The Cathedral of Palms via Florida Trail

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St Marks National Wildlife Refuge

The Cathedral of Palms via Florida Trail is a 5.9 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Crawfordville, Florida that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length5.9 miElevation gain68 ftRoute typeLoop
Dogs on leashKid friendlyMountain bikingNature tripsWalkingBird watchingrunningForestViewsWildflowersWildlifeMuddy
Waypoints (0)
Contact
Tips

St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, 1200 Lighthouse Rd., St. Marks, FL 32355; (850)925-6121; www.fws.gov/saintmarks

Check with the refuge for hunting dates during winter.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (80)
Photos (65)
Recordings (68)
Completed (113)
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Mike Houghton
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Hiking

Great hike! Half was wide and easy, and the other half was narrow, with several boggy-muddy spots, no ticks (because of cold temp?) and beautiful scenery. The sections with palms are amazing and Shepherd Spring is a must-see-detour. A location tracking app is recommended because there are many service roads that can be distracting. The hike was 7 miles, and we walked it in about 2.5 hours.

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RobinDavid Knupp
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Take a picture of the map in the kiosk. The cathedral is to the left about 200 yards when you get to where 210 crosses the Florida Trail and Shepherd Spring is to the right. If it has been raining, I would advise staying on the roads. We went through long stretches of 8 inch deep water on the Florida Trail on 1/3/21. It probably rained 3 inches yesterday.

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David Creel
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Hiking
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Vanessa Gum
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HikingBlowdownBugsMuddyOver grown

Trail was very overgrown, badly maintained. Trail had lots of bugs and had much more bugs than any of the other trails that I’ve done in Tallahassee. The trail has lots of grasshoppers (or some type of animal similar to grasshoppers). The trail’s grass was pretty high and the palm trees were brown and almost dead. I wouldn’t say that it’s worth it.

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Mark Lee
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HikingBlowdownBugsFloodedMuddyOver grown

A wonderful hike with great rewards halfway through. I would recommend this as a moderate hike do to some water you have to walk through. Trail was overgrown when we walked it and had lots of ticks my wife got off me. In one spot we lost the trail somehow and ended up on a plowed fire break but shortly found our way back at a primitive camp site for the Florida Trail. It was pretty warm but a very rewarding hike. I've wanted to hit this trail for about 2 years now and glad I did.

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Jess Wissmann
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Hiking

Great for a simple walk in the woods, trail run or ruck. The trail is cleared out, by whatever 4x4 drive through here. I can see it would be very muddy and potentially flooded after a rain. But today was nice and shaded and just warm enough to break a good sweat. If you’re looking for an adventurous hike, this isn’t it. But there was peace and quiet with cheerful birds singing the whole time. Like I said, just a nice walk in the woods. I saw literally no one the entire 6 miles I was out.

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Heather Polous
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HikingBugs
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Scott Ball
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Hiking

This one definitely lived up to the hype. Beautiful. No ticks, even when I ventured off the beaten path.

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Crystal Zych
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Hiking

Great easy hike; in early February it was well-maintained and having just finished I don’t think we’re covered in bugs. The first 2.5 miles are wide and then you link to the Florida trail which is narrow and more like a “real” hike- but still flat. The detour to see the spring is minuscule (couple hundred yards?) and definitely the highlight. There’s several different types of vegetation on different stretches. Parking/trail head is right where spring creek and shell point roads fork.

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Jimi Cowdrey
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Hiking

great trail. It's so friggin magical.

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Nefarious DrR
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 2, 2020
Bugs

should have just doubled back through the forest issued of foing the loop. Doing that would have avoided a lot of the wide open dirt road. The ticks were pretty awful (found over a dozen on myself). Don't skimp on the spring, it's a small detour and adds so very much!

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Colleen Castille
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 2, 2020
Hiking

I love this trail destination. The Cathedral of Palms is like nothing else in Florida. NOTE: Take the first forest road to your left after starting on the Trail and follow the Florida Trail Orange Blazes on the trees. If you miss this road you will fall into a series of forks in the road, which if you choose the to go right will take you to a beautiful marsh, but you will miss the Cathedral of Palms. And yes, there are a lot of ticks here! I came back with 4. January 1st hike had very little water standing since we’ve had little rain. It actually made the trail much more enjoyable. I can’t imagine a mid-summer high wet season hike here. There is also a primitive camping area that requires a permit. Fires may be prohibited in the dry season.

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Sherry Ware
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HikingBugsOff trailOver grown

Trails are not consistently marked, very easy to get off trail or miss the connector. Trail not maintained. Ticks are HORRIBLE, even on the open trails that aren’t grassy.

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audrey morin
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Hiking

Sentier non entretenu, pas indiqué

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E Weber
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Hiking

I didn’t think a forest of palm trees would be that exciting but it turned out to be really cool. Very pretty and interesting to see palms in a natural, wild way. The trail is really dry right now since there’s been no rain in ages - not muddy at all. A bit overgrown on much of the Florida Trail section, picked up a bunch of ticks. Would consider doing an out and back on the forest road north track of the loop to avoid the ticks and overgrown brush next time.

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Ashlie Carver
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HikingMuddy
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Sam Orr
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RunningBugsMuddy

Tough run, but the scenery is gorgeous! If you are a runner who likes a challenge this is a good one.

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David Dunkle
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 19, 2019
Hiking

This is a great trail. The cathedral was beautiful. Pictures do not give it justice. Check out the small spring, great place to sit and take in the view. This is one of the best marked and maintained trails I have hiked, my hats off to the maintainers and volunteers.

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Ralph Thomas
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HikingMuddy

Great hike! Muddy in a few places, but very easy to travel.Trail has been cleared of trees that came down during Hurricane Michael. The best part of this hike is reaching Shepherd Spring.

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Jerri Bennight
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Walking

Great trail, beautiful area...but there is a lot of flooding on the trail right now. And the ticks are still out in full force. But it was still a great hike!

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