San Marcos de Apalache Historic State Park
Florida State Park, museum, hiking/nature trails
Early Explorers & First Spanish Period (1513-1763) - Civil War & Reconstruction (1861-1876)
St. Marks, Jefferson County
Reflecting the long and diverse history of Florida, San Marcos de Apalache Historic State Park, located at the confluence of the Wakulla and St. Marks Rivers, has been an important site since the 17th century. Early Spanish explorers realized the importance of the river junction where, in 1679, they built the first wooden fort. In 1739, the Spanish began construction on a stone fort, San Marcos, to replace the wooden one, but it was still unfinished nearly 20 years later when the British took over Florida. Eventually the fort, like the rest of Florida, was returned to Spain. The Spanish controlled San Marcos during the majority of their remaining occupation of Florida, losing it for five weeks to a united Creek Indian force led by William Augustus Bowles. After several American invasions led by Andrew Jackson, Florida became a United States territory in 1821 and American soldiers occupied the fort. San Marcos saw its final action during the Civil War, when Confederate soldiers captured the fort, renaming it Fort Ward.
Did you know?
- The visitor center tells the story of this 9-acre historic site originally occupied by Apalachee Indians.
- The site features a self-guided tour, historic structures, picnic area, and observation deck.
- An archaeological survey conducted in 1978 located the remains of the wooden fort exposed on the bank of the St. Marks River.