Natural Bridge Battlefield Historic State Park
Natural Bridge Battlefield Historic State Park is a significant Civil War historical site - and has an interesting geological feature from which it derives its name. Although it is actually in Leon County, we've included it in our listing of places on the Nature Coast.

The park is situated on 135 acres of land, the first portion of which was donated for use as a park by the United Daughters of the Confederacy in 1950. It is the site of the Battle of Natural Bridge, which was fought during the final weeks of the Civil War. During the battle, Confederate forces repelled three major attacks from Union troops, saving Tallahasee from capture. A re-enactment of the battle is held at the park the first full weekend in March each year. There is a monument on the grounds commemorating the battle.

In addition to its obvious significance to those interested in Civil War history, Natural Bridge Battlefield Historic State Park is also interesting for its geological features. The St. Marks River, which flows through the park, disappears underground near the northern park boundary, and does not fully re-emerge until it reaches the St. Marks River Rise, south of the park border. A number of sinkholes and sinkhole lakes, and an aquatic cave system are present within the boundaries of the park. There is also evidence of an old canal that was likely excavated in the 19th century in order to provide a connection between the sinkhole lakes so that logs could be transported down the river across the natural bridge.

The park includes a picnic area with several covered shelters, and restrooms. A boat and kayak launch is provided along the St. Marks River before it disappears underground, and navigation is possible upstream from that point.
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