Apalachicola River Wildlife & Environmental Area (Gulf)
Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve
Apalachicola National Forest
(Leon, Liberty & Wakulla)
St. Vincent Island National Wildlife Refuge
Bays & Inlets
Alligator, Apalachicola, Big, Blounts, East & Little Ochlockonee bays, East & West bayous, Rattlesnake Cove, St. George & St. Vincent sounds
Rivers & Paddling Trails
Apalachicola, Little St. Marks, St. Marks, East, New, Crooked & Ochlocknee rivers, Florida Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail, Gulf Intracoastal Waterway
Franklin County is reminiscent of rural villages that dotted the gulf coast in the 1950s and 1960s. Less developed than neighboring counties, it has 53 miles of mainland coast and another 48 miles of barrier island sanctuaries, including St. Vincent Island, Cape St. George Island, "Little St. George" and Dog Island with hundreds of feet of uninhabited sandy shore.
"Big" St. George Island, a 28-by-two mile-wide barrier island, and nearby Apalachicola attract thousands of visitors every year to local shops, restaurants and sandy beaches. Its rugged undeveloped, eastern nine miles on both the Gulf of Mexico and Apalachicola Bay sides are protected in St. George Island State Park.
One of Florida's major rivers, the Apalachicola, enters the gulf in Franklin County. The area is dotted throughout with shell mounds, evidence that more than 40,000 Indians lived here before Europeans arrived in the 1600s. "Apalachicola" is the Indian word for "Land Beyond."
Highway 98 parallels the coast through much of the county, providing many opportunities to access the many public beaches. Coastal activities include fishing, hunting, wildlife observation, birding, hiking and plenty of opportunities for nature photography.
Reachable only by boat, the St. Vincent National Wildlife Refuge is an undeveloped barrier island that provides sanctuary to a variety of plants and animals. Its wetlands, forests, shrub and sand dunes are habitat for nesting bald eagles and loggerhead sea turtles and migratory birds. It is one of several southeastern islands that breed endangered red wolves. Once weaned, the wild pups are reintroduced to sites such as Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge in North Carolina
February 27, 2019 - 8:49am
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The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is the state’s lead agency for environmental management and stewardship – protecting our air, water and land. The vision of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection is to create strong community partnerships, safeguard Florida’s natural resources and enhance its ecosystems.