Bay is home to bottlenose dolphins, brown pelicans, wintering redhead ducks, sea turtles and a rich diversity of marine life. In addition, the salt marshes that connect the Refuge to Apalachee Bay are a valuable nursery area and food source for birds, marine fish, shrimp, and shellfish, and they provide protection during storms to coastal birds and other animals. Of the more than 300 species of birds recorded on the Refuge, 98 nest here, including bald eagles. Some 19 species of ducks and two species of geese may be seen from mid-November through January. Migrating
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge Refuge Facts ■ Established: 1931. photo: USFWS ■ ■ photo: R. Will photo: USFWS photo: J. Greene ■ James Burnett, Refuge Manager St. Marks NWR 1255 Lighthouse Road St. Marks, FL 32355 Phone: 850/925 6121 Fax: 850/925 6930 E-mail: FW4RWStMarks@fws.gov Website: http://saintmarks.fws.gov The refuge is located on the Gulf Coast 22 miles south of Tallahassee, Florida. It contains 68,931 acres in Wakulla, Jefferson and Taylor counties (17,746 acres of this is designated Wilderness). Plus, an additional 31,500 acres in the Gulf of Mexico. The refuge administers 14 conservation easements totaling roughly 1,200 acres in Georgia and Florida. The refuge may be reached from Tallahassee by driving 16 miles south on FL Highway 363 then east on U.S. Highway 98 for three miles to Lighthouse Road, County Road 59, then three miles south to the office and visitor center. Natural History ■ The refuge has concentrations of waterfowl, wading birds, raptors and songbirds. There are also several active rookeries, eagle and osprey nests, and a diverse native mammal population. ■ 32,000 acres of woodlands including bottomland hardwoods, cypress or tupelo swamps and longleaf pine/ wiregrass communities. ■ 35,000 acres of marsh and water. ■ A large number of cultural sites extending through prehistoric, Spanish Colonial and Civil War periods. Financial Impact of Refuge ■ 21-person staff. ■ 300,000 visitors annually. Refuge Objectives ■ Provide wintering habitat for waterfowl and other birds. ■ Provide habitat for endangered species. ■ Provide habitat for resident wildlife species. ■ Provide for wildlife-dependent recreation and environmental education for the public. Management Tools ■ Water management for waterfowl on 1,500 acres of impoundments. ■ Prescribed fire. ■ Forest management. ■ Public hunting. ■ Education/interpretation. ■ Law enforcement. Public Use Opportunities ■ Hiking trails. ■ Auto tour route. ■ Fishing and hunting. ■ Wildlife observation. ■ Photography. Calendar of Events January: small game hunt, duck tours. March: Impoundments open for boat fishing March 15, shorebird migration. April: Welcome Back Songbirds Festival, spring turkey hunt, Spring Wildflower Days. May: Welcome Back Manatee Festival. September: Coastal Awareness and Cleanup Day. October: Monarch Butterfly Weekend. November/December: deer hunting, waterfowl tours, duck tours. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Questions and Answers What may I do or see here? You may take our seven-mile wildlife drive, hike on 85 miles of marked trails (including 41 miles of the Florida National Scenic Trail); observe and photograph wildlife from roadsides, dikes, observation decks or from a boat. The refuge is transected by five navigable rivers and has 35 miles of Gulf Coast between the Ochlockonee and Aucilla Rivers. Fact sheets, detailing wildlife behavior and likely viewing locations, are provided at the visitor center. The refuge bookstore offers a variety of publications about the plants and animals native to North Florida. When is the best time to visit? October through May are the most comfortable times. Winters are mild with good wildlife viewing opportunities. If you come in the summer months, prepare for hot, humid weather and bring insect repellent. The refuge visitor center is open year-round, 8 am to 4 pm Monday-Friday, and 10 am to 5pm Saturday-Sunday. Closed on Federal holidays. Where is the lighthouse? The St. Marks lighthouse is on the National Register of Historic Sites and attracts a lot of visitor attention. The lighthouse is located seven miles south of the Visitor Center on Lighthouse Road, County Road 59, on beautiful Apalachee Bay. Nearby is a trail along a coastal dike, an informational kiosk, and an observation tower overlooking wilderness salt marshes. May I hunt or fish? The refuge has hunting for deer, feral hogs, wild turkey, ducks and small game. All hunts require permits and most have limited openings. Applications are available JuneAugust. Fishing is permitted year ‘round. The pools are open to boats from March 15 through October 15. Lakes, rivers, and the Gulf of Mexico are open to boats year-round.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge Hunting Regulations 2020–2021 Welcome St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge is one of over 560 national wildlife refuges. The primary objective of the refuge is to provide habitat for conservation and protection of all species of wildlife. The harvest of surplus animals is one tool used to maintain wildlife populations at a level compatible with habitat. Specific Hunting Regulations All game must be checked out at designated check stations. The regulations listed below supplement the general regulations which govern hunting on wildlife refuges as set forth in Title 50, Code of Federal Regulations. Hunting will be in accordance with applicable state regulations. Foot/vehicle access into the refuge hunt area will be through designated access points (see map). No access along portions of public roads (see map). Vehicular access shown on map may vary according to weather and ground conditions. Vehicles are restricted to established roads. Boat access not permitted except to Piney Island for waterfowl hunting. St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge P.O. Box 68 St. Marks, FL 32355 850-925-6121 http://www.fws.gov/saintmarks/ U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service 1-800-344-WILD http://southeast.fws.gov June 2020 Public hunting is permitted on approximately 40,000 acres as shown on this map. All hunters must possess identification, a Florida hunting license, and a valid refuge hunt permit for the hunt in which they are participating. State Management Area stamps are not required. A state archery stamp will be required for all archery hunts. A turkey stamp is required to hunt turkey. State and Federal waterfowl stamps are required to hunt waterfowl. State deer permit required for all refuge deer hunters. Pre-hunt scouting on foot is allowed anytime during daylight hours. The hunt area will be open to vehicles, weather permitting, two days before each quota hunt. Vehicle access in hunt area by permitted hunters only. Portions of the hunt area may be temporarily closed due to wildlife management practices such as prescribed burns. All hunters participating in refuge hunts (except turkey hunters) using firearms must wear a minimum of 500 square inches of fluorescent orange-colored material above the waistline. Archery hunters are encouraged to wear orange-colored material. Stand hours from 1/2 hour before sunrise to 1 1/2 hours after sunrise are observed during big game hunts as a hunter courtesy. During all hunts for hogs, there are no restrictions on the size or number taken. Youth hunters (younger than 16 years) must possess a valid refuge permit and be supervised by a permitted adult 21 years of age or older and must remain within sight and normal voice contact of the adult. For big game hunts, the adult may supervise only one youth. For small game hunts, the adult may supervise no more than two youths. This leaflet must be signed to be valid for the December 26 - January 10 small game and Newport Hunt Area. It must be carried by the hunter while hunting. Companions must also have this permit while in hunt area. Gates not open for pre-hunt scouting by vehicles. Name (Please print) I have read and understand the refuge hunting regulations. This is a unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System, a network of lands and waters managed for the benefit of wildlife and people. Signature (Permits are not transferable) U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Prohibited Activities • Target practice is prohibited. • Driving game is prohibited • Wood gathering, camping, littering, and fires are prohibited. • Leashed dogs may be used for trailing injured game. Other use of dogs prohibited except for Piney Island Waterfowl hunt. • Unleashed dogs prohibited. • The use or possession of alcoholic beverages in refuge hunting areas is prohibited. • The placing of or hunting over bait is prohibited. • It is unlawful to insert a nail, spike or other metal object into any tree or to hunt from any tree in which a nail, spike or other metal object has been inserted. • Hunting from any paved or unpaved refuge road is prohibited. Access Hunters may only access the Refuge two hours before legal sunrise until two hours after legal sunset. Hunters must park in designated parking areas, as identified on the map below, to access the Refuge for hunting. Gates opened to enter the hunting area from designated access points must be closed immediately after passing through. Access to the Refuge from private property is prohibited. Quota Hunts Permits The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWCC) will be handling all hunt permits for St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge. Applications may be submitted at any license agent or tax collector or on-line at http://myfwc.com/license/limited-entry-hunts/ beginning at 10 am (Eastern Time) May 15 - June 15, 2020. Spring Turkey application period will begin November 1-30, 2020. Panacea Unit Fall Archery 200 permits - November 3-7, 2020 Tuesday - Satur
363 Town of St. Marks !! @ h _! ! j F! ! ] È ! 100 150 101 11 6 11 0 121 1.7 122 Stoney Bayou Pool No. 2 East Stoney Bayou Pool 131 1.8 1.6 132 Riv er East nd Is Cedar Point Trail 133 Tower Pond 5 1. Picnic Pond 122 5 13 Lighthouse Lighthouse Pool Pool Trail 5 13 !! o [ F! ! j ney Bayo u Sto Spr ag u e 134 y Whal e Islan d Mounds Trail LEGEND ¯ 0 4 13 la [ !! F j _! ! 5 ! 12 2 122 1.4 .4 Mounds Pool No. 1 Florida National Scenic Trail Mounds Pool No. 3 Headquarters Pond 12 3 114 10 6 1. 2 129 .7 .8 127 | Mounds Pool No. 2 118 109 152 128 Stoney Bayou Pool No. 1 105 120 7 104 119 2 .51 | 130 7 2. y 5 10 1 11 Florida National Scenic Trail 6 10 rk St. Ma s River Port Leon (historic) 126 1.3 115 104 153 .6 113 East River Pool 107 154 000 8 10 112 Plum Orchard Pond Trail 2 10 11 7 151 Hiking Trail Map - St. Marks Unit Disclaimer: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has made reasonable efforts to verify the accuracy of this map. However, due to inherent errors in all maps, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service gives no warranty, expressed or implied, as to the accuracy, reliability, or completeness of this map. This map may contain errors in omissions, scale, resolution, positional accuracy, data interpretation, and other errors. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service shall not be held liable for improper or incorrect use of the information contained within this map. 3 10 y St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge 3. 9 T er 98 Riv US t/ or wp iles Ne 4m ll a 59 4 7 6 5 · Æ et t Pal m oI sl d an 0.25 ! @ y ! Q 9 | ! F ! _ ! j ! È @ ! 3 ! 5 ! ] ! [ 0.5 1 Miles 2 1.5 visitor center / office paved public road boat ramp refuge road: hike/bike hunter check station elevated levee / roadway campground (non-refuge) FL National Scenic Trail primitive boat launch other refuge trails public trailhead FL Circumnavigational Padding Trail ADA accessible restrooms parking horse trailer parking lakes, ponds, impoundments Rocks Grey Marestreams and rivers refuge lands entrance fee station picnic shelter refuge boundary picnic tables managed hunt areas information kiosk other public lands observation platform private lands MTK 06/04/2009
