Lake Griffin State Park is a state park located in Wakulla County, Florida. The park has a number of facilities including cabins, camping areas and nature trails. It also preserves the site of Old Fort Griffin, which was used by the Spanish during their colonization of West Florida. In 1763, a fort was built at this location to protect settlers from attacks by hostile Native Americans; however, no records have been found that indicate any hostility on the part of the local tribes. The fort was abandoned in 1764 after only six months of occupancy. No record exists today of where the original buildings are located. However, the outline of the fort can be seen when the water level is low.
There are more than 200 bird species that stop over at Lake Griffin State Park. Also present are white pelicans, but these were shot in the area and not released back into the wild. They are kept at the park as a tourist attraction instead. Lake Griffin State Park is an International Dark Sky Park and hosts stargazing events. Stargazing programs are held on Friday nights throughout the summer season under the stars with professional astronomers providing both public and private tours of the Milky Way and other celestial objects.
A skywatch program takes place every night through the fall semester (October – March) offering students and community members the opportunity to learn about astronomy and get some great views of the nighttime skies free of charge. During the daytime, visitors can observe meteor showers, solar eclipses and other celestial events. Visitors needing accommodations for the overnight stay must have reservations made in advance due to the limited availability of campsites.
Lake Griffin State Park is open for year-round recreation with:
- wildlife viewing
Among the wildlife of the park are:
- American black bears.
Some common birds include:
- red-tailed hawks
- wild turkeys
- blue jays