Wakulla Springs, Florida (1986)

I take my folks to see this example of the "real" Florida when they come to Tallahassee to help me move to Gainesville. I have just graduated from Florida State University with a master's degree in Urban & Regional Planning. We decide to go on a ranger-guided boat tour on which the guide gives us commentary on the many forms of wildlife we were seeing on the banks—including an enormous alligator (see photo). Wakulla Springs, one of the world's largest and deepest freshwater springs, forms the headwaters of the Wakulla River in the Florida Panhandle. The river runs through old-growth cypress swamp. The park is 10 miles south of Tallahassee on SR 267.

The springs produce 400,000 gallons of freshwater per minute. It is the site of a 1920s hotel and resort. The clarity of the spring water has resulted in its being selected for several movies over the years.


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