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Florida's first designated state trail follows the abandoned railbed of the historic Tallahassee-St. Marks Railroad. The trail runs almost due south from Tallahassee to the town of St. Marks, which is at the confluence of the St. Marks and Wakulla rivers.


The Tallahassee-St. Marks Railroad was the first railroad under construction in Florida and the first in the nation to receive a federal land grant. Completed in 1837, the 20-mile line connected the territorial Capital with the Gulf port of St. Marks. Conceived and financed by leading planters and merchants, the railroad transported the prosperous cotton crop of the region for shipment to East Coast markets.

Initially, mules hauled open freight and passenger cars loaded with naval store and timber industry products. The rickety railbed prompted an earlier traveler to describe it as "the worst that has yet been built in the entire world." In the 1850s, the railroad was modernized and used to transport cotton. The Tallahassee-St. Marks railroad was distinguished as Florida's longest operating line, serving for 147 years. It is of rich historical significance as a pioneer enterprise that stimulated the region's commercial development and settlement.

In 1984, the Florida Department of Transportation purchased 16 miles of the corridor to preserve the right-of-way. The recreational trail was constructed and is maintained by the Florida Park Service. Today, people of all ages, abilities and incomes can enjoy using the trail.


Activities permitted on the trail include bicycling, walking, jogging, skating and horseback riding. A paved surface is available for pedestrians and cyclists. Cyclists should slow and give warning when approaching other users from behind. CAUTION: Be alert for frequent vehicle crossings. Please be considerate of private property owners adjacent to the trail.

An adjacent trail is available for horses and their riders. Horseback riding should be confined to the designated trial or shoulder areas to avoid damaging the smooth bicycling surface.

The southern two miles of the trail has been designated a segment of the Florida National Scenic Trail: the Florida Trail continues across the St. Marks River to historic Port Leon, and beyond.

A parking lot for the Tallahassee-St. Marks Trail is located on S.R. 363, just south of Tallahassee at the entrance of the trail.

Tallahassee-St. Marks Historic Railroad State Trail

1022 Desoto Park Drive

Tallahassee, FL 32301

(850) 922-6007

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