Forest Trail East

You should start your tour of this segment in Wakulla County at the intersection of Coastal Highway (US 98) and Bloxham Cutoff (SR 267) west of Newport.  There is often a Tupelo honey stand at this intersection.  If you’ve never tasted Tupelo honey, a sweet southern delicacy, now may be the time for a try. We think you’ll like it.

The roadway along SR 267 is wooded and lined with wildflowers in spring and fall.  Keep your eyes open for Swallow-Tail and Mississippi Kites that soar gracefully above the treetops in search of insects.  At the intersection with Woodville Highway (SR 363) you may wish to take the following side trip.

Side Trip: Natural Bridge Battlefield State Historic Site

Directions:  At the intersection of Bloxham Cutoff (SR 267) and Woodville Highway (SR 363), take Woodville Highway north for 5.6 miles into Leon County. In the town of Woodville, turn right (east) onto Natural Bridge Road (CR 2192).  Follow signs 6 miles to the Park at the St. Marks River.

Description: Natural Bridge is the site of the second largest Civil War battle in Florida, which took place where the St. Marks River drops into a sinkhole and flows underground for one-quarter of a mile before reemerging.  During the final weeks of the Civil War a Union flotilla landed at Apalachee Bay, planning to capture Fort Ward (now San Marcos de Apalache Historic State Park) and march north to the state capital, Tallahassee.  With a timely warning, volunteers from the Tallahassee area “” some Confederate soldiers “¨joined by old men and young boys “” intercepted the Union forces at Natural Bridge and successfully repelled three major attacks.  The Union troops were forced to retreat to the coast and Tallahassee was the only Confederate capital east of the Mississippi not captured by the Union.

Activities:  Hiking, fishing, birding.

Facilities:  Picnic area, interpretive plaque.

Minimum time to allow:  30 minutes.
Fee:  Yes.
Hours:  8:00 a.m. until sundown, 365 days a year.
Contact:  P: 850-922-6007
floridastateparks.org/naturalbridge

Back on the Byway, you will cross the Tallahassee-St. Marks Historic Railroad Trail State Park.  A great local favorite, the Tallahassee-St. Marks Trail follows the abandoned railbed of Florida’s longest operating railroad line.  The first designated bike trail in the state, it stretches 16 miles through dense pine forests and quiet rural
communities before ending in the small coastal town of St. Marks.  Many cyclists find that a stop at rustic Posey’s Oyster Bar for “topless oysters” and a cold beverage perfectly rounds out the afternoon. Horseback riding and skating are also enjoyed.  As you continue on the Byway you will pass over a freshwater spring, McBride Slough, and then reach the entrance for Wakulla Springs State Park and Lodge.