¬ « 267 U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Florida National Scenic Trail - St. Marks NWR East Segment St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge 84°12'0"W 84°10'0"W 84°8'0"W 84°6'0"W 84°4'0"W 84°2'0"W 84°0'0"W 98 £ ¤ nty X : 8 9 Ô ! 117 91 58 22 94 X! : O57 O8 ! 9 9 ! O ! X : 8 9 P inhoo St. Mar 112 Ô ! r ive kR E ver Ri 115 E Au ci 84 9 ! East k s River 53 O ! 116 R iver Ô ! 30°6'0"N Co u 30°8'0"N 113 O ! ll a 30°8'0"N n ty Co u 23 89 E 24 r 86 54! 9 O ! Ta y lo 46 @ ! on 38 E E118 30°10'0"N Je ffe rs County Ô ! Jefferson 120 County 30°10'0"N Wakulla St. M ar ks Ri ve r E 83°58'0"W Sloughs tern ¬ « 363 W es Wakulla, Jefferson, Taylor and Franklin Counties, Florida 30°6'0"N Map Legend Refuge Managed Land Inholding Other Public Land Private Land Gr e Urbanized Areas Lakes, Ponds, Impoundments en P Paved Public Road Unpaved Public Road Limited Access Refuge Road 30°4'0"N Florida Traiil - St. Marks NWR Section Florida Trail Side Trail Florida Trail - Sections other than St. Marks hee Apalac 84°12'0"W Bay 84°10'0"W PRODUCED AT ST. MARKS NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE ST. MARKS, FLORIDA LAND STATUS CURRENT TO: 01/21/10 MAP DATE: 01/21/10 BASEMAP DATA SOURCES: FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE, FLORIDA NATURAL AREAS INVENTORY, FLORIDA GEOGRAPHIC DATA LIBRARY FILE: 2010 FNST PUBLIC MAP EAST.MXD Refuge Trails oi n t 30°4'0"N Area Enlarged Florida Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail 84°8'0"W 0 0.25 0.5 84°6'0"W 1 1.5 2 84°4'0"W 2.5 3 3.5 4 1 Map ID# Trail Data For St. Marks NWR 8 9 X : FNST Bridge ! 9 FNST Campsite E Intersection with Feature 84°2'0"W 4.5 5 ! Ô ! O Road Crossing Side Trail Intersection FLORIDA @ Visitor Center ! 84°0'0"W 83°58'0"W Miles FLORIDA CUSTOM ALBERS D_NORTH_AMERICAN_1983_HARN
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Florida National Scenic Trail - St. Marks NWR West Segment St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge Wakulla, Jefferson, Taylor and Franklin Counties, Florida 84°26'0"W 30°12'0"N 84°24'0"W 84°22'0"W 84°20'0"W 84°18'0"W 84°16'0"W 84°14'0"W W Inholding u ak Other Public Land ¬ « Urbanized Areas 30°12'0"N 40 l la Private Land E er R Florida Traiil - St. Marks NWR Section Florida Trail Side Trail Ri ve ks Limited Access Refuge Road 121 St. M ar Unpaved Public Road iv Paved Public Road ek Cre st Lo Lakes, Ponds, Impoundments X : 8 9 29 Florida Trail - Sections other than St. Marks Ô ! Refuge Trails 30°10'0"N Florida Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail 1 Map ID# Trail Data For St. Marks NWR 8 9 X : FNST Bridge ! 9 FNST Campsite E Intersection with Feature ! Ô ! O Road Crossing @ ! Visitor Center Side Trail Intersection 80 9 ! 47 £ ¤ 13 319 Wakulla Ô ! 85 9 ! ¬ « Area Enlarged 120 O ! O ! 365 30°8'0"N 84°12'0"W 363 Map Legend Refuge Managed Land 30°10'0"N ¬ « 267 50 Ô ! County 38 E E118 52 O ! 4 O ! 67 X : 8 9 6 105 O ! ! Ô 30°8'0"N O ! 83 9 ! 106 St. Mar O ! FLORIDA 7 E k s River 103 Ô ! 119 Ô ! 81 79 X : 8 9 D ! 97 98 Ô ! Ô ! 82 9 ! Ô ! 319 £ ¤ 30°4'0"N k I s. X : 8 9! D 95 Oyster Ba y S el h 84°26'0"W 84°24'0"W PRODUCED AT ST. MARKS NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE ST. MARKS, FLORIDA LAND STATUS CURRENT TO: 01/21/10 MAP DATE: 01/21/10 BASEMAP DATA SOURCES: FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE, FLORIDA NATURAL AREAS INVENTORY, FLORIDA GEOGRAPHIC DATA LIBRARY FILE: 2010 FNST PUBLIC MAP WEST.MXD 84°22'0"W 0 0.25 0.5 84°20'0"W 1 1.5 2 Li v l Poi n 84°18'0"W 2.5 3 3.5 4 30°4'0"N eO a 66 96 t 1 Ô ! Goose Cr eek Bay ek Cre ring Ô ! 60 30°6'0"N Ô ! Sp Ô 65 ! X64 : 9 X8 : 8 9 100 9 ! 11 61 30°6'0"N 84°16'0"W 4.5 5 chee Apala 84°14'0"W 84°12'0"W Miles FLORIDA CUSTOM ALBERS D_NORTH_AMERICAN_1983_HARN
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge Amphibian, Reptile and Mammal List alligator - Tom Darragh deer: Joe Bonislawsky gopher tortoise - Pierson Hill squirrel tree frog: Pierson Hill Frosted flatwoods salamander: Pierson Hill eastern coachwhip: Mike Keys This blue goose, designed by J.N. “Ding” Darling, has become a symbol of the National Wildlife Refuge System. The St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1931 and today encompasses 70,000 acres. It’s wide diversity of habitats, including open water, salt marsh, swamps, freshwater pools, hardwoods, and upland pine areas make the refuge home for an equally wide variety of wildlife. The St. Marks NWR provides nesting habitat for these Federal and State endangered and threatened birds: the Southern bald eagle, least tern, and red-cockaded woodpecker. Other endangered or rare species include the woodstork, swallow-tailed kite, peregrine falcon, American alligator, Eastern indigo snake and the Florida black bear. Visitors may also observe loggerhead sea turtles and West Indian manatees offshore from the lighthouse. Many state-listed threatened and endangered plants are also found on the refuge. The following list contains the 38 species of amphibians, 69 species of reptiles, and 44 species of mammals compiled from observations, consultation with experts in respective fields, and literature research. Some species are more common seasonally and some are nocturnal. Look for evidence such as tracks, burrows, grass tunnels, and other signs of activity. Careful eyes and attentive ears can uncover numerous clues to the variety of wildlife present. Night spotting of animals with artificial lights is prohibited. Salamanders, Newts, and Sirens (Order Caudata) Frosted Flatwoods Salamander FL, SL (Ambystoma cingulatum) Marbled Salamander HR (Ambystoma opacum) Mole Salamander (Ambystoma talpoideum) Two-toed Amphiuma (Amphiuma means) One-toed Amphiuma (Amphiuma pholeter) Southern Dusky Salamander (Desmognathus auriculatus) Southern Two-lined Salamander (Eurycea cirrigera) Three-lined Salamander NC (Eurycea guttolineata) Coastal Plain Dwarf Salamander (Eurycea quadridigitata) Gulf Coast Waterdog (Necturus cf. beyeri) Striped Newt HR, PE, SL (Notophthalmus perstriatus) Central Newt (Notophthalmus viridescens louisianensis) Southeastern Slimy Salamander (Plethodon grobmani) Slender Dwarf Siren (Pseudobranchus striatus spheniscus) Rusty Mud Salamander NC (Pseudotriton montanus floridanus) Southern Red Salamander NC (Pseudotriton ruber vioscai) Eastern Lesser Siren (Siren intermedia intermedia) Greater Siren (Siren lacertina) Frogs and Toads (Order Anura) Southern Cricket Frog (Acris gryllus) Call: “click, click, click” like two marbles tapping. Oak Toad (Bufo (Anaxyrus) quercicus) Call: Bird-like “peep, peep, peep.” Southern Toad (Bufo (Anaxyrus) terrestris) Call: A long, high-pitched trill. Greenhouse Frog NN (Euhyas (Eleutherodactylus) planirostris) Call: A faint “chirp”. Eastern Narrow-mouthed Toad (Gastrophryne carolinensis) Call: “Baaah” like a sheep. Cope’s Gray Treefrog (Hyla chrysoscelis) Call: A highpitched rapid trill. Green Treefrog (Hyla cinerea) Call: A nasal “gronk, gronk, gronk.” Pine Woods Treefrog (Hyla femoralis) Call: Similar cadence to Morse code tapping. Barking Treefrog (Hyla gratiosa) Call: Like a bike horn or distant barking dogs. Squirrel Treefrog (Hyla squirella) Call: Raspy :quank, quank, quank.” Southern Spring Peeper (Pseudacris crucifer bartramiana) Call: High-pitched series of whistles and trills. Southern Chorus Frog (Pseudacris nigrita) Call: Like running a fingernail along the teeth of a comb. Little Grass Frog (Pseudacris ocularis) Call: A high-pitched chirp. Ornate Chorus Frog (Pseudacris ornata) Call: Quick, metallic peeps. Florida Gopher Frog HR, PE, SL Rana capito) Call: Like an old man snoring. Bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana) Call: Deep, resonant “jug-o-rum”. Bronze Frog (Rana clamitans) Call: Like a banjo. Pig Frog (Rana grylio) Call: A pig-like “grunt, grunt, grunt.” River Frog (Rana heckscheri) Call: Deep snores and grunts. Florida Leopard Frog (Rana sphenocephalus sphenocephala) Call: Squeaky, like rubbing a wet balloon. Eastern Spadefoot (Scaphiopus holbrookii) Call: “Squonk” or “Quonk.” Lizards (Order Squamata, Suborder Sauria) Northern Green Anole (Anolis carolinensis carolinensis) Six-lined Racerunner (Aspidoscelis sexlineatus) Southern Coal Skink NC (Plestiodon anthracinus pluvialis) Northern Mole Skink (Plestiodon egregius similis) Common Five-lined Skink (Plestiodon fasciatus) Southeastern Five-lined Skink (Plestiodon inexpectatus) Broad-headed Skink (Plestiodon laticeps) Eastern Slender Glass Lizard (Ophisaurus attenuatus longicaudus) Island Glass Lizard HR, TU (Ophisaurus compressus) Mimic Glass Lizard HR, TU (Ophisaurus mimicus) Eastern Glass Lizard (Ophisaurus ventralis) Eastern Fence Lizard (Sceloporus undulatus) Ground Brown Skink (Scincella lateralis) Sn
Where can we see alligators? Alligators are native to the southeast and can be found living in freshwater pools, rivers, and swamps from North Carolina to the Rio Grande in Texas. St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge is home to many, many alligators. You might see them laying on the bank or maybe just their eyes and snout as they cruise the pools Drive carefully and watch out for wildlife. You never know what might be around the next curve! Facts About ALLIGATORS St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge Where Wildlife Comes First! Do alligators go into salt water? Yes! Sometimes they like to take a dip in Apalachee Bay but they are really fresh water animals. Where do alligators go when it gets cold? As cold-blooded reptiles, meaning they cannot regulate their body temperature. They scoop out an underwater burrow that can be up to 65 feet long and retreat to their burrows when the temperatures are too hot or too cold. How do alligators eat? Alligators eat almost anything they want. They grasp larger animals in their jaws and spin to tear off a manageable piece. They store the rest of the carcass in their under water burrow to be eaten later. How much does an alligator weigh? A large male gator can weigh as much as 1000 pounds—half a ton! Photo by George Burton St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge PO Box 68 St. Marks, FL 32355 850-925-6121 www.fws.gov/saintmarks/ Collecting or taking any plants, animals, or artifacts from federal lands is prohibited. Our 'gators are large Across the road they amble DRIVE 35 Don’t take a gamble! The American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis), has been on earth for about 150,000,000 (one hundred and fifty million!) years. The first alligators looked different than the reptile we see today, but they’ve outlived dinosaurs. Male and female alligators look alike but adult males (11.2 feet average) are larger than adult females (8.2 feet average). reach sexual maturity when they are about 6 feet (1.8 meters) long, a length attained at about 10 to 12 years. Both reach sexual maturity when they are about 6 feet long which takes at least 10 years. Toward the end of August, the young alligators begin making highpitched noises from inside of the egg to let the mother know to remove the nesting material. Courtship starts in April, with mating usually occurring in early May. Breeding takes place at night in shallow waters. Males roar to attract females and to warn off other males. Photo by Tom Darragh Alligators have 74-80 teeth. As their teeth wear down new ones come in. An alligator can go through 3,000 teeth in their lifetime! The muscles used to close their jaws are powerful but the muscles used to open their jaw are much less strong. They eat almost anything, even fruit. Strong acids help digest the bones, fur, and shells of the animals they eat. They can “hear” underwater. Each of the spots along their jaws are nerves which alert the gator to even slight splashing in the water. If detected, the alligator will rush to investigate a possible meal even if it isn’t hungry at the moment. After mating, the female builds a nest from vegetation and lays around 35-50 eggs in late June to early July. Some females can lay up to 90 eggs! She covers the eggs with grasses and stays near the nest to prevent predators from taking the eggs until they hatch which take about 65 days. The sex of the babies is determined by the temperature of the nest. A temperature of 89.6° F produces 75 % males and 90.5° F and above are mostly females. Other reptiles sometimes use alligator nests to incubate their own eggs. A new hatchling is 6-8 inches long. They live close together in small groups, called pods. Photo by Karen Willes They look dead. They are not dead and move extraordinarily fast when needed! Photo by Nick Baldwin A new hatchling is the perfect snack size for wading birds, raccoons, bobcats, turtles, shakes, large fish, turtles - and larger alligators! About 80% do not survive. She may not look like it, but the mother protects her babies during their early years. Crocodilians are one of the only orders of reptiles that offer maternal care to their young. The juveniles grow about a foot a year. Once they are about 4 feet long they are safe from predators except larger alligators and humans. In the wild, alligators can live to about 50 years. If you see an alligator on the trail, stop and wait (patiently) until it moves on.