Our Nature: Beaches

N14Bald Point State Park

Some of the most picturesque areas along the North Florida Gulf Coast can be found at this park, one of the newest additions to the award-winning Florida Park System. Located on Alligator Point where Ochlockonee Bay meets Apalachee Bay, Bald Point offers a multitude of land and water activities. Coastal marshes, pine flatwoods, and oak thickets foster a diversity of biological communities that make the park a popular destination for birding and wildlife viewing. Every fall, Bald Eagles, other migrating raptors, and Monarch Butterflies are commonly sighted here as they head south for the winter. A surprising site, you might even see Black Bears, Sea Turtles, and Alligators sharing the same stretch of beach…watch for tracks!

 

N15Carrabelle Beach

A beautiful uncrowded beach with public bathrooms and covered picnic areas. It is great for sunbathing, swimming, and surf fishing. The location is marked with a heritage sign for its role in practiced military amphibious landings in preparation for the invasion of Normandy. A full-service campground is located across the street.

 

 

 

N16Deer Lake State Park

Deer Lake State Park shares its name with the coastal dune lake within its boundaries. Coastal dune lakes are extremely rare worldwide and in the United States they occur only along the Florida Gulf Coast. Southern Magnolias, Golden Asters, Woody Goldenrod, and Scrub Oaks can be seen in this coastal dune habitat. Rare plants such as Gulf Coast Lupine, Spoonflower, Pitcher Plants, and Curtiss’ Sand Grass – one of the largest populations found in Florida – are found in the park. Visitors may see splashes of color from summer wildflowers or some of the many species of resident or migratory birds and butterflies. A boardwalk across the dunes offers easy access to the beach where visitors can picnic, swim, and fish. It also offers a spectacular view of the dune ecosystem, one of 11 natural communities found in the park.

 

Grayton BeachGrayton Beach State Park

Grayton Beach consistently ranks among the most beautiful and pristine beaches in the United States. The beach provides an idyllic setting for swimming, sunbathing, and surf fishing and is the backdrop for golden sunrises and silver moonlit evenings. The nearly 2,000-acre park features a boat ramp that provides access to the lake’s brackish waters for both freshwater and saltwater fishing. Visitors can paddle a canoe, paddle board, or kayak on scenic Western Lake to get a closer look at a salt marsh ecosystem. A nature trail winds through a coastal forest where Scrub Oaks and Magnolias stand, bent and twisted into dramatic shapes by the salt winds. Hikers and bicyclists can enjoy more than four miles of trails throughout the pine flatwoods. Options for overnight stays include modern cabins and a full- facility campground.

 

N18St. George Island State Park

1,962 acres of long, narrow barrier island, with miles of undeveloped beaches, dunes, and emerald waters provide the perfect setting for a day at the beach. Few parks offer better opportunities for Gulf Coast shelling. Anglers can fish for Flounder, Redfish, Sea Trout, Pompano, Whiting, and Spanish Mackerel. During spring migration, birders should look for songbirds in the small oaks near the youth camp area and park campground. Shore birds such as the Snowy Plover, Least Tern, Black Skimmer, and Willet often nest along the park’s sandy shores and grass flats. Watch for Gopher Tortoise near the youth camp area. Sea turtles nest along the park beaches, with Loggerhead Turtles being the most common. There is a display of an oyster boat at the boat launch facility. The campground features full- facility campsites as well as a primitive campsite that can be accessed by trail or by private boat.

 

N19Topsail Hill Preserve State Park

Topsail Hill offers a wide variety of natural resources including 3.2 miles of secluded white sand beaches with majestic dunes over 25 feet tall. Three rare coastal dune lakes provide excellent freshwater fishing. Lakes, pristine beaches, old-growth Long Leaf Pines, Sand Pine Scrub, and a variety of wetlands make this a bird-watching and hiking paradise. Visitors may bike, walk, or enjoy a quick ride to the beach on the tram to swim, fish, sunbathe, or beachcomb. The Gregory E. Moore RV resort features a (non- heated) swimming pool and shuffleboard courts. Furnished bungalows are available for weekly stays. A camp store offers a variety of camping items, as well as souvenirs and rentals.