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Osceola Outdoors: Creating memories

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Welcome to Osceola Outdoors. My wish is for every Seminole fan who comes to a Florida State sports event is to take the time to explore our hidden outdoor treasures. Tallahassee is the center of more than 1 million acres of national forest, state-managed land and national wildlife refuge. All provide unlimited access to biking, hiking, kayaking, birding, photography, scalloping and, of course, my favorite, catching fish!

I’ll introduce you to the many outdoor adventures surrounding Tallahassee and invite you to share them with you, your family and friends, when coming to a Seminole ball game.

The surrounding areas of Tallahassee have miles of flow tract, pine forest mountain biking. The best ride is Munson Hills. It’s a beautiful ride minutes from the capital.

Wakulla County has an amazing stretch of the Florida Trail: a 1,300-mile walking trail that stretches the entire length of Florida. It is an awesome hike through the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge. Always done best on a winter walk. Check out the Cathedral of Palms.

There are some very special places to kayak and paddleboard in our backyard. My favorite is a journey down the Wacissa River, with the Wakulla River a close second. Also, a trip down the St. Marks River on a quiet morning is hard to beat. There are plenty of kayak rentals available.

North Florida is a migratory hot spot for butterflies, waterfowl and coastal birds, like the giant white pelicans. The center of all migratory life is the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge. It is just a 30-minute ride south of Tallahassee and easy to combine with your Seminole sports weekend. It is worth the drive to see the historic St. Marks Lighthouse.

All possibilities are open to outdoor photographers. Whether amateur or professional, a trip into the refuge by boat will provide awesome marsh and wildlife opportunities. Wakulla County has the highest number of nesting bald eagles in the state. Yes, we also have manatees!

Fishing the Big Bend is spectacular. The St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, which boasts the largest expanse of grass flats in the Western Hemisphere, is very cool! World-class speckled trout fishing is a certain. Plenty of redfish, tarpon, flounder, cobia, tripletail, black drum and more!

All this is within a thirty-minute drive of campus and an FSU ballgame!

I am looking forward to exploring the Osceola Outdoors experience with everyone. My recommendation is to plan a morning before a ballgame or plan an extra day outdoors on your next visit. Relax while you are in town to make memories with family and friends.

See you out there,

Captain Mike McNamara, St Marks Outfitters

redfish@stmarksoutfitters.com

Saltwater Calendar

April, May and June

Pair an FSU spring sports event with light tackle flats fishing for speckled trout, redfish and flounder. 

July and August

Scallop season is open! It is a great month to bring the kids for FSU’s Fan Day and swim, scallop, explore, catch sharks (small ones), and scallop.

Need a big fish? Fifty-pound black drum make great photos. Tarpon are a possibility.

September, October and November

Football, soccer and volleyball seasons are prime redfish months.  Explore the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge for the day and throw top-water plugs to copper-colored slot reds!

December and January

Basketball season provides great months to chase reds in the refuge!  Cooler temps push speckled trout into the rivers and creeks. There can be a bunch of hooks set.

Mike McNamara owns St Marks Outfitters and is publisher of Coastal Angler for the Big Bend