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge Bird List Lou P. Kellenberger St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge is on the shores of Apalachee Bay, in northwestern Florida, about 20 miles south of Tallahassee. Established in 1931, the refuge contains about 68,000 acres of salt and brackish marshes, hardwood swamps, pine flatwoods, and pine-oak uplands; parts of which are in Taylor, Jefferson, and Wakulla Counties. An additional 31,700 acres of water in Apalachee Bay are included as part of the refuge through a Presidential Proclamation. St. Marks Refuge provides an extensive wintering habitat for waterfowl and is one of the earliest such areas acquired by the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge This blue goose, designed by J.N. “Ding” Darling, has become a symbol of the National Wildlife Refuge System. Government. The seasons bring about marked changes in both species and abundance of birdlife. Best opportunities for observing the greatest variety and number of birds are during the fall and spring. Waterfowl are most easily seen on the refuge from mid-November through late December. Shore birds are most common during late spring and early fall. Turkey Barred owl Symbols used in this list are defined as follows Sp-Spring - March-May S-Summer - June-August F-Fall - September-November W-Winter - December-February * Nest on Refuge a-abundant a common species which is very numerous c-common certain to be seen or heard in suitable habitat u-uncommon present, but not certain to be seen Nick Baldwin Nick Baldwin USFWS This list is in accordance with the A.O.U. Checklist as amended. Enjoy your visit! Scarlett Tanager o-occasional seen only a few times during a season Nick Baldwin r-rare seen at intervals of 2 to 5 years This folder lists 274 species of birds that are considered part of the Stilt refuge’s fauna. The following are additional species that are of such accidental or rare occurrence on the refuge that they have been recorded only one or a few times and are generally considered out of their normal range: Eared Grebe Cory’s Shearwater American Flamingo Brant Mottled Duck White-winged Scoter White-tailed Kite Short-tailed Hawk Rough-legged Hawk Hudsonian Godwit Buff-breasted Sandpiper Baird’s Sandpiper Bridled Tern Sooty Tern Inca Dove Budgerigar Short-eared Owl Cave Swallow Horned Lark White-breasted Nuthatch Sprague’s Pipit Bell’s Vireo Warbling Vireo Connecticut Warbler Canada Warbler Clay-colored Sparrow Lark Bunting LeConte’s Sparrow Fox Sparrow Lapland Longspur Yellow-headed Blackbird Siskin EveningPine Grosbeak Red-faced Ibis If you observe any accidental or discontinued birds, SP S F please notify a refuge employee. W Loons _____Red-throated Loon r _____Common Loon c u c Grebes _____Pied-billed Grebe* c c a _____Horned Grebe c r u _____Red-necked Grebe r Pelicans and their Allies _____Northern Gannet o _____American White Pelican u r _____Brown Pelican c c _____Double-crested Cormorant* a a _____Anhinga* c c _____Magnificent Frigatebird r Herons, Egrets and their Allies _____American Bittern _____Least Bittern* _____Great Blue Heron* _____Great Egret* _____Snowy Egret* o c c c c a a a a a c r o u c a c o u c a c o u c a a o r c a a _____Little Blue Heron* _____Tricolored Heron* SP a a S a a F a a W a a _____Reddish Egret _____Cattle Egret* _____Green Heron* _____Black-crowned Night-Heron* _____Yellow-crowned Night-Heron* o c c c u u c c u u u c u u r o r u c r Ibises, Spoonbill, Stork _____Glossy Ibis* _____White Ibis* _____Roseate Spoonbill _____Wood Stork u a r u u a r u u c r u c c r Waterfowl _____Fulvous Whistling-Duck r r r _____Tundra Swan r r _____Greater White-fronted Goose r r _____Snow Goose u o _____Canada Goose r r r _____Wood Duck* c c a a _____Green-winged Teal c c c _____American Black Duck u u u _____Mallard u u c _____Northern Pintail c c c _____Blue-winged Teal c u c c _____Cinnamon Teal r r _____Northern Shoveler c r c c _____Gadwall c c c _____Eurasian Wigeon r r _____American Wigeon c r c c _____Canvasback u u u _____Redhead u r a a _____Ring-necked Duck c c c _____Greater Scaup u o c c _____Lesser Scaup c o c c _____Long-tailed duck r r _____Black Scoter r r r _____Surf Scoter r r r _____Common Goldeneye u u u _____Bufflehead u c c _____Hooded Merganser c c _____Common Merganser r r _____Red-breasted Merganser c r c c _____Ruddy Duck u r u u Vultures, Hawks and Allies _____Black Vulture* _____Turkey Vulture* _____Osprey* _____Swallow-tailed Kite* u c c u u c c u c c u c c o _____Mississippi Kite* _____Bald Eagle* _____Northern Harrier _____Sharp-shinned Hawk _____Cooper’s Hawk _____Red-shouldered Hawk* _____Broad-winged Hawk* _____Red-tailed Hawk* _____Golden Eagle _____American Kestrel _____Merlin _____Peregrine Falcon SP S F W u u u o u c c r c c r u u r u o c c c c u u u u u c c r r u u u o o o r o o Gallinaceous bi
Facts About Nests are re-used every year unless the tree is lost. An older eagle nest can weigh up to 4000 pounds. BALD EAGLES Eagles lay one to three eggs per year. Both male and female tend the eggs during incubation, which is about 35 days. St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge Where Wildlife Comes First! Both parents feed the chicks until they fledge, at about three months old. After fledging, both adults teach the young how to be eagles. By this time, the adults will soon depart for their summer home to the north. The great-horned owl is the only bird that can take over an eagle’s nest. Bald eagles can live up to 50 years in the wild. Eagles eat fish, ducks, coots, and carrion (dead animals). Sometimes a pair will hunt together, taking turns to pursue a flock of ducks. Eagles will harass an osprey that has caught a fish until the osprey drops it for the eagle to catch. Their eyesight is 5-6 times better than ours. An adult eagle can eat up to two pounds at a time. Two eagle chicks. —Karen Willes St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge PO Box 68 St. Marks, FL 32355 850-925-6121 www.fws.gov/saintmarks/ Collecting or taking any plants, animals, or artifacts from federal lands is prohibited. Above - adult bald eagle Left- Juvenile bald eagle —Karen Willes Majestic is the only word to describe the bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus). This large bird of prey has been the national symbol of the United States of America since 1872, and a potent spiritual icon for native people and many others. The eagle is not bald, but the term refers to the white head of a mature bird. Soaring eagle pair. —Nick Baldwin Placement on the Endangered Species List gave much needed protection to bald eagles. By 1995, their population rebounded and they were removed from the list. In 1979, only one eagle nest was known on St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge. At the present day, around 20 nests can be found across the refuge. Several nests are on the St. Marks Unit and three can easily be seen from Lighthouse Road. They are indicated on the map. Eagles can also be seen soaring overhead and sitting on a snag, watching for a meal. Male and female bald eagles look alike except for size. The male is slightly smaller weighing 8 to 10 pounds with a wingspan of 6 and a half feet. The female is larger, weighing up to 14 pounds with a wingspan of up to 8 feet. Eagles pair for life, but if one dies, the survivor will take a new mate. Eagles begin returning to St. Marks National Refuge in late August. They spend a few weeks loafing near their nest and then begin replacing broken branches and adding new branches to strengthen it. If the nest is too damaged or the tree has fallen, the eagles will start a new nest. Newly hatched chicks are covered in smoke grey down. They are dependent on their parents for food. As they grow, the down is replaced with dark feathers. The white head and tail feathers begin to appear when the bird is 4 to 5 years old. When fully cloaked in dark feathers, immature bald eagles appear to be slightly larger than their parents. Since they are young and inexperienced, appearing larger may offer extra protection. Immature bald eagle. —Karen Willes
Facts About St. Marks NWR is home to 9 additional species of bats: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. Brazilian Free-tailed Bats Southeastern Bat Seminole Bat Eastern Pipistrelle Hoary Bat Big Brown Bat Yellow Bat Red Bat Evening Bat Rafinesque’s Big-Eared Bat St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge Where Wildlife Comes First! Important things to remember when observing bats:       Bats are designated by Florida Statutes Chapter 372 as “NonGame Wildlife” and their habitat must not be molested or disturbed by humans. do not throw any objects at bats or bat houses or bat barns Avoid making loud or highpitched noises, as bats are easily disturbed Maintain a safe distance Beware of falling urine and guano as bats fly overhead Never pick up a bat on the ground. Bats emerge at dusk —Scott Mitchell St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge PO Box 68 St. Marks, FL 32355 850-925-6121 www.fws.gov/saintmarks/ Collecting or taking any plants, animals, or artifacts from federal lands is prohibited. A couple of years ago, we discovered that bats were trying to roost under the Visitors Center's roof. So we built a bat condo on the side of the building. The bats moved in right away and were happy. We were happy. Unfortunately, bats produce guano which was adding to the nutrient load in Plum Orchard Pond. Recently refuge staff moved the nest to across the street from the Visitor Brazilian Free-tailed bats are also called the Mexican Free-tailed bat and the guano bat. You might recognize this bat from that is on a famous rum bottle. Their name comes from the mouse like tail, which protrudes freely beyond the flight membrane that stretches between its hind quarters. The tail makes up almost half their length. Brazilian Free-tailed bats occupy a wide variety of habitats, such as limestone caves, abandoned mines, under bridges, and in buildings and smaller colonies have been found in hollow trees. A colony can have numbers from 50 into the millions. The largest populations are found throughout Texas and Mexico forming colonies in the millions. Because of their musty odor it is sometimes possible to smell a colony downwind from a half a block away. The bats will forage as far as 25-30 miles from their home at night and then return each morning before dawn. Bats are the only mammal that truly flies, rather than just glide like a few other mammals (i.e. flying squirrel). They also navigate using echolocation, (the location of objects using reflected sound). Sounds are sent out into the environment to bounce off of nearby objects and return information by measuring the amount of time it takes for the sound wave to return. Most small mammals have short life spans. But bats, for their size, have the longest life span of any mammal. The life span of a Brazilian Free-tailed is 8 years. Our new Bat Commune In October 2018, Hurricane Michael removed one of the bat houses from the side of the Visitors Center and deposited it in Plum Orchard Pond. It took us awhile, but we were finally able to retrieve the house and clean it up. In February 2019, a new bat housing area was created across the street from the Visitors Center. It meant that the one remaining house had to be removed from the building and quickly put up on the new poles. This was a scary moment, for we did not know what to expect. Only two bats fell out during the move and the others stayed put for the entire process. How you can help bats Plant a Bat Garden Bats eat night flying insects. Bats eat many garden and agricultural pests, including cut worm moths, chafer beetles, potato beetles and spotted cucumber beetles. Almost a third of the world’s bats feed on fruit or nectar of plants. In return for their meals, these bats are vital pollinators of countless plants (many of great economic value) and essential seed dispersers with a major role in regenerating rainforests. If you would like to attract bats to your garden, you will need to plant flowers that will attract night pollinators, like moths, which bats like to eat. Plant flowers that bloom late in the day or are night-scented. Native plant suggestions: Evening primrose Phlox Night flowering Silene (catchfly) Fleabane Goldenrod For more information on Florida’s bats go to: https://www.nps.gov/ever/learn/nature /brazilianfreetailedbat.htm Selena Kiser gently places the two bats that fell out of the large house into a smaller house.
