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The Tallahassee-St. Marks Historic Railroad State Trail is the first paved rail-trail developed by the state, and it follows the route of Florida's first and longest-operating railroad that was used primarily to transport cotton from plantations to awaiting ships. Today adventure awaits, as the rail-trail—plus side trails and nearby state parks—stand ready for exploration.
As its name implies, the trail stretches 21 miles from the capital city south to St. Marks. Longleaf pine and forests of oak, wax myrtle and yaupon holly nicely shade the route.
In Tallahassee, the trail begins less than a block from the Doak Campbell Stadium and just south of the Florida State University campus. On the north side of W. Gaines Street, you could connect to the Stadium Drive Bikepath—frequently used by students to access the university. Head south from Gaines Street on the Tallahassee-St. Marks Historic Railroad State Trail, and you'll enjoy a pleasant tree-lined corridor. After a short distance, you'll reach Stearns Street, where the trail connects to the Capital Cascades Trail, which heads northeast about 3 miles.
As you continue along, note that the trail's first few miles can be a bit congested, particularly on the weekends. Just remember proper trail etiquette and have a good time. If you are riding a mountain bike, consider turning into the Munson Hills Off-Road Trail, off the trail about 1 mile (mileage is painted on the asphalt) from the Capital Circle Trailhead. The loop system can get sandy during dry months, but the scenic areas and remote terrain make it worth a visit.
Wakulla Station Trailhead, near mile marker 9, provides water, shelter and restrooms. A bit farther south you can take a 5-mile detour along the paved shoulder of State Route 267 to get to Wakulla Springs State Park, known for its big, beautiful spring and a refreshing swimming hole.
With only 6 or so miles of trail remaining, you will soon find yourself in St. Marks. Another state park, San Marcos de Apalache Historic State Park, is to the south and west of the trail's end. Or simply hit one of the small waterfront restaurants to wet your whistle and carb-load with friends while watching the boats cruise along the St. Marks River.
The Capital Circle Trailhead is located on the west side of State Route 363 (Woodville Highway) in Tallahassee, just south of Capital Circle (SR 263). The address of the trailhead is 4778 Woodville Highway.
Trail access and parking is also available at Woodville Sports Complex on the west side of the trail. Follow the brown directional signs from SR 363 (Woodville Highway) south to the complex.
Wakulla Station Trailhead is located on the west side of the trail off SR 363 (Woodville Highway) just south of the Leon and Wakulla county line. Follow the brown directional signs to the trailhead.
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