St. Marks River

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St. Marks River
St Marks River at Newport, Florida.jpg
St. Marks River viewed from U.S. Highway 98.
St. Marks River watershed
CountryUnited States
CountiesLeon, Jefferson, Wakulla
Physical characteristics
SourceTallahassee Hills
 • locationCapitola, Florida
 • coordinates30°28′40″N 84°06′01″W / 30.47778°N 84.10028°W / 30.47778; -84.10028
MouthApalachee Bay
 • location
Port Leon, Florida
 • coordinates
30°4′53″N 84°11′31″W / 30.08139°N 84.19194°W / 30.08139; -84.19194Coordinates: 30°4′53″N 84°11′31″W / 30.08139°N 84.19194°W / 30.08139; -84.19194
Length36 mi (58 km)
Basin size1,150 sq mi (3,000 km2)
 • average1,122 cu ft/s (31.8 m3/s)
 • locationSt. Marks River Rise
 • average433 cu ft/s (12.3 m3/s)
Basin features
 • leftEast River
 • rightLafayette Creek, Wakulla River

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[edit]

Crossing Carries Image Location Coordinates
Headwaters 30°28′40″N 84°06′01″W / 30.47778°N 84.10028°W / 30.47778; -84.10028
Valentine Road Capitola 30°28′21″N 84°06′04″W / 30.47250°N 84.10111°W / 30.47250; -84.10111
CR 1568
Buck Lake Road
Capitola 30°27′49″N 84°06′25″W / 30.46361°N 84.10694°W / 30.46361; -84.10694
rail bridge CSX Transportation Capitola 30°26′39″N 84°06′12″W / 30.44417°N 84.10333°W / 30.44417; -84.10333
CR 1540
Capitola Road
Capitola 30°26′36″N 84°06′11″W / 30.44333°N 84.10306°W / 30.44333; -84.10306
Confluence with Lafayette Creek 30°25′40″N 84°06′17″W / 30.42778°N 84.10472°W / 30.42778; -84.10472
US 27.svg US 27
Florida 20.svg Perry Highway
Chaires Crossroads 30°25′15″N 84°06′05″W / 30.42083°N 84.10139°W / 30.42083; -84.10139
CR 259
Tram Road
Cody 30°21′43″N 84°03′39″W / 30.36194°N 84.06083°W / 30.36194; -84.06083
ford private road 30°19′42″N 84°05′21″W / 30.32833°N 84.08917°W / 30.32833; -84.08917
natural bridge CR 2192
Natural Bridge Road
Natural Bridge Battlefield State Park 30°17′03″N 84°09′02″W / 30.28417°N 84.15056°W / 30.28417; -84.15056
natural bridge 30°16′59″N 84°09′03″W / 30.28306°N 84.15083°W / 30.28306; -84.15083
George Nesmith Bridge US 98.svg US 98
Coastal Highway
Newport 30°11′56″N 84°10′41″W / 30.19889°N 84.17806°W / 30.19889; -84.17806
Confluence with Wakulla River St. Marks 30°08′58″N 84°12′40″W / 30.14944°N 84.21111°W / 30.14944; -84.21111
Confluence with East River 30°05′19″N 84°10′44″W / 30.08861°N 84.17889°W / 30.08861; -84.17889
Mouth 30°04′53″N 84°11′31″W / 30.08139°N 84.19194°W / 30.08139; -84.19194


  1. ^ a b c Boning, Charles R. 2007. Florida's Rivers. Sarasota, Florida: Pineapple Press, Inc. ISBN 978-1-56164-400-1