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Big Bend Scenic Byway

Explore Undiscovered North Florida


Byway Central Itinerary

Nestled on the bluffs overlooking Lake Talquin's southern shore, Lake Talquin State Park offers picnic area with tables and grills along with a pavilion that is perfect for family reunions, private parties and weddings. The park is an excellent place for wildlife viewing and bird watching. Wildlife roaming the park includes deer, squirrel, turkey and the occasional bear. Birders are likely to spot bald eagles and osprey soaring high above the lake.

Byway Central Itinerary

Construction of the Jackson Bluff Dam on the Ochlockonee River in 1927 created Lake Talquin, which is 12,000 acres in size and encompasses 14.5 linear miles of the Ochlockonee River floodplain. This picturesque park is perched on a hill overlooking Lake Talquin and offers a handicapped-accessible boardwalk along the lake shore. Many wildflowers on this walk are endemic to this ecosystem.

Byway Central Itinerary

 Picnic facilities  area are located near the scenic point where the Ochlockonee and Dead Rivers intersect. Ochlockonee, which means "yellow waters," is a mix of brackish, tidal surge, and fresh water. Pristine and deep, the river empties into the Gulf of Mexico.


Byway Central Itinerary

Silver Lake is the largest recreation area in the Apalachicola National Forest. Large pine and moss-draped cypress create a beautiful backdrop for a spring-fed lake.

People most often visit here to picnic at one of 45 picnic tables, swim off the 250-foot white sand beach, or hike the mile-long interpretive trail.

Byway East Itinerary

Wakulla Springs is internationally known as one of the largest and deepest freshwater springs in the world and the park is host to an abundance of wildlife, including White-Tailed Deer, Alligators, Suwannee River Cooters, Manatees, Wood Ducks, Anhinga, Yellow-Crowned Night Herons, other birds, and snakes. A nature trail offers a leisurely walk along the upland wooded areas of the park.

Daily guided riverboat tours provide a close encounter with wildlife and glass-bottom boat tours are offered when the water is exceptionally clear. Swimming is a popular activity during the hot summer months but the water temperature remains a constant 69 degrees year-round.

The Wakulla Springs Lodge was built in 1937 by financier Edward Ball and is open year-round. Wakulla Springs State Park and Lodge is listed on the Natural Register of Historic Places and is designated as a National Natural Landmark.

Byway East Itinerary

Wakulla State Forest contains a driving trail to some springs and an informative kiosk as well as a picnic pavilion.

Byway East Itinerary

The refuge was established in 1931 to provide wintering habitat for migratory birds. It is one of the oldest refuges in the National Wildlife Refuge System. It encompasses over 70,000 acres spread out between Wakulla, Jefferson, and Taylor counties, and includes about 43 miles along the Gulf Coast of northwest Florida.

The refuge includes coastal marshes, islands, tidal creeks and estuaries of seven north Florida rivers, and is home to a diverse community of plant and animal life. The refuge also has strong ties to a rich cultural past, and is home to the St. Marks Lighthouse, which was built in 1842 (current tower) and is still in use today.

  • Over 17,000 acres are protected under the Federal Wilderness Act.
  • Longleaf Pine Land Management Research and Demonstration Area;
  • Globally Important Bird Area
  • Outstanding Florida Waters
  • Class 1 Air Quality area

Byway East Itinerary

City park that offers a boat ramp, picnic areas, bird and wildlife viewing.

1 hr.
Paved access to ramp, restroom directly opposite

“Comfortable deck with nice ramp”
“Restroom very clean”
“Great water views and birds”