Exploring St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge
St. Marks NWR is the gateway to the Panhandle
Section of the Florida Birding Trail and offers brochures for all sections
of the Trail and loaner binoculars to visitors. For more information
on the Trail, please see
Visitor Center – located 3
miles south of U.S. Hwy. 98 at Newport on Lighthouse Rd. (Co. Rd. 59).
Open Monday – Friday – 8 am – 4 pm ; Saturdays and
Sundays – 10 am – 5 pm . Closed on federal holidays. Restrooms,
water, information, exhibits, gift shop. Phone: 850/925-6121. Website:
Entrance fees are charged on the
St. Marks Unit. Check at toll booth or honor fee station for current
prices. Annual and lifetime passes are available with some requirements.
Food & Lodging – there
is no place on the refuge to buy food or stay overnight, but picnic tables,
drinking water and restrooms are available. Nearby camping includes Newport
Park, Ochlockonee River State Park, and Holiday Park. Lodging and/or
restaurants can be found at Wakulla Springs State Park, and the towns
of St. Marks, Shell Point, Spring Creek, Panacea, and Sopchoppy.
Canoes and kayaks can be rented
at TNT Hideaway (7 miles west on U.S. Hwy 98 and the Wakulla
River ); and Wilderness Way (18 miles north on State Hwy. 363/Woodville
Hwy); Riverside Café in downtown St. Marks.
Hints for enjoying your visit :
Bring your binoculars. Start early and stay late. Mammals and birds are
most active during the early morning and late afternoon, especially during
the warm months. Bring your field guides. The gift shop has books to
help identify birds, wildflowers, and wildlife. Observe carefully – look
up in the trees for wildlife, in the sky, on power lines, as well as
in roadside vegetation and pools. WARNING – bring bug repellent
and drinking water to the refuge during the warm months!