Viceroy (Limenitis archippus) photo by Mark Trainor Zebra Longwing (Heliconius charithonia) photo by Gayla Kittendorf Though smaller, orange viceroys resemble monarchs and queens. It flies by flapping while monarchs and queens appear to glide. They have an extra transverse vein on the hindwing. Wingspan: 2.6 – 3.2 inches. Larval host plants are willows and sometimes poplars. Common Fall Butterflies of St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge Where Wildlife Comes First! The zebra longwing is Florida’s state butterfly. Usually not found in open areas, the zebra longwing prefers shaded areas. This tropical species it cannot endure cold temperatures. Wingspan: 2.9 – 3.5 inches. Larval plants are passion vine species. Long-tailed Skipper (Urbanus proteus) photo by Teresa Darragh Abundant long-tailed skippers resemble a small swallowtail. A quick, low flight carries them between nectar sources; along disturbed edge. This butterfly migrates each fall to Florida. Wingspan: 1.5 – 2 inches. Larval host include legumes and caterpillars are sometimes considered a crop pest. Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia) photo by Terresa Darragh Buckeyes are easily identified from the large eyespots which deter predators. Look for it in open, sunny locations with low-growing vegetation. Buckeyes cannot survive freezing temperatures and migrate south to overwinter along the Gulf coast. Wingspan: 5.5 – 2.7 inches. Larval plants are toadflax, false foxglove, plantain, and twinflower. Pollinator Resources: www.flmnh.ufl.edu/wildflower www.naba.org www.kidsbutterfly.org http://www.fws.gov/pollinators/Index.html http://www.monarchwatch.org/waystations/ http://www.pollinator.org/ Field Guide to Butterflies of North America – Kenn Kaufman and Jim Brock Butterflies of Florida – Jaret. C. Daniels PO Box 68 St. Marks, FL 32355 www.fws.gov/saintmarks/ 850-925-6121 Please return this brochure to the box for others to use. Collecting or taking any plants, animals, or artifacts from federal lands is prohibited. Monarch courtesy Sandra Muldrow Long-tailerd skipper courtesy Mark Trainor Zebra Longwing courtesy Teresa Darragh Printing paid by St. Marks Refuge Association Butterflies are among our most admired insects. Their diverse color patterns help them identify mates as they fly about during the day, seeking energy from nectar-rich flowers. Moths, more active at night, bear plainer colors and usually depend on odor rather than color to locate mates. Because of our temperate and subtropical climates, Florida is home to more than 180 species of butterfly and 4,000 species of moths. Butterflies and moths have complex life cycles. Both feed on a variety of flowers but females lay their eggs on or near host plants specific for their caterpillars. Caterpillars cannot survive on the wrong plant so it is vitally important to make sure host plants are a part of your garden scheme. The caterpillar grows larger through about five stages or instars, shedding its skin after each stage. The final stage for butterflies is the pupa, or chrysalis; the miracle of metamorphosis begins. After a period of time, the pupa splits and an adult emerges. At this crucial time conditions must be right for the butterfly to unfurl and dry its wings. Then the cycle begins all over again. Homeowners can help all pollinators, and especially butterflies, bees, and moths, by planting native flowering and host plants and by limiting insecticide use. Monarch (Danaus plexippus) photo by Y Wang Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae) photo by Virginia D. Craig Cloudless sulphurs are the most common sulphur in our region, where it flies most of the year with a strong, rapid flight. Migrating butterflies appear driven and rarely pause. Cloudless males are bright yellow above and females are variable greenish white, bright yellow, pinkish or orange. Wingspan: 2.2 – 2.8 inches. Larval food plants are Senna ssp. Adults migrate thousands of miles from Canada and primarily overwinter in one area in Mexico. Adults have a wingspan of 3.5-4” and exhibit slow and sailing flight. On the refuge they congregate along the coastline feeding on saltbush, goldenrod and dotted horsemint. Larvae feed on milkweed, where they acquire toxins which protect them and adults. The monarch migration story continues to unfold. You can help the monarchs by planting a WayStation of nectar and milkweed plants. Wingspan: 3.5 – 4 inches. Larval food plants are Mexican, white swamp, sandhill, and white vine milkweeds. Gulf Fritillary (Agraulis vanillae) photo by Gayla Queen (Danaus gilippus) photo by Tom Darragh Queen (Danaus gilippus) photo by Mark Trainor Queens mimic monarchs in flight and appearance, but are more brownish than orange and lack the pronounced black veins. Queen caterpillars feed on milkweed. Queens fly all year in the southernmost areas in open habitat and may outnumber monarchs in Florida. Adults are toxic to some predators. Wingspan: 3 – 3.5 inches. Larval food plants are Mexican, white swamp,
Beyond the Nursery Partners and Rescues Our efforts often lead us afield to distribute and rescue milkweeds:  Wakulla Springs State Park  Wakulla area school gardens  Gardens at Florida State University, the University of Florida, and the University of North Florida  The City of Panama City Beach  Ted Turner Foundation  Mounts Botanical Gardens  Bok Tower Gardens  Numerous County Extension offices and Master gardener programs  More! Our work continues because of the generous and enthusiastic financial support of the Friends of St. Marks Wildlife Refuge. Your donation to the Friends for this project is greatly appreciated! https: www.stmarksrefuge.org/support.htm Facts About The Monarch-Milkweed Initiative Working with private landowners and the Florida Department of Transportation we have rescued many milkweeds and other pollinator plants from areas that face development. Keep up with us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/ StMarksMilkweeds/ St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge PO Box 68 St. Marks, FL 32355 850-925-6121 www.fws.gov/saintmarks/ Collecting or taking any plants, animals, or artifacts from federal lands is prohibited. St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge Where Wildlife Comes First! The migration of the tiny monarch butterfly from their summer breeding habitat in the central and eastern U.S. and Canada to their overwintering grounds in central Mexico, is one of nature’s most spectacular natural phenomena. The eastern population has declined significantly over the past decade. Loss of milkweed, the monarch’s sole larval food source, due to urban development and shifts in agricultural practices; frequent mowing and herbicide applications along roadsides and rights-of-way; use of insecticides; Cover Photo credits: Monarchs by Karen Willes and severe weather events likely Red-ring milkweed by Gail Fishman related to climate change. On June 20, 2014, President Obama signed a Presidential Memorandum “Creating a Federal Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators,” outlining an agenda to address the devastating declines in honey bees and native pollinators, including the monarch butterfly. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service immediately responded to the emergency by asking refuges to find ways to increase milkweed populations, conserve habitat, and inform the public about the importance of pollinators. The St. Marks Refuge Visitor Services Staff eagerly accepted the challenge and applied for “seed” money to begin our native milkweed nursery. Since then our project and outreach continues to grow! The Monarch-Milkweed Initiative at St. Marks grows 21 species of milkweeds native to Florida including specific ecotypes. Our first greenhouse built with help from FSU Environmental Service Program volunteers. —Gail Fishman WE CAN’T DO IT WITHOUT Aquatic milkweed. —Scott Davis In August 2017, volunteers rescued milkweeds and other pollinator plants from a construction area on U.S. 98. —Gail Fishman Catching monarchs for tagging. —Refuge files Swamp milkweed. —Scott Davis VOLUNTEERS! Milkweed nursery volunteers —Gail Fishman Rescuing velvet-leaf milkweed with landowner permission. —Gail Fishman Left, velvet leaf milkweed Below, Butterfly milkweed. —Gail Fishman Few-flowered milkweeds increased on St. Marks Refuge after a fire. —Gail Fishman
How to get there. Facts About This area is located in the Wakulla Unit of St. Marks NWR. Before you go, check the refuge website or call the refuge for hunt dates in the fall and winter. It’s a safe idea to plan your hike outside of those dates. From U.S. 98 (Coastal Highway) turn south on Wakulla Beach Road, a graded unpaved road that can be seasonally wet. When you see the sign that marks the refuge boundary, look for the trailhead on the right. The parking area is small. Please do not block the gate. Follow the ORANGE Florida Trail blazes along refuge road 200 for 1.7 miles. The Florida Trail leaves the main road so keep following the ORANGE blazes. Within a short distance, the palms become more dense interspersed with large slash pines. You have entered the Cathedral. After one mile, the trail crosses another road with BLUE blazes. This is the short trail to Shepherd Spring. This small, but beautiful spring, feeds a run that empties into Goose Creek Bay. At least one alligator is usually present in the spring. The hike from the trailhead through the Cathedral to Shepherd Spring and back is about 5.4 miles. There are no facilities. You must carry water, a snack, possibly insect repellent, and wear close-toed shoes. THE CATHEDRAL OF THE PALMS St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge Where Wildlife Comes First! Photo by Scott Davis St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge PO Box 68 St. Marks, FL 32355 850-925-6121 www.fws.gov/saintmarks/ Collecting or taking any plants, animals, or artifacts from federal lands is prohibited. Photo by Scott Davis Located in the Wakulla Unit, one of the lesser visited parts of St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge,. A stroll through the Cathedral of the Palms to Shepherd Spring in the Wakulla Unit, can’t be beat for a true north Florida hiking experience. The palms of the cathedral are commonly known as the cabbage or sabal palm, and, formally as Sabal palmetto. The sabal palm is the official state tree of Florida and South Carolina. The sabal palm can appear short and stubby as well as tall and graceful at a height of up to 40 feet. Flowers produced during the late spring months extend beyond the canopy and contain thousands of tiny, creamy-white, fragrant flowers that attract an assortment of bees. The palm produces black fruits of about ¼ inch in diameter in late summer. Although the fruits contain little flesh, they are often consumed by raccoons and other animals that disperse the seeds. Coastal sabal palm by Scott Davis Photo by Scott Davis Enjoy your walk through the cathedral. Be sure to bring a camera and binoculars. Listen to the dry rattle of palm leaves blowing in the breeze. Hear the birds calling to their mates and declaiming their territory. Take your time to savor the quiet. Let these natural sounds carry you back through the years. Although the sabal palm and the saw palmetto resemble each other and often grow in the same habitat, they are different plants. Both provide food and cover for wildlife. Saw palmettos (Serenoa repens ) are fan palms. The stem grows along the ground. Erect stems are rare. They can live for hundreds of years. Saw palmettos are a host plant for the larvae of the palmetto skipper and monk butterflies. The berries are a favored food for bears in early fall when their appetite swells as they gorge on calories to tide them over during the slow winter months. Swamp cabbage or heart of palm comes from the flesh of the sabal palm. The tree must be cut down to get to the center and will likely die. Sabal palms will grow almost anywhere and is a popular landscape plant because it is attractive and good for wildlife! Sabal palm and saw palmettos near the Visitor Center.
