Wednesday, February 25, 2009
St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge - St. Marks, Florida
One of the most beautiful sections of Florida's coastline is far removed from the white sand beaches and towering condominiums of the popular resorts of the state. The St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, near St. Marks south of Tallahassee, is a place of vast marshes, wildlife, birds and butterflies.
Open daily, the National Refuge preserves thousands of acres of coastal land that is rich in both cultural and natural history. The St. Marks Lighthouse, located in the heart of the Refuge, dates back to 1832 and a long walking trail leads to the site of the now vanished town of Port Leon, destroyed by hurricane in the 1840s. Union and Confederate troops battle in what is now the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge during the Natural Bridge expedition in 1865, while Spanish explorers led by Panfilo de Narvaez and Hernando de Soto explored the marshes during the 1500s.
The refuge today is a popular place for exploring the outdoors. There are walking trails, picnic areas, boat landings, observation decks, a visitor center, the lighthouse and more. To learn more, please visit www.exploreosuthernhistory.com/stmarksnwr1.