School of Fish

About This Area

Wakulla County

Wakulla is a sportsman's paradise with forests teeming with game; clear cool rivers for fishing, boating, kayaking and swimming; and easy access to the coast for fishing, boating and beach activities.

Every year residents and visitors are thrilled by the return of the manatees to the St. Marks River. There are miles of biking,Manatee hiking and kayaking trails through wild and scenic lands. Wakulla Springs is a first magnitude spring and a national reasure.

If you are thinking of moving to Wakulla County, there are a few things you should be aware of.

Wakulla, in a dedicated effort to protect the water and the springs, requires “performance” septic systems. These are about three time as expensive to install and require ongoing maintenance to insure performance.

The water table is relatively high so the cost of a well, if you are not in an area where there is public water, is relatively inexpensive, unless they need to drill deeper to find “good” water. Because the water table is high, building requires some extra considerations and the presence of plastic soils, such as pipe clay, also must be taken into account. The soil is sandy and not suited to some types of gardening.  Wildlife also can make gardening a challenge. 

Even so with these considerations, it is worth the extra effort to enjoy living in Wakulla. 

If you are considering a piece of acreage, the State Comprehensive Plan for Wakulla County dictates that rural lots platted  since the Comp Plan went into affect in the 80’s be  no less than 20 acres per dwelling. Smaller tracts in rural settings are those are “grandfathered” in and are scarce and pricey. If you are hoping to find a tract that is not in a subdivision and with no restrictions, you should know that nearly 90% of the small tracts that are available for sale at any given time are in some kind of subdivision and subject to some restrictions. 

A look at the trail map in this brochure will tell you that only 25% of Wakulla’s land is in private ownership with the other 75% being in national, state, or local government ownership. Of the 25% in private ownership nearly half is in large timber tracts that is not likely to be subdivided into smaller tracts available for purchase by individuals. As a result of the scarcity of small tracts of land, Wakulla acreage has held its value in the recession and finding a “steal” is a challenge. Though you may see many tracts of land as you ride the roads and byways of Wakulla, most of the land you see is not available for sale. Dedicated and continual looking for that perfect piece at the perfect price is not likely to help you find what you seek. 

Additionally, most small acreage tracts have some wetlands on them. These designated wetlands are frequently in the form of “hammocks,” sometimes oak and sometimes cypress.  Oak hammocks tend to be dry most of the time. Cypress hammocks tend to be in areas that remain wet for longer periods of time. Hammocks are simply depressions or holes left from ancient sink holes that are no longer active sink holes.  Hammocks are essential for wildlife habitat and contribute greatly to the whole Wakulla ecosystem. In addition, Wakulla has a lot of land in continual wetlands, i. e. swamps. Not all beautiful land is high and dry and Wakulla’s swamps and marshes are truly beautiful places. 

When considering a tract of Wakulla land you should check with planning and zoning regarding such things as the permitted number of dwellings per tract, the FEMA classification, and base floor elevation. For example, if the property as an “A” classification, which a great deal of Wakulla has, it is in the 100 year flood zone and has a 1% chance of some flooding in a year if there is a major rain event. You should familiarize yourself with the FEMA classifications and what they mean. Many homes are built in the “A” zone and have never flooded. Wakulla County stipulates the Base Floor Elevation based on a surveyor’s elevation readings on the tract. Keep in mind that an “A” designation may require flood insurance, which in non-coastal areas is not too expensive, depending on the elevation readings. You should not be “put off” by an “A” designation if the property is perfect in every other way. FEMA can be petitioned to remove the designation via a LOMA letter if the elevation readings indicate that the FEMA classification for that particular property is incorrect. Getting a LOMA letter incurs some expense for the surveyor’s work and documentation submittal.  There is no guarantee, also, that FEMA will change the classification even though the topographical evidence supports a change. 

Utilities for most of Wakulla County’s rural areas are provided by Progress Energy. If you purchase a piece of acreage you should be concerned with where the nearest utility line is in relationship to the property you are considering.  Progress Energy will install some lines with little charge but that is restricted to a certain number of feet. If Progress must run lines a great distance the property owner has to bear the burden of the cost of installation  and that can be very expensive. The costs are mitigated somewhat by revenue credits based on the square footage of the dwelling you plan to build. A building permit for a dwelling must first be obtained to get power to a piece of property (in order to get the revenue credit). Permits for barns, wells, etc do not get revenue credit. 

Most Wakulla acreage subdivisions do not have paved or county maintained roads. The maintenance of the roads is the responsibility of the property owners in the subdivision and most subdivision have yearly HOA fees. The deed restrictions are generally reasonable and reflect the character of a Wakulla lifestyle.  Deed restrictions protect property owners rather than burden them. 

“Not all gorgeous land is high and dry.”
Forester, Don Poindexter

In conclusion, Wakulla County offers a wonderful and peaceful lifestyle only a short commute from the bustle of Tallahassee. Tallahassee offers everything you could want but  Wakulla offers everything that you need. There are considerations in re- locating to a county that only 20 years ago was “undiscovered” and had a very small, rural population.   Some think those considerations are pluses and not negatives.  Wakullans  certainly do.

A REALTOR who will “get off the road” to help you find your own little piece of heaven on Earth