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St. Marks River

St. Marks River
St. Marks River viewed from U.S. Highway 98.
Country United States
State Florida
Counties Leon, Jefferson, Wakulla
District NWFWMD
 - left East River
 - right Lafayette Creek, Wakulla River
Source Tallahassee Hills
 - location Capitola, Florida
 - coordinates
Mouth Apalachee Bay
 - location Port Leon, Florida
 - coordinates
Length 36 mi (58 km)
Basin 1,150 sq mi (2,978 km2)
 - average 1,122 cu ft/s (32 m3/s)
St. Marks River watershed

The St. Marks River is a river in the Big Bend region of Florida. It has been classified by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection as an Outstanding Florida Water, and is the easternmost river within the Northwest Florida Water Management District.[1]

The St. Marks River begins in eastern Leon County, Florida and flows 36 miles (58 km) through Leon and Wakulla counties into Apalachee Bay, an arm of the Gulf of Mexico. It has a drainage basin of 1,150 square miles (3,000 km2)[1] in size. It has one significant tributary, the Wakulla River.

A few miles south of its source the St. Marks passes under a natural bridge at Natural Bridge Battlefield Historic State Park and then disappears underground to become a subterranean river for about one-half mile. The river emerges at the St. Marks River Rise, a first magnitude spring with a discharge of 433cf/s,[1] to pass over a stretch of rocks, forming rapids.

The incorporated town of St. Marks is located at the juncture of the Wakulla and St. Marks Rivers. To the north is the community of Newport. Between St. Marks and Newport is a small industrial area serviced by barge.

The San Marcos de Apalache Historic State Park and St. Marks lighthouse are located near the mouth of the river, while the City of Tallahassee's Sam O. Purdom Generating Plant is located on the river in St. Marks.

List of crossings

Crossing Carries Image Location Coordinates
Valentine Road Capitola
CR 1568
Buck Lake Road
rail bridge CSX Transportation Capitola
CR 1540
Capitola Road
Confluence with Lafayette Creek
US 27
Perry Highway
Chaires Crossroads
CR 259
Tram Road
ford private road
natural bridge CR 2192
Natural Bridge Road
Natural Bridge Battlefield State Park
natural bridge
George Nesmith Bridge US 98
Coastal Highway
Confluence with Wakulla River St. Marks
Confluence with East River


  1. ^ a b c Boning, Charles R. 2007. Florida's Rivers. Sarasota, Florida: Pineapple Press, Inc. ISBN 978-1-56164-400-1
  • Marth, Marty. 1990. St. Marks River. in Marth, Del and Marty Marth, eds. The Rivers of Florida. Sarasota, Florida: Pineapple Press, Inc. ISBN 0-910923-70-1.
  • St. Marks River Watershed
  • Emerging Waters: Springs of Northwest Florida
  • St. Marks River & Apalachee Bay Watershed
  • City Of Tallahassee Sam O. Purdom Generating Station

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