Lighthouse Road Work

St Marks National Wildlife Refuge announces a Revitalization of Lighthouse Road.

Road work continues on Lighthouse Road including paving. The parking lot at the lighthouse is closed, however you can park at the salt water boat ramp lot and walk to the lighthouse.

The lighthouse lot will be closed for sealing next Tuesday and Wednesday, February 7-8. No access to the lighthouse on these days.

Otherwise, the road will be open but expect long delays due to lane closures. Please drive slowly, watch for workers, follow their instructions. Use caution.

The Visitor Center will be open normal hours; M-F, 8am-4pm, S-S, 10am-5pm.

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 83,000+ 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.
WHO Festival

What do fishing, archery, birdwatching, wildlife, hiking, wildlife observation, and prescribed fire have in common? These are all exhibits offered at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge’s annual Wildlife Heritage & Outdoors (WHO) Festival on Sat. Feb. 4, 2023, from 10 am – 3 pm. For more information on this and other events, visit our Events page.

Lighthouse Opening

The Historic St. Marks Lighthouse Keeper's Quarters will be open on the following dates from 10am to 2pm. Please check the Events or call the Visitor Center for latest information, 850-925-6121. The tower can not be climbed at this time.

Lighthouse opening Schedule

  • Saturday - February 11, 2023
  • Saturday - February 25, 2023


Visit Us

St. Marks NWR provides numerous recreation opportunities to thousands of visitors every year. People enjoy viewing the unique geology and diverse wildlife. Regulation of recreation activities allow for public enjoyment of the refuge while still protecting the wildlife and habitats.

Location and Contact Information

      Violations on the Refuge

      To report violations on the refuge, call the refuge office - +1 850-925-6121. Or to report violations occurring on any National Wildlife Refuge or other U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service-managed lands, you can call 1-844-FWS-TIPS (397-8477) or email 24 hours a day. 


      Take a drive down Lighthouse Road to get acquainted with the Refuge. The Lighthouse Road Drive Guide will tell you what you might see and look for.

      Behind the gates wildlife tours are offered periodically.

      To better enhance our tours and events we ask that our guests follow the guidelines listed below.
      1. Registration is required.
      2. Pets will not be allowed on any tour.
      3. For your safety and tour enjoyment, we recommend that all participants wear closed-toe shoes, bring a bottle of drinking water, sunscreen, and bug spray (please apply away from the other participants).
      4. For your comfort and enjoyment, we suggest that you dress for the weather, wearing or bringing layers.  It is also a good idea to carry a lightweight rain jacket for unexpected showers or cooling weather
      5. Practice “pack it in, pack it out”. Any trash, including biodegradable food and packaging, is to be taken back with the participant and disposed of off-site.
      6. Attendees must arrive early enough to use the restroom prior to tour start time.  If tour is scheduled to start at 9, it will be pulling out of the meeting area at 9.
      7. Leave all plants and animals alone. DO NOT engage in any of the following:
        1. Eating any leaves and/or berries found alongside trail
        2. Approaching, handling, or attempting to feed any wildlife
        3. Collecting any material, with the exception of trash, on refuge property
      8. Be aware of your surroundings. The refuge is home to venomous snakes, alligators, burrowing animals, and some endangered species. Stay safe, when getting on and off the tour wagon watch your step and try not to disturb any habitats or animals with loud noises.
      9. As a courtesy to all visitors, those that sign up and are no shows will not be allowed to sign up for another tour.
      See Events for a list of available tours.

      Our Organization

      We provide national leadership in the recovery and conservation of our nation's imperiled plant and animal species, working with experts in the scientific community to identify species on the verge of extinction and to build the road to recovery to bring them back. We work with a range of public...
      The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service manages fire safely and cost-effectively to improve the condition of lands while reducing the risk of damaging wildfires to surrounding communities. This balanced approach to fire management benefits people and wildlife.
      Wilderness areas are wild, undeveloped, federally protected areas where you can see wildlife in its natural habitat, enjoy adventure and unmechanized recreation, or just relish solitude. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service manages more than 20 million acres of Congressionally designated wilderness...
      The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service conserves more than just flora and fauna at America’s national wildlife refuges and national fish hatcheries. As mandated under the National Historic Preservation Act, the Fish and Wildlife Service also conserves tens of thousands of archaeological and historic...

      Our Species

      The Refuge lists contain 44 species of mammals,  271 species of birds,  and 38 species of amphibians/reptiles. Some are resident and others are seasonal or occasional.

      A large raptor, the bald eagle has a wingspread of about seven feet. Adults have a dark brown body and wings, white head and tail, and a yellow beak. Juveniles are mostly brown with white mottling on the body, tail, and undersides of wings. Adult plumage usually is obtained by the sixth year. In...

      FWS Focus

      Adult monarch butterflies are large and conspicuous, with bright orange wings surrounded by a black border and covered with black veins. The black border has a double row of white spots, present on the upper side of the wings. Adult monarchs are sexually dimorphic, with males having narrower...

      FWS Focus

      Our Library

      You should view the publications before your visit. Please download/print the ones you need. That way you are prepared if the Visitor Center is closed or the supply is exhausted.

      Click on View Our Library to see more publications. Allow time to load.

      St. Marks NWR General Information Brochure

      General information about the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge.

      Get Involved

      Volunteers at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge are an integral part of the staff. They assist with numerous projects ranging from wildlife inventories to presenting interpretive programs, and their help has been instrumental in the accomplishment of a number of refuge projects and activities.

      The Friends of St. Marks Wildlife Refuge, formed in 1987, is the 501(c)3 non-profit friends group that supports the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge in accomplishing its biological and educational objectives.

      Environmental Education Programs & Field Trips

      Attention School teachers, Homeschool groups and Scout leaders: Come to the St Marks National Wildlife Refuge for a FREE field trip! You can pick from one of our current education programs or our Environmental Educator can tailor your trip to fit what you are studying in the classroom. Each lesson incorporates a variety of hands-on activities into every program. Through multi-sensory experiences, audience interaction, fun animal bio facts and meaningful contact with Refuge Staff, all participants may experience a new awareness and appreciation for the natural world.

      Projects and Research