Florida Guide > State Parks
San Marcos de Appalache Historic State Park
San Marcos de Appalache Historic State Park is situated in St Marks in Old Fort Road and is off the S. R. 363.
There is a rich seam of history associated with this park and it has been bitterly fought over.
The main action took place from 1528 when the first ships made by white men were constructed here and launched by Panfilo de Navarez and his 300 men.
Move forward some 11 years and a copy cat expedition was made by Hernando de Soto and his squad of twice as many men.
Over a century later in 1679 a fort was constructed and built where the 2 rivers converge. However, though the fort was made to look like stone it was actually made from wood. Three short years later the fort was burned down by marauding pirates. It was not til 1718 that the bridge was replaced by yet another wooden structure.
A more practical stone fort was eventually installed in 1763; this was constructed by the British; I say eventually since the fort had been started in 1739 but the build was badly interrupted by the war with the Spanish.
The Spanish took control of the fort in 1787 til the Brtish took control (with the help of Native Americans) in 1800. Their reign lasted only a brief 5 weeks when the Spanish snatched the fort back again.
Finally in 1821, when Florida was handed over to the U. S. A. it was occupied by American troops. The fort was ultimately turned into a hospital which served to treat people struck down by yellow fever.
The final wrangle to take palce at this the site of so much combat was the Battle of the Natural Bridge and the Union troops were defeated.
There is a museum at this park which has on display many artefacts from these various periods. There is also a video presentation to watch.
You will also want to walk the trail which is redolent of days gone by. The park has recently been working hard to clear areas to improve the vistas.
Be careful about choosing a day to visit since it is closed on tuesday and wednesday. The opening hours are 9. a. m to 5. p. m.
Whilst you are in this area you may want to think about visiting one of these near by places; Mission San Luis, Edward Ball Wakulla Springs, St Marks Natural Wildlife Refuge.
San Marcos de Apalache Historic State Park
148 Old Fort Road
St. Marks, Florida 31355
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