St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, The Lodge at Wakulla Springs,
Ochlockonee State Park and Tall Timbers Research Station
4-day Bus Trip, (Tues.-Fri.) January 23-26
Cost: $480 (double) or $600 (single) – 46 spaces available
Leader: Charlie Sample, firstname.lastname@example.org
Wakulla Springs State Park is located in the Florida Panhandle, 14 miles southwest of Tallahassee. Discover one of the most serene places in Florida. We will spend three nights at the lodge with its style based on the design of Edward Ball, an entrepreneur, financier, and railroad magnate. In 1937 he created this Lodge which has 27 rooms all remaining in the original style. The Lodge is a most unique retreat, using hand-wrought iron, marble and hand-made ceramic imported tile. Standing today as it did then, changed only for improvements in safety and comfort, the lodge is a glimpse into Florida in the 1930s. The lodge, located at the headwaters spring of the Wakulla River, offers a unique setting for wildlife viewing and scenic beauty. On our final day at the lodge, we will enjoy a boat cruise on the historic lodge lake where the wildlife is plentiful. Bring a camera.
Our main focus of the trip is the visit to St. Marks NWR, a birding hotspot. The refuge established in 1931 to provide wintering habitat for waterfowl and other birds, provide habitat for resident wildlife species and endangered species. The refuge is located 22 miles south of Tallahassee on the Gulf Coast. St. Marks encompass 32,000 acres of woodlands including bottomland hardwoods, cypress or tupelo swamps and longleaf pine/wiregrass communities. There are also 35,000 acres of marsh and water. There are reports of wintering Whooping Cranes at the refuge.
Our trip takes us to Ochlockonee State Park to locate resident Red-cockaded Woodpeckers, Brown-headed Nuthatches and the beautiful White Squirrel. One day will be spent visiting Tall Timbers Research Station where there are 4,000 acres of flatwoods to discover approximately 76 bird species. They will take us on a birding “ride” on a trailer to the Red-cockaded Woodpecker and Brown-headed Nuthatch habitats. This is a fantastic place you would not want to miss.
Forty-six spaces are available; dinners at the lodge and a local restaurant, nature boat cruise, birding at St. Marks and Tall Timbers with 3-nights at The Lodge at Wakulla Springs.