"The WTXL Road Trip" series continues, last week in Jefferson County and now packing up and heading to Wakulla County.
WAKULLA Co., FL (WTXL) - Wakulla Springs is a summer time staple. It's a popular gathering place for tourists and locals alike and is famous for its wildlife wonder.
"A Florida famous figure created this lodge and opened it to the public in 1937. Its been apart of the fabric of Wakulla county since that time. So its really central to the culture and lifestyle in Wakulla County," said Wakulla Springs Park Manager, Peter Scalco.
That famous figure was none other than finance mogul Edward Ball. He saw the beauty in the 4,000 acres surrounding the aquifer and made it his duty to preserve and protect it but also built an elegant lodge to host the dozens of tourists.
"It has been the center of a lot of wheelin's and dealin's in the Edward Ball Area," said Scalco. "People came from the Capitol to be entertained and to entertain."
Today, it's an official state park and registered historic site, "The goal of the Florida Park system is to provide resource base recreation while preserving restoring and interpreting our natural cultural resource," said Scalco. "...as you can see we have a world class natural resource. So what we do is provide that resource in a safe manner so that the public can have a quality outdoor recreational experience."
But the park is more than just a swimming hole, boats allow guests and tourists to experience Wakulla's wildlife first hand.
"We try and engage and educate the public and educate the public without beating them over the head with facts and so we do that through a process called interpretation," said Scalco. "So it's just like the name implies, we're actually interpreting to the public, what they're seeing and their natural surroundings."
And while the mastodon bones are a big attraction, they aren't the only headliner at the springs; if you've seen the Creature of the Black Lagoon or Tarzan, you've seen the deepest underwater crevices in Wakulla County.