As you enter Panacea the Wakulla County Welcome Center will be on your left. Perched on pilings overlooking Dickerson Bay, the Center offers sweeping views of the surrounding marshland and coastline. Stop in to look at old photographs, artifacts, artwork, and educational displays; pick up information about area attractions; and talk with the knowledgeable and friendly volunteer staff. You can walk directly across the road to visit the Panacea Mineral Springs, which are being restored to their original glory; a replica of the early 1900s hotel at the site is on the drawing board. Founded in 1895, Panacea was named for the healing properties of its many mineral springs. Visitors arrived from far away by buggy and plank road trams drawn by mules to bathe in the springs’ curing waters. Another nice stop is Woolley Park, which has a children’s playground, walking trail, parking, and fishing pier. Each May the park is the site of the annual Blue Crab Festival. Turn left on Mound Street at the south end of Bayside shopping center to access the parking lot at Woolley Park.
Otter Lake Recreation Area, Panacea Unit, St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge.
“¨Directions: From the center of Panacea look on your right for Otter Lake Road and follow it approximately one mile to this Recreation Area.
Description: Only minutes from town, this picnic spot “” a great favorite of locals “” is cooled by beautiful moss-draped oaks. The scenic view of Cypress tree reflections in the still lake waters are worth a picture or two. A nice hiking trail circles the lake.
Activities: Picnicking, hiking, fishing, boating, nature photography, wildlife viewing.
Facilities: Picnic tables and shelters, hiking trails, restrooms, boat launch for small boat, with a motor size limit of 10 horse power or less.
To see a wide variety of marine life such as Sand Shark, Grouper, Horseshoe Crab, and Seahorse, follow signs in Panacea to the Gulf Specimen Aquarium and Marine Lab.