Hints for Enjoying your visit St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge Bring your binoculars for a close-up view without creating a disturbance. Bring field guides to help identify our native plants, birds, and wildlife. Start early and stay late. Early morning and late afternoon are the best times to see wildlife. Observe carefully. Look up in the trees and sky, as well as in shrubbery, grasses, and pools. Lighthouse Road Drive Guide Welcome to St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge! This brochure is a self-guided tour of the 6.7-mile Lighthouse Road beginning at the Visitor Center and ending at Apalachee Bay. There are 8 stops and 2 viewing areas along the tour, but feel free to pull over on the road shoulder to view our many native wildflowers and wildlife protected by the refuge. We hope you enjoy the refuge and visit again! Bring bug spray, snacks, and plenty of water if you plan on walking the trails; it may get buggy and hot. Collecting plants, animals, artifacts, or property and disturbing or feeding wildlife is against the law. Share the road. Pull off to the right when stopping and follow the speed limit at all times. St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge 1255 Lighthouse Road PO Box 68 St. Marks, FL 32355 Phone: 850-925-6121 Fax: 850-925-6930 Website: www.fws.gov/refuge/st_marks Photos: Egret by Lou Kellenberger, Lighthouse by Craig Kittendorf Tower Pond Trail Hardwood Swamp On the way to the first stop the road passes through a slash pine forest that was planted shortly after the refuge was established in 1931. At the double bridges, the habitat changes from pines to a hardwood swamp. This is a pleasant fishing stop and a good place to hear songbirds calling. Water gauges in each impoundment along the road help the refuge biologist determine water levels in the pools. Water flows under the bridges into the East River Pool, the next stop. Impoundments The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) constructed the levees to create impounded water for migratory waterfowl. East River Pool, on the west side of the road, is a source of freshwater, other than rainfall, that can be moved through canals and gates to other pools during dry periods. The pools offer year-round fishing for people and for wading birds, shorebirds, and waterfowl. Ahead on the left (east) is Stoney Bayou Pool #1, a brackish (salt water mixed with freshwater) water lagoon. Wildlife species vary with the seasons and water levels. Marsh View On the right (west) is a black needlerush / cordgrass salt marsh. The rich diversity of the plants and animals in the marsh provides food and shelter for mice, otters, marsh rats, and birds. The marsh’s thick grasses and heavy soils buffer the coast from strong storm surges and winds. Salt marshes on both sides of the road are part of more than 17,000 acres of designated Wilderness Area on St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge. Mounds Pools The Mounds Pools began as one large pool that was later divided into three sections to make water management easier. Take a walk around the short levee to the side of Mounds Pool #3 where eagles, alligators, ducks, and wading birds might be seen. The best time to see bald eagles is November to March. Please observe the closure signs protecting migratory waterfowl and/or eagle nests. Salt water intrusion from Hurricane Dennis in 2005 killed many of the pines on the left just before Headquarters Pond. Eagles and other birds love to perch on the snags. To catch the reader's Headquarters Pond Headquarters Pond, named for its proximity to the second refuge headquarters, and Picnic Pond were once tidal ponds that are now managed as fresh or brackish pools. An accessible trail leads from the restroom parking lot to the observation deck. Purple gallinules breed in summer. Wading birds and alligators can be seen at any time of year. Sometimes night herons roost here. Duckweed, a small three-leaved plant floating on the water’s surface, is food for wintering ducks. Tower Pond Trail passes an old shell mound where a fire tower is situated. No longer used as a fire lookout, the tower supports various communication lines. This 1-mile trail traverses pine flatwoods, an oak ridge, and saltwater marsh. Migrating songbirds are attracted to the abundant food sources of these habitats. Lighthouse Pool Lighthouse Pool is the last man-made pool along the tour. Rain is the only fresh water source. West of the pool is the saltwater boat ramp and parking lot. Lighthouse Levee Trail leads to a covered picnic table and a rock jetty, a popular spot for fishing. Alligators may be sunning on the shore. Sago pondweed, marsh grass, and widgeon grass provide cover and food for rails, bitterns, ducks, herons, egrets and ibises and other species. The contrast between the open marsh and the managed pool can be seen from the observation tower. Shorebirds often rest on the sandflats behind the lighthouse. The Lighthouse Salt Marshes Our Wilderness Area lines both sides of the road along this section. M
The third Walker, or Wakulla Beach, Hotel (above) as it appeared around the time the property was acquired by the Refuge and (below) part of what remains. (Above: Courtesy State Archives of Florida; below: Courtesy St. Marks Refuge files) 30° 9.099' N 6 5 4 Mandalay: site of Aucilla River St. Marks Lighthouse: site of Lighthouse, Ft. Williams, and Spanish Hole/Shipwreck Mounds Station: site of Shell Mounds and Naval Naval Stores Stores Paleo Indians and 83° 58.769' W 84° 58.769' 83° 10.955' W 84° 9.869' W St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge History Trail Wakulla Beach: site of Wakulla Beach Hotel and West Goose Creek Seineyards Seineyard 84°8.892' W 30° 7.797' N 30° 6.316' N 1 Plum Orchard: site of Port Leon 84°8.710' W 84°15.703' W 2 East River: site of CCC and Salt Works GPS Coordinates: 84°15.703' W ~ 30° 6.316' N 3 GPS Coordinates: 84° 10.955' W ~ 30° 4.658' N 30° 6.985' N 30° 4.658' N 30° 5.282' N Fort Williams, in a drawing from Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newpaper, February 22, 1862 (detail). (Courtesy State Archives of Florida) Daisy Walker dreamed of building a town called East Goose Creek at Wakulla Beach. She and her husband, Florida State Senator Henry N. Walker, Sr., built a hotel to attract visitors to the site. Sleeping rooms and a dining room were located off of a long porch to let in cooling sea breezes. Around 1920 the Walkers converted this hotel into their residence and built a second hotel located closer to the beach. Constructed entirely of cypress, the two-story building was probably destroyed by a strong tropical storm that caused extensive damage in Wakulla County in September 1928. Undaunted, the Walkers built a third, even larger hotel which had fluted columns formed by pouring concrete into a mold built around Along with the hotel business, Senator Walker ran cattle on his property. The “Fence Law,” passed in 1949, curtailed open range grazing in Florida. Around this time, Senator Walker decided to leave the ranching business and worked with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to add Wakulla Beach – the lost town of East Goose Creek – to the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge. The first and second Walker Hotels no longer exist. All that remains of the third hotel is a foundation at the edge of the surrounding forest. Almost any day will find a few anglers and swimmers enjoying Wakulla Beach just as they did in Daisy’s day. The beach area is quite small, but many kayakers put in there to paddle and explore the shore and bay. (Courtesy St. Marks Refuge files) The town was laid out around 1915. (Courtesy Mays Leroy Gray) A portion of the foundation and the fluted pillars from the third hotel can be seen near the parking area. (Courtesy St. Marks Refuge files) pine timbers. The kitchen and dining room were located on the ground floor with sleeping rooms on the second level. Swimming and fishing in the summer and goose hunting in the winter attracted guests year round. Daisy Walked died in 1935. Even though the coast still draws visitors, weather seems to have conspired against the success of a permanent town. The St. Marks Refuge Association, Inc., with a matching grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, produced the signs and brochures for the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge History Trail. The association is a 501(c)(3) organization that supports educational, environmental, and biological programs of St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge. Visit www.stmarksrefuge. org for more information. 9/2010
30° 9.099' N 6 5 4 Mandalay: site of Aucilla River St. Marks Lighthouse: site of Lighthouse, Ft. Williams, and Spanish Hole/Shipwreck Mounds Station: site of Shell Mounds and Naval Naval Stores Stores Paleo Indians and St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge History Trail Wakulla Beach: site of Wakulla Beach Hotel and West Goose Creek Seineyards Seineyard 84°8.892' W 30° 7.797' N 30° 6.316' N 1 Plum Orchard: site of Port Leon 84°8.710' W 84°15.703' W 2 East River: site of CCC and Salt Works GPS Coordinates: 84°15.703' W ~ 30° 6.316' N 3 GPS Coordinates: 84° 10.955' W ~ 30° 4.658' N 84° 58.769' 83° 10.955' W 84° 9.869' W 30° 6.985' N 30° 4.658' N 30° 5.282' N Seining for mullet was once a popular pastime and is now almost a lost art. People were drawn to thefrom shallow Fort Williams, in a drawing Frankwaters Leslie’s Illustrated Newpaper, of Apalachee Bay to February catch the22, fat1862 fish (detail). (Courtesy Statenets. Archives of Florida) using large seine 83° 58.769' W (Courtesy Mays Leroy Gray) People seined for mullet at West Goose Creek until the mid-1980s. (Courtesy St. Marks Refuge files) Local people and others from as far away as south Georgia – a journey of several days by wagon – came to help catch the fish. With the fall harvest over, there was no need to hurry. The people could relax and barter hams and other farm produce for barrels of salted mullet. The locale, called a seineyard and usually named for the owner or the geographic location, was based on the need for fairly shallow water with a bottom free of obstacles that could snag the seine net and a beach where the catch, called a “lick,” could be hauled out and processed. Approximately 16 seineyards once operated between the St. Marks Lighthouse and Turkey Point in Franklin County. Several seineyards operated on or near the refuge including West Goose Creek, St. Marks River, Wakulla Beach, Shell Point, and Skipper Bay. The seineyards were a source of income for the owner as well as a place for people to relax and meet friends, and ownership might pass through the family or be sold. Fishing with a rod and reel is often a hurry-up-and-wait activity and using a seine net is no exception. Men rowed (Courtesy National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) their boats into the water and played out nets of up to 600 ft. long. Then they waited. When the striker, who usually scanned the bay from a tower, called, “come ashore!” the men strained at their oars as they rowed for shore, trapping the fish. Others pitched in to draw the fishladen net onto the beach. Then all hands began the work of removing the catch and preparing the mullet for smoking or salting. Mullet are best eaten Cleaning the fish as soon as possible was necessary due to the lack of refrigeration. Dogs, birds, and hogs helped clean up, too. (Courtesy State Archives of Florida) Fall at the seineyard was a time for people to gather. (Courtesy St. Marks Refuge files) fresh or preserved because the flesh deteriorates rapidly and refrigeration was not available. Many barrels of salted fish were sold and shipped to feed farmhands, turpentine workers, and for home use. The traditional fall gathering at the seineyards declined as regulations on the fishing industry increased and as the automobile replaced the wagon and other activities competed for people’s time. West Goose Creek is best remembered, perhaps because of the live oak grove that afforded shade and because it operated until the mid-1980s. In November 1985, Hurricane Kate’s winds smashed the last of the shelters at West Goose Creek and brought the era to a close. The St. Marks Refuge Association, Inc., with a matching grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, produced the signs and brochures for the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge History Trail. The association is a 501(c)(3) organization that supports educational, environmental, and biological programs of St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge. Visit www.stmarksrefuge.org for more information. 9/2010
