For a peaceful stroll with a history lesson, leash up and head to the San Marcos de Apalache Historic State Park! Located where the Wakulla and Saint Marks Rivers meet, this 17-acre site is the second oldest surviving Spanish fortification in the state of Florida. While your pooch probably won't care much for the history, they'll surely enjoy exploring every nook and cranny of the park.
As you and Fido approach San Marcos de Apalache, you'll be welcomed by different flags representing its colorful history. For more than 300 years, the site was occupied by British, Spanish, United States, and Confederate troops. Today, the park preserves architectural remains from the Spanish Period through the Civil War, and also features a museum that displays prehistoric artifacts such as pottery and tools. Furry visitors aren't allowed inside the museum, though, so stick to the park grounds if Fido's tagging along.
Don't miss the self-guided interpretive trail, which will take you and your pup to the ruins scattered throughout the park. Points of interest include a military cemetery, a Spanish bastion wall, and Confederate earthworks. Be sure to pick up a guide from the brochure boxes by the front gate or near the cistern outside the museum. The trail is about .33 miles long and ends at Tucker's Point, where the Saint Marks River joins the Wakulla River before flowing out into Apalachee Bay. The view from here is furrific, so take lots of photos of your pup by the water's edge!
Before heading home, stop by the picnic area to refuel with a packed lunch, and water to share. Make sure your pooch stays on a 6-foot leash at all times during your visit, and help keep this National Historic Landmark clean and beautiful by bringing doggie waste bags. Note that since Florida gets a fair share of hurricanes, the park may be closed from time to time, so always check before going.
Experience the natural beauty and interesting history of Florida with your doggo at the San Marcos de Apalache Historic State Park!