Fort San Marcos de Apalache

Directions:  From the city of St. Marks follow signs at Riverside Drive .6 of a mile to this historic site.

Description:  The first
European known to have seen this point was Panfilo de Narvaez in 1528. In 1679 the Spanish started building the first fort on this site, using logs painted with lime to look like stone, but pirates weren’t fooled by
the camouflage.  They looted and burned the fort a few years later.  Forts in St. Marks were later occupied by Spanish, British, Spanish again, then (for five weeks) by a force seeking to establish “the Nation
of Muskogee,” and Spanish yet again, before being taken over by Andrew Jackson in 1818.  The fort passed back into Spanish control one more time before U.S. troops occupied it in 1821.  In 1861 it was reoccupied
by Confederate troops and named Fort Ward.  The site became a permanent possession of the United States at the end of the Civil War.

Activities:  Walking trails, exhibits, interpretive signage, picnicking.

Facilities:  A well marked trail with an informative brochure leads visitors on a journey through the historic fortification ruins.  A visitor center containing exhibits and artifacts covering the area’s history is built
on the foundation of an old marine hospital.  Picnic areas are provided.

Minimum time to allow:  One hour.
Fee:  Yes.
Hours:  9 a.m. until 5 p.m., Thursday through Monday. Closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.
Contact:  P: 850-925-6216
Floridastateparks.org/sanmarcos

The City of St. Marks has enhanced this site, located at the confluence of the Wakulla and St. Marks Rivers, with an attractive canoe and boat launch, picnic pavilion, and the trailhead for the Tallahassee-St. Marks Historic Railroad Trail State Park.