1 Plum Orchard: site of Port Leon Wakulla Beach: site of Wakulla Beach Hotel and West Goose Creek Seineyard Seineyards 84°8.710' W 84°8.892' W 30° 7.797' N 30° 9.099' N 30° 6.316' N 6 5 4 Mandalay: site of Aucilla River St. Marks Lighthouse: site of Lighthouse, Ft. Williams, and Spanish Hole/Shipwreck Mounds Station: site of Shell and Naval Naval Stores Stores Paleo Mounds Indians and St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge History Trail 2 East River: site of CCC and Salt Works 84°15.703' W 3 GPS Coordinates: GPS Coordinates: 84°8.892' W ~ 30° 9.099' N 84° 10.955' W ~ 30° 4.658' N Free-blown glass bottle (Courtesy Florida Division of Historical Resources, Bureau of Archaeological Research) 83° 58.769' W 83° 10.955' 84° 58.769' W 84° 9.869' W 30° 6.985' N 30° 4.658' N 30° 5.282' N The years prior to Florida becoming a state on March 3, 1845, saw several towns – Rock Haven, St. Marks, Magnolia, Port Leon, and New Port – rise and fall alonginthe St. Marks Fort Williams, a drawing fromRiver. FrankEach Leslie’s strove to gain an economic Illustrated Newpaper, Februaryadvantage 22, 1862 (deover each other. Thousands cotton tail). (Courtesy State Archives of of Florida) bales from south Georgia and north Florida were shipped from these ports. Port Leon, created in 1837, was located on the east side of the St. Marks River, about two miles below the confluence of the Wakulla and St. Marks Rivers and downstream from St. Marks and Magnolia. Mule-drawn rail cars moved goods between Tallahassee and St. Marks over a railroad completed in 1836. A drawbridge built in 1839 over the St. Marks River near the old Spanish Fort extended the line to Port Leon. Lots began selling in 1838, with advertisements declaring Port Leon to be “…handsomely located on the most elevated site on the bay… beyond the influence of the highest tides.” That statement proved to be devastatingly inaccurate. Even though this marker is on an oak tree a short distance from the beginning of the Mounds Trail and not at Port Leon, it is a vivid reminder of a hurricane's power. It says, "Approx Flood Level 1843." (Courtesy St. Marks Refuge files) Port Leon in its heyday (Courtesy State Archives of Florida) The town was incorporated in 1841 and named the county seat when Wakulla County was formed on March 11, 1843. About 200 citizens were served by a hotel, two taverns, general stores, a newspaper, the post office, and warehouses. Within a few years, the population increased to nearly 450. A steamboat passenger from Key West brought yellow fever to Port Leon in 1841. During the three-month epidemic, the population dropped to less than 200. Although many residents left, 139 of those who stayed died due to unsanitary conditions and the lack of medical care. Most were buried in Port Leon cemetery, located south of Port Leon Creek. No sign of the cemetery remains. Strong winds from an approaching hurricane came on the morning of September 13, 1843. An afternoon lull eased residents’ fears, but by midnight, rising water flooded the town. A 10-foot tidal surge destroyed every dwelling and pushed the railroad bridge upriver. Miraculously, only one person was killed. St. Marks suffered similar damage. Port Leon’s citizens voted to move to higher land about four miles north of St. Marks near a sulphur spring. Once a promising town, abandoned in less than a decade after sickness and storm, nothing remains of Port Leon but the dreams of riches from the sea trade. The 3.5-mile road to the Port Leon town site begins at the honor pay station near the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center. The original refuge headquarters was built at the Port Leon site. (Courtesy St. Marks Refuge files) The St. Marks Refuge Association, Inc., with a matching grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, produced the signs and brochures for the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge History Trail. The association is a 501(c) (3) organization that supports educational, environmental, and biological programs of St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge. Visit www. stmarksrefuge.org for more information. 9/2010
1 1 2 2 3 3 GPS Coordinates: 84°8.710' W ~ 30° 7.797' N Initiated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and authorized on March 31, 1933, the CCC put thousands of young men to work across the United States. 30° 30° 9.099' 9.099' N N 30° 30° 6.316' 6.316' N N 84°8.892' 84°8.892' W W 30° 30° 7.797' 7.797' N N 84°15.703' 84°15.703' W W 84°8.710' 84°8.710' W W 5 5 4 4 Mounds Mounds Station: Station: site site of of Paleo Shell Mounds and Naval Indians and Naval StoresStores 6 6 St. St. Marks Marks Lighthouse: Lighthouse: site site of of Lighthouse, Williams, and Lighthouse, Ft. Spanish Hole/ Spanish Hole/Shipwreck Shipwreck, Ft. Williams Mandalay: Mandalay: site site of of Aucilla Aucilla River River St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge History Trail East East River: River: site site of of CCC CCC and and Salt Salt Works Works Wakulla Wakulla Beach: Beach: site site of of Wakulla Wakulla Beach Hotel Beach Hotel and Westand Goose West Goose Creek Seineyard Creek Seineyards Plum Plum Orchard: Orchard: site site of of Port Port Leon Leon GPS Coordinates: 84° 10.955' W ~ 30° 4.658' N 84° 84° 9.869' 9.869' W W 84° 83° 10.955' 58.769' W W 83° 83° 58.769' 58.769' W W Courtesy St. Marks Refuge files 30° 30° 6.985' 6.985' N N 30° 30° 4.658' 4.658' N N 30° 30° 5.282' 5.282' N N Fort Williams, in a drawing from Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newpaper, February 22, 1862 (detail). (Courtesy State Archives of Florida) Maple lumber from trees harvested from refuge swamps was used to construct desks and other furniture used in refuge offices and residences. (Courtesy St. Marks Refuge files) When road conditions prevented a truck from operating, the bulldozer provided the horsepower. (Courtesy St. Marks Refuge files) The U.S. Army oversaw housing, healthcare, education, feeding, and moving men and materials. Each man received $30 a month, but $25 was sent home to his family. Thirty-three camps were located in Florida. Camp BF-1, BF stood for Bird Refuge, was assigned to the St. Marks Migratory Waterfowl Refuge, as it was called at the time. It was one of the few African-American camps in the CCC. Between 1934 and the early 1940s, men from this camp built the refuge. Heavy equipment used to construct roads and impoundments included dump trucks, draglines, a bulldozer, and a rock crusher, but most of the work depended on the muscles and skills of the men. Almost everything was fabricated by the CCC men. Poles that carried the power and telephone lines, fence posts, and cypress for siding and roofing were cut on the refuge and trimmed by hand. Among their accomplishments are the earthen levees surrounding the pools, miles of Dragline mat material being taken from the East River Swamp (Courtesy St. Marks Refuge files) ditches, 30 acres cleared for a reservoir, and Lighthouse Road. They built dwellings and other buildings, a diversion dam, and two lookout towers. They strung 30.8 miles of telephone line and 4.5 miles of power line, cleared a 24-mile truck trail, 21.5 miles of firebreaks, ran surveys, installed cattle guards, and devoted 416 man-days to fighting forest fires. Smaller projects included building toolboxes and desks, and landscaping. With little heavy equipment available at the time, their main tools were shovels and muscles. Their work was deeply appreciated by the staff. Most of the structures they built no longer exist. Their legacy lives on in Lighthouse Road and the pools that provide habitat for migratory and resident wildlife. When the U.S. entered World War II, the CCC program ended. Most of the CCC men went to war. Their training and experience had prepared them well for serving their country. The St. Marks Refuge Association, Inc., with a matching grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, produced the signs and brochures for the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge History Trail. The association is a 501(c)(3) organization that supports educational, environmental, and biological programs of St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge. Visit www.stmarksrefuge.org for more information. 9/2010
2 1 East River: site of CCC and Salt Works Plum Orchard: site of Port Leon Wakulla Beach: site of Wakulla Beach Hotel and West Goose Creek Seineyard Seineyards 84°8.710' W 84°8.892' W 84°15.703' W 30° 7.797' N 30° 9.099' N 30° 6.316' N GPS Coordinates: 84°8.710' W ~ 30° 7.797' N 6 5 4 Mandalay: site of Aucilla River St. Marks Lighthouse: site of Lighthouse, Ft. Williams, and Spanish Hole/Shipwreck Mounds Station: site of Shell and Naval Naval Stores Stores Paleo Mounds Indians and 83° 58.769' W 83° 10.955' 84° 58.769' W 84° 9.869' W 30° 6.985' N 30° 4.658' N 30° 5.282' N St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge History Trail 3 GPS Coordinates: 84° 10.955' W ~ 30° 4.658' N After the Civil War was over, the salt works were abandoned. Scattered remnants of rusted boilers can still be found on the refuge. (Courtesy Bruce Ballister) In the days before refrigeration, salt was used to preserve meats and tan leather. When the Union blockade along the southeastern coast cut off salt ship­ ments, the Confederacy turned to the ocean, and no area was more productive than the shallow bays and marshes of Florida’s Gulf Coast between the Suwannee River and St. Andrews Bay. Ranging from small family­run salt works using a few iron kettles that could hold 60 ­ 100 gallons of water set in a Fort Williams, a huge drawing from Frank Leslie’s brick furnaceinto complexes using Illustrated Newpaper, February 22, 1862 (delarge boilers of up to 1,000 kettles, 489 tail). (Courtesy State Archives of Florida) salt works operated between the St. Marks and Suwannee Rivers. Salt water was boiled to a mushy consistency and then spread on oak planks to dry in the sun. In damp weather the salt was kept under cover and small fires helped the drying process. Early in the war, the salt industry drew little attention from the Union. From late 1862 until the end of the war, the U.S. Navy shelled the salt works repeatedly. Workers fled as raiders came ashore to destroy equipment. In February 1864, two separate attacks destroyed the salt works at St. Marks and Goose Creek. The latter produced 900 bushels of salt each day. Buildings and equipment destroyed by an 1863 raid on a large St. Andrews Bay plant were valued at 6 million dollars at that time. Men who could produce 20 bushels of salt a day were excused from serving, but the labor could be just as dangerous as the front line once the Union began targeting larger operations. Heavy storms also took a toll on the workers and the equipment. As the salt was shipped Most salt-making operations were small but larger works could produce hundreds of bushels daily. (Courtesy State Archives of Florida) farther from the coast and passed through the hands of dealers, the price increased. In the spring of 1862, salt sold for $3 a bushel. By autumn, the price was $16 to $20 a bushel. Salt production attracted profiteers, and speculators purchased salt marshes to hold for future production. Seine fisheries were associated with the salt works at Shell Island and Mashes Island, but the Confederacy did not make good use of this food resource. Salt was still a necessary commodity after the war. When regular trade resumed, the number of people engaged in its production declined in the Gulf coast area. Bricks, wood, kettles, and boilers that could be put to other uses were scavenged from the sites. Broken parts or materials that were too large to easily move were left behind and continue to deteriorate. The St. Marks Refuge Association, Inc., with a matching grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, produced the signs and brochures for the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge History Trail. The association is a 501(c)(3) organization that supports educational, environmental, and biological programs of St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge. Visit www.stmarksrefuge.org for more information. 9/2010
