Hidden Big Bend: Wakulla Beach
Wakulla Beach isn’t for everyone.Â There’s no bars, no gas stations; there’s not even a bait shop.Â But once upon a time, it hosted a thriving fishery and was a tourist destination.
The town was started by Wakulla County notable Henry Walker and was said to be the first platted subdivision in Florida.Â Actually, the area was known locally as “Goose Creek Bay” prior to Mr. Walker acquiring the land.Â Local stories say that Goose Creek was so named because of a large flock of geese which stopped off at the creek mouth on their annual migration.
The Walker family tried to promote Wakulla Beach as a vacation destination.Â The fishing and bird hunting were big draws.Â In the 1920′s there was at least one hotel at Wakulla Beach.Â This photo shows an abandoned hotel photographed at Wakulla Beach in 1955.
It must have been a beautiful place back when it was fresh and new.Â Today, the wood structure is gone and only the slab and the ruins of the concrete columns remain.
Wakulla Beach was never much of town and today, there are just a few private houses; inholdings in the St. Marks Wildlife Refuge.
There’s a “beach” low tide but by high tide, it’s mostly gone.Â It’s a good place to launch a canoe or kayak on a calm day.Â Â Wakulla Beach is a popular spot for fishing folk, and bird watchers.Â A visit to Wakulla Beach gives you an idea of what Florida was like before the development boom happened.Â It’s a beautiful spot and worth the drive down the long sand road.
For more information on Wakulla Beach and the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, you can visit these sites:
- Wakulla County history:Â http://www.fnai.org/ARROW/almanac/history/history_wakulla.cfm
- St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge:Â http://www.fws.gov/refuges/profiles/index.cfm?id=41640
- Photos of Wakulla Beach:Â http://wakullaphoto.com/