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“Coastal Hiking and Wildlife Viewing” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge

St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge
Ranked #2 of 81 things to do in Tallahassee
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: The trail-runner's dream.
Tallahassee, Florida
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Coastal Hiking and Wildlife Viewing”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 August 2014

St. Marks is an absolutely beautiful refuge, where you can really tailor your trip to fit your interests and athletic level. They have beautiful coastal hiking trails, and longer trails through the preserve that are several miles long. Although I have never biked the area, I imagine you can see much more than on a typical walking visit. Alligators, birds, and crabs are some of the many sights I have seen here. If you walk along the shoreline by the lighthouse there are so many crabs that the sand appears to be moving; it's incredible! Bring binoculars, water, and bug/tick spray!

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank EVal19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Tallahassee, Florida
Level Contributor
10 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Nature at it's best.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 August 2014

St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge is one of north Florida's best kept secrets. The refuge is an example of wild Florida, with marshes, pine forests and natural wetlands. On a drive down the road to the lighthouse you might see numerous alligators. On a good day you might even catch a glimpse of an otter, wild boar or even the elusive black bear. The area is a birders paradise with ospreys, american bald eagles, ducks, egrets, great blue herons and maybe a roseate spoonbill, just to name a few.The area teams with wildlife, perfect for anyone who admires nature.

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank Billy32303
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
122 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“Worth the visit.”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 July 2014

Very hot when we visited, glad we took some water for walking around. Neat old lighthouse (locked) - neat small visitor's center. Lots and lots of teeny tiny fiddler crabs along one of the pathways. Had fun. Only did short walks, there are longer trails.

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank TomTX2000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Apple Valley, Minnesota
Level Contributor
30 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“A wealth of ecosystems”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 July 2014

St Marks NWR has at least 4 distinct environments We've been there many times for exceptional bird watching. I am handicapped so accessibility is paramount. This is one of the best NWR's for bird watching right out of the car.
A stop at the HQ's is a must to look at the book of recent wildlife spots. This will clue you in on most recent sightings. While at HQ scope out the pond behind the building.
Driving on down the road we always stop at the first small bridge. This is in the deep woods and quiet observation yields many rewards.
Moving a little further is a open pine area on your right. Observation here usually shows wood peckers, nuthatches , Blue gray gnat catchers, and a variety of warblers.

The first of several impounds is a chance to view the abundant waterfowl. Herons , Egrets, and ducks, on both sides of the road. Keep a sharp eye out for purple gallinules wherever you see lily pads. Further down the road is a lake surrounded by woods. Moorhens, egrets, and alligators. We have also seen night herons, roseate spoonbills, and wood storks here. Be careful when parking on the shoulder as some vehicles travel this road fast.
The area around the restrooms can yield a variety of small bird at time indigo buntings an blue grosbeaks can be seen here. There is also a picnic area.
Another mile or so, across wet grass land you arrive at the gulf and a lighthouse. There is also a wildlife observation tower here. A look across from the tower reveals a large overflow impoundment where we have seen skimmers, gulls, and ducks. There is a trail around 2 sides of the pond.

I left a lot out for you to discover. Stopping almost anywhere along the lighthouse road will be very productive, if you are a birder I know you will enjoy your visit. You can log 100 species in a day!

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank downrigger1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Scottsdale, Arizona
Level Contributor
751 reviews
399 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 404 helpful votes
“great photos”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 July 2014

great place to take pictures down by the gulf.
a lot of mosquitos in the summer time, and watch for gators in the waterways walking around.

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
Thank Curtez151
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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