2 1 East River: site of CCC and Salt Works Plum Orchard: site of Port Leon Wakulla Beach: site of Wakulla Beach Hotel and West Goose Creek Seineyards Seineyard 84°8.710' W 84°8.892' W 84°15.703' W 30° 7.797' N 30° 9.099' N 30° 6.316' N 6 5 4 Mandalay: site of Aucilla River St. Marks Lighthouse: site of Lighthouse, Ft. Williams, and Spanish Hole/Shipwreck Mounds Station: site of Shell Mounds and Naval Naval Stores Stores Paleo Indians and St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge History Trail 3 GPS Coordinates: GPS Coordinates: 84° 9.869' W ~ 30° 5.282' N 84° 10.955' W ~ 30° 4.658' N This piece of pottery dates from the recent Leon – Jefferson Period (1550-1750 A.D.). Artifacts such as pottery and tools recovered during archeological excavations provide clues about the culture of the various people who lived on this land thousands of years ago. Pottery is one of the signature markers for judging the age of a site. The style and composition of the clay evolved from a simple utilitarian design of the Archaic Period to finer, more artistic bowls, storage jars, or burial vessels with distinctive decorations and pigments that appeared in the Weeden Island Period. (Courtesy Florida Division of Historical Resources, Bureau of Archaeological Research) 83° 58.769' W 84° 58.769' 83° 10.955' W 84° 9.869' W 30° 6.985' N 30° 4.658' N 30° 5.282' N The Paleo-Indian period lasted about 5,100 years between 13,000 and 7,900 B.C. About 40 Paleo-Indian sites occur near the refuge, mostly along the Aucilla River. Since more of land mass was exposed FortFlorida’s Williams, in a drawing from Frank Leslie’s during that time it is likely that sev-(deIllustrated Newpaper, February 22, 1862 tail). Florida) eral (Courtesy sites areState nowArchives underofthe water of Apalachee Bay. The Archaic Period, between 7,900 - 500 B.C., is divided into Early (7,900 - 5,000 B.C.), Middle (5,000 3,000 B.C.), and Late (3,000 - 500 B.C.). During this time some clans began to form small semi-permanent and permanent villages as well as hunting camps near coastal marshes and river systems. Bolen points, a distinctive form of arrowhead found in the southeastern U.S., and fiber tempered pottery appeared during this time period. The Woodland Period, 500 B.C. - 900 A.D., is divided into three distinctive eras based on styles of pottery: Deptford (500 B.C. - 100 A.D.); Santa Rosa - Swift Creek (100 - 300 A.D.); and Weeden Island (300 - 900 A.D.). Native cultures became more organized during this period as indicated by elaborate ceremonial complexes, mound burials, permanent settlements, population growth, and organized societies. The Mississippian - Fort Walton Period, 900 A.D. to the time of European contact, is characterized by the spread of temple mounds and This diorama at the Museum of Florida History in Tallahassee shows what a village might have looked like around 1450. the cultivation of crops such as corn, beans, and squash. St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge protects numerous ancient habitation sites; only a few were places of burial. A permanent village required access to a reliable food supply, the resources to build shelters, and a nearby source of fresh water. The coastal area now protected by the refuge supplied abundant varieties of seafood. The forests supplied firewood, small game, some edible plants, and shelter materials. Fresh water was available from the St. Marks and Wakulla Rivers. The Mounds Trail traverses an area that has been used since prehistoric times. The fire tower is built on a shell midden and evidence of the Deptford, Weeden Island, Swift Creek, and Fort Walton cultures have been discovered by archeological excavations. Humans have touched this land for more than 10,000 years. As you walk along, imagine the scent of wood smoke from a cooking fire and listen for the voices of people who lived in an ancient camp near the Mounds Trail. The St. Marks Refuge Association, Inc., with a matching grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, produced the signs and brochures for the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge History Trail. The association is a 501(c)(3) organization that supports educational, environmental, and biological programs of St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge. Visit www.stmarksrefuge.org for more information. 9/2010
1 1 2 2 3 3 30° 30° 9.099' 9.099' N N 30° 30° 6.316' 6.316' N N 84°8.892' 84°8.892' W W 30° 30° 7.797' 7.797' N N 84°15.703' 84°15.703' W W 84°8.710' 84°8.710' W W 5 5 4 4 Mounds Mounds Station: Station: site site of of Paleo Shell Mounds and Naval Indians and Naval StoresStores 6 6 St. St. Marks Marks Lighthouse: Lighthouse: site site of of Lighthouse, Williams, and Spanish Hole/ Lighthouse, Ft. Spanish Hole/Shipwreck Shipwreck, Ft. Williams Mandalay: Mandalay: site site of of Aucilla Aucilla River River St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge History Trail East East River: River: site site of of CCC CCC and and Salt Salt Works Works Wakulla Wakulla Beach: Beach: site site of of Wakulla Wakulla Beach Hotel Beach Hotel and Westand Goose West Goose Creek Seineyard Creek Seineyards Plum Plum Orchard: Orchard: site site of of Port Port Leon Leon GPS Coordinates: GPS Coordinates: 84° 9.869' W ~ 30° 5.282' N 84° 10.955' W ~ 30° 4.658' N 84° 83° 10.955' 58.769' W W 84° 84° 9.869' 9.869' W W 30° 30° 6.985' 6.985' N N 30° 30° 4.658' 4.658' N N 30° 30° 5.282' 5.282' N N (Courtesy St. Marks Refuge files) 83° 83° 58.769' 58.769' W W Before Europeans settled the southeastern U.S., an estimated 90 million acres of longleaf pine forests blanketed the Coastal Plain from southern Virginia into east Texas and down Florida’s peninsula. Longleaf pines Fort in a drawing from Frank Leslie’s wereWilliams, so dominant that people believed Illustrated February 22, 1862 the forest Newpaper, would never disappear, but it(detail). (Courtesy almost did. State Archives of Florida) During spring and summer, workers dipped the gum and ladled it into barrels that were hauled to the turpentine still. The raw material was heated over open fires in copper kettles to produce the spirits. (Courtesy of the State Archives of Florida) Clay Herty cup attached to a cat-faced pine (Courtesy State Archives of Florida) Pitch, produced by distilling gum from pines, is used to caulk holes in wooden boats. Longleaf pines produce more gum than other southern pines. Collectively, everything that is needed to outfit and keep a wooden ship afloat – pitch, masts, turpentine, rope, sails, and so on – is called Naval Stores. Turpentine was also used in medicines, cleaning products, paint, varnish, and a multitude of other products. When the bark is scraped from the trunk, gum begins oozing to protect the wound. The scrape is called a face or cat-face. A metal box or clay pot attached to the bottom of the wound collected the gum. The face was not allowed to heal and periodically the gum was collected and taken to the still. The stiller, who monitored the temperature of the kettle, and the cooper, who fashioned barrels, were two of the most important jobs. A stand of pines was called a crop. These magnificent trees were highly productive for only a few years and when production dropped off the timber was logged or abandoned. The camp and still were moved to another virgin forest, and the cycle began again. North Carolina was the top turpentine producer for many years. As the pines gave out the turpentiners moved south but did not begin heavy exploitation of Florida’s pinelands until the late 1800s. When the first convention of the Turpentine Operators’ Association met in September 1902, they were welcomed by the Mayor of Jacksonville and Florida’s Governor, W. S. Jennings. Both men cautioned that the current practices were “a reckless destruction of the trees . . . At the present rate your industry will not last fifteen years.” Little heed was paid to those words. Most of the land that makes up the St. Marks Unit of the refuge was purchased from the Phillips Turpentine Company in the early 1930s. The company retained turpentine and timber rights until the Cooper's shed (Courtesy State Archives of Florida) Collecting and distilling pine gum was hot and dirty work. The threat of fire was constant and many stills went up in flames. (Courtesy State Archives of Florida) mid-1940s. A few cat-faced stumps and clay pots can still be found. By the mid-1900s, managed rows of pine had replaced natural forests. The advent of steel ships and synthetic chemicals brought an end to commercial turpentine production, once the South’s largest and most profitable industry. The once seemingly endless longleaf forests along with many of the plants and animals that depended on the ecosystem have almost disappeared from the southern landscape. Fewer that 3 million acres of old growth longleaf pine forest have survived. Luckily modern land managers are working hard to restore the ecosystem. The best examples of longleaf pines on the refuge are on the Panacea Unit near the town of Panacea. The St. Marks Refuge Association, Inc., with a matching grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, produced the signs and brochures for the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge History Trail. The association is a 501(c) (3) organization that supports educational, envir
30° 9.099' N 5 4 Mandalay: site of Aucilla River St. Marks Lighthouse: site of Lighthouse, Ft. Williams, and Spanish Hole/Shipwreck Mounds Station: site of Paleo Mounds Indians and Shell and Naval Naval Stores Stores 83° 58.769' W 83° 10.955' 58.769' W 84° 84° 9.869' W 30° 6.985' N 30° 4.658' N 30° 5.282' N The Fresnel lens, French physicist Fort Williams, in ainvented drawingby from Frank Leslie’s Augustine-Jean Fresnel, was first used in (deIllustrated Newpaper, February 22, 1862 1823.(Courtesy The lens State was thinner, larger, flatter, tail). Archives of Florida) and captured more light than previous lenses, allowing the beam to be visible from farther away. (Courtesy St. Marks Refuge files) 6 St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge History Trail Wakulla Beach: site of Wakulla Beach Hotel and West Goose Creek Seineyard Seineyards 84°8.892' W 30° 7.797' N 30° 6.316' N 1 Plum Orchard: site of Port Leon 84°8.710' W 84°15.703' W 2 East River: site of CCC and Salt Works GPS Coordinates: 84° 10.955' W ~ 30° 4.658' N 3 GPS Coordinates: 84° 10.955' W ~ 30° 4.658' N What a difference 75 years have made. This photograph was taken during the construction of Lighthouse Road by the CCC in the 1930s. (Courtesy St. Marks Refuge files) In 1828, the U.S. House of Representatives authorized the construction of a lighthouse at the mouth of the St. Marks River. The 65-foottall, hollow-walled tower on the east side of the river was completed in March 1830 for $11,765. Customs Inspector Jesse H. Willis refused the tower because the contract had called for solid walls. It was rebuilt, and in 1831 the first lighthouse keeper, Samuel Crosby, illuminated 15 whale-oil lamps. Alas, the solid walls did not allow moisture to evaporate, and the walls cracked as the tower settled. Iron straps on the outside held it together like hoops on a barrel. On August 31, 1837, a hurricane drowned eight people and left the lighthouse “in a most wretched condition,” according to a naval report. The structure was too close to the water and was vulnerable to storms and erosion. The lighthouse was rebuilt, with hollow walls, in the present location in 1842. During the Civil War, Customs Collector Alonzo B. Noyes ordered the oil and lenses to be removed and stored at St. Marks. Confederates used the tower for a lookout, but repeated shelling by the Union stopped the practice. After the war, the tower was repaired and the height Until Lighthouse Road was built by the CCC in the early 1930s, boats were used to gather supplies. Other buildings near the lighthouse included the oil house and a garage for storing and repairing equipment. The extra buildings were dismantled after the lighthouse was automated in 1960 and there was no longer any need for a resident keeper. (Courtesy St. Marks Refuge files) during their tenure – Mrs. Ann Dudley replaced her husband after he died in April 1850, and Mrs. Sarah Fine took over after Charles Fine died in August 1904. Undoubtedly the families of each keeper played a part in keeping the flame lit. The pay for their services fluctuated from $400 - $640 per year. The tower has weathered many storms, though the keeper’s house has been rebuilt several times. A neat white picket fence enclosed the tower and dwelling. (Courtesy State Archives of Florida) was raised to 73 feet. The light was relit in 1867. For nearly 200 years, the bright beacon from the St. Marks Lighthouse has guided ships and boaters to the entrance to the St. Marks River. Twenty keepers kept the light burning, except for a few years during the Civil War. Two of those keepers were the wives of men who had died The St. Marks Refuge Association, Inc., with a matching grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, produced the signs and brochures for the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge History Trail. The association is a 501(c)(3) organization that supports educational, environmental, and biological programs of St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge. Visit www.stmarksrefuge.org for more information. 9/2010
Wakulla Beach: site of Wakulla Beach Hotel and West Goose Creek Seineyard 84°8.892' W 30° 7.797' N 30° 9.099' N 6 5 4 Mandalay: site of Aucilla River St. Marks Lighthouse: site of Lighthouse, Ft. Williams, and Spanish Hole/Shipwreck Mounds Station: site of Shell Mounds and Naval Stores 83° 58.769' W 84° 10.955' W 84° 9.869' W St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge History Trail 1 Plum Orchard: site of Port Leon 84°8.710' W 30° 6.316' N 2 East River: site of CCC and Salt Works 84°15.703' W 3 GPS Coordinates: 84° 10.955' W ~ 30° 4.658' N 30° 6.985' N 30° 4.658' N 30° 5.282' N Fort Williams, in a drawing from Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newpaper, February 22, 1862 (detail). (Courtesy State Archives of Florida) watery woods Before the Civil and engaged War, Florida was Confederate thinly populated forces on March with few cities of 6 at the Battle of any size. St. Marks Natural Bridge. had been the Their goal was to fifth largest town capture Tallahas­ in Florida and a see, but the Union busy port. But in troops withdrew the decade before after the battle. the war shipping Tallahassee business shifted remained the to other towns. only southern The beginning capital east of of the conflict This drawing shows the lighthouse, Ft. Williams and the three-masted U.S. gunboat Mohawk firing on the Confederate the Mississippi signaled a short­ gunboat Spray. The Spray was a modern steam-powered side wheeled boat armed with three guns that carried that was never men and supplies between St. Marks and the lighthouse. The Spray is in the background, between the fort and the lived revival for the lighthouse. (Courtesy State Archives of Florida) captured by Union port of St. Marks; forces. blockade­ The exact location of Fort Williams stockade to shelter the runners easily slipped in and out is unknown, but it is thought to be soldiers who were guarding until President Lincoln authorized near the end of Cedar Point Trail. the salt workers and the a blockade of southern ports – townspeople of St. Marks. These items (not shown to scale) were Musket including St. Marks – on April 19, recovered during an archeological dig ball On June 15, 1862, a 1861. near the site of Fort Williams. They shot party of Union Marines Shortly after the blockade began, could have been left behind by Civil landed near the lighthouse. War soldiers or nearby residents. the Confederates (Artifact photos courtesy of the Florida They burned the barracks and the built a fort near Division of Historical Resources, Handcut keeper’s home. The fort was not the St. Marks Bureau of Archaeological Research) button rebuilt, but it had provided a sense of Lighthouse safety for a few months. and named it The St. Marks Refuge Association, Inc., On March 4, 1865, soldiers from Ft. Williams in with a matching grant from the National Fish the 2nd and 99th U.S. Colored and Wildlife Foundation, produced the signs honor of Colonel and brochures for the St. Marks National Infantry landed J.J. Williams, Wildlife Refuge History Trail. The association near the a Tallahassee is a 501(c)(3) organization that supports lighthouse. planter who led educational, environmental, and biological They slogged the 2nd Florida programs of St. Marks National Wildlife Bristol Glazed north Refuge. Visit www.stmarksrefuge.org for more Cavalry. The fort Albany slipped information. 9/2010 through the was more of a Glass bottle neck whiskey jug sherd
 30° 9.099' N 6 5 4 Mandalay: site of Aucilla River St. Marks Lighthouse: site of Lighthouse, Ft. Williams, and Spanish Hole/Shipwreck Mounds Station: site of Paleo Mounds Indians and Shell and Naval Naval Stores Stores 83° 58.769' W 83° 10.955' 58.769' W 84° 84° 9.869' W St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge History Trail Wakulla Beach: site of Wakulla Beach Hotel and West Goose Creek Seineyard Seineyards 84°8.892' W 30° 7.797' N 30° 6.316' N 1 Plum Orchard: site of Port Leon 84°8.710' W 84°15.703' W 2 East River: site of CCC and Salt Works GPS Coordinates: 84° 10.955' W ~ 30° 4.658' N 3 GPS Coordinates: 84° 10.955' W ~ 30° 4.658' N (Courtesy St. Marks Refuge files) 30° 6.985' N 30° 4.658' N 30° 5.282' N Fort Williams, in a drawing from Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newpaper, February 22, 1862 (detail). (Courtesy State Archives of Florida) When Spanish explorers first searched the shallow waters of Apalachee Bay they found few places to anchor near shore, but in the mouth of the St. Marks River they discovered deeper water which has long been known as Spanish Hole. For centuries, vessels that could not navigate up the St. Marks River have anchored there. In 1528, Spaniard Panfilo de Narvaez led 300 men across Florida from near Tampa into Apalachee territory. Instead of treasure, they found hardship. Legend says that the expedition stayed near the mouth of the St. Marks River long enough to build four rafts to carry the men to rejoin their ships. Eight years later, four survivors arrived in Mexico. Cabeza de Vaca, one of the survivors, wrote about their ordeal in 1536 or 1537. Hernando de Soto came with 600 men in 1539, and followed nearly the same route, believing that he could find the This WWI sub chaser may be similar to the ship that sank in 1928. (Courtesy St. Marks Refuge files) gold that had eluded Narvaez. He did not. The first wooden fort at San Marcos, at the confluence of the Wakulla and St. Marks Rivers, was built by the Spanish Governor in 1679. Pirates likely anchored at Spanish Hole and crept upriver to loot and burn the fort in 1681. A second wooden fort, built in 1718, was replaced by a third fort constructed in 1739 with limestone from a quarry that is on refuge property. This fort fell into disrepair. When Florida was under British control between 1763 and 1783, the Panton - Leslie Company trading post was established on the west side of the Wakulla River, just north of U.S. Highway 98. The Spanish regained control of San Marcos by 1786. Occupation has not been continuous, but the area around the St. Marks and Wakulla Rivers has seen settlements come and go since the first Europeans arrived more than four centuries ago. Not far from Spanish Hole lie the remains of a small vessel which is visible at low tide. In 1928, a ship anchored off Long Bar, west of the lighthouse, caught fire and burned, according to the late Alton Gresham. Gresham’s father, John Y. Gresham, was the lighthouse keeper at the time. The elder Gresham attempted to tow the remains up the St. Marks River, but the boat ran aground and sank. The vessel may have been the former World War I sub chaser that had been purchased by the Florida Shellfish Commission and renamed Dispatch. Under- Small boats called “lighters” shuttled goods and people between the ships at Spanish Hole and the upriver ports of St. Marks, Magnolia, Port Leon, and Newport. (Courtesy State Archives of Florida ) water archaeologists from Florida State University studied the site in 1998 but could not find conclusive evidence that would identify the vessel as the sub chaser. The St. Marks Refuge Association, Inc., with a matching grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, produced the signs and brochures for the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge History Trail. The association is a 501(c)(3) organization that supports educational, environmental, and biological programs of St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge. Visit www.stmarksrefuge.org for more information. 9/2010
1 1 2 2 3 3 84° 10.955' W ~ 30° 4.658' N East East River: River: site site of of CCC CCC and and Salt Salt Works Works 30° 30° 9.099' 9.099' N N 30° 30° 6.316' 6.316' N N 84°8.892' 84°8.892' W W 30° 30° 7.797' 7.797' N N 84°15.703' 84°15.703' W W 84°8.710' 84°8.710' W W 5 5 4 4 Mounds Mounds Station: Station: site site of of Shell Shell Mounds and Naval Mounds and Naval StoresStores 6 6 St. St. Marks Marks Lighthouse: Lighthouse: site site of of Lighthouse, Williams, and Lighthouse, Ft. Spanish Hole/ Spanish Hole/Shipwreck Shipwreck, Ft. Williams Mandalay: Mandalay: site site of of Aucilla Aucilla River River St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge History Trail The Aucilla River forms north of Thomasville, Georgia, and meanders some 75 miles to the Gulf of Mexico. About five miles of the river flow through the eastern portion of the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge. The drainage basin covers nearly 750 square miles. The exact meaning of the word ‘Aucilla’ is lost but it is one of the oldest place names in Florida. Wakulla Wakulla Beach: Beach: site site of of Wakulla Wakulla Beach Hotel Beach Hotel and Westand Goose West Goose Creek Seineyard Creek Seineyard Plum Plum Orchard: Orchard: site site of of Port Port Leon Leon GPS Coordinates: 83° 58.769' W ~ 30° 6.985' N GPS Coordinates: 84° 84° 9.869' 9.869' W W 84° 84° 10.955' 10.955' W W 83° 83° 58.769' 58.769' W W Photo by John Kunkel Small (Courtesy of the State Archives of Florida) 30° 30° 6.985' 6.985' N N 30° 30° 4.658' 4.658' N N 30° 30° 5.282' 5.282' N N Fort Williams, in a drawing from Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newpaper, February 22, 1862 (detail). (Courtesy State Archives of Florida) In the Paleo-Indian Period (13,000 – 7,900 BC), the climate of this region was much cooler, sea levels were lower, and more land mass was above water. The region’s karst foundation of water-soluble limestone was pocked with sinkholes and catch basins. As the climate changed and the sea level rose, the limestone aquifer filled with fresh water. Springs bubbled up from the sinkholes. Gradually, rivers such as the St. Marks and Aucilla carved their channels to the Gulf. Camps where people had lived and places where animals had been captured and butchered were covered by water. For many decades, curious searchers have found tools and bones in the river beds. The Aucilla River has been little disturbed and is particularly rich in artifacts, which have been preserved for thousands of years because of the lack of oxygen under the water. The river has yielded tools and seeds, as well as bones from extinct mastodons, sloths, Pleistocene horses, and bison. Growth rings on mastodon tusks indicate that the animals may have migrated to follow a reliable food supply. These artifacts provide a glimpse into how the human populations lived and what types of plants they ate or used for other purposes. Mammoths and mastodons once lived in Florida. Mammoths were larger than mastodons, but the primary difference was in what they ate. Like a modern elephant’s tooth, a mammoth’s tooth is almost flat with slightly raised ridges like the sole of a running shoe and shows that mammoths were grazers Aucilla River of the grasslands. The mastodon’s teeth have conical shapes that are more suited to grinding leaves and tender twigs of a forested habitat. This is one clue that indicates the area around the Aucilla was forested when those animals lived there. The mastodon’s tooth was adapted to grinding small tree branches. (Courtesy Florida Division of Historical Resources, Bureau of Archaeological Research) Mastodon skeleton (Courtesy of the State Archives of Florida) Below: The massive Bison antiquus (right) was nearly a foot taller and may have been a full ton heavier than the modern bison, Bison bison (left), which can weigh up to about 2,000 pounds. (Drawing by Hal Story, courtesy of Texas Beyond History.net, Texas Archeological Research Laboratory, The University of Texas at Austin) The Aucilla River is a historically and culturally significant watercourse, beautiful and mysterious. Just off Highway 98, about a mile west of the turn-off to the refuge boat ramp, is a smaller county-maintained boat launch area perfect for beginning a canoe or kayak trip upstream or downstream. There are a few houses along the river, but a float along this stretch is generally quiet and pleasant. The St. Marks Refuge Association, Inc., with a matching grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, produced the signs and brochures for the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge History Trail. The association is a 501(c)(3) organization that supports educational, environmental, and biological programs of St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge. Visit www.stmarksrefuge. org for more information. 9/2010

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