Whether you enjoy hiking a rugged trail, kayaking an ancient river, sunbathing at the world’s best beaches, learning about ancient cultures or touring historic homes, you’ll find just the right setting at any one of Florida’s 161 state parks.
A favorite of families for the past seven decades, Florida State Parks will stir your imagination and leave you with a greater appreciation for the people, places and events that have shaped this great state. Discover the legacies that remain from the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and spend the night in cabins built by young American men during the Great Depression. Enjoy the cozy atmosphere of recently built cabins along the famous Suwannee River or overlooking Central Florida’s chain of lakes.
Camping enthusiasts will find well-maintained facilities and a safe, friendly atmosphere to get away from it all and enjoy the beauty of this state’s natural landscapes. Many parks with water features including beaches, lakes, springs or rivers offer water craft rentals such as canoes or kayaks.
The Florida Parks app includes these awesome state parks:
Alafia River State ParkSome of the most challenging off-road bicycling trails in Florida can be found at Alafia River State Park. Located on what was once a phosphate mining site, the unique topography of the reclaimed land offers some of Florida"s most radical elevation changes. Alafia State Park is home to 17 miles of bike trails, ranging from beginner to advanced. Alafia also offers equestrians and hikers the opportunity to explore mixed hardwood forests, pine flatwoods and rolling hills with 20 miles of hiking and horse trails. The abundance of wildlife found along Alafia"s trails will delight any bird-watcher or nature enthusiast. The south prong of the Alafia River and lakes scattered throughout the park provide ample opportunities for canoeing and fishing. The 6,260 acre park also offers picnic pavilions, a playground, horseshoe pit and volleyball court. For overnight stays, the park has a full-facility campground for both primitive and RV camping, as well as equestrian friendly campsites.
Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State ParkThe beautiful ornamental gardens are located on a portion of the park"s 1,076 upland acres. The gardens were first planted in 1923 by Alfred B. and Louise Maclay after purchasing the property for their winter home. A masterpiece of floral architecture, the gardens feature a picturesque brick walkway, a secret garden, a reflection pool, a walled garden and hundreds of azalea and camellia plants. Lake Hall offers swimming and fishing, along with non-motorized boating for canoers and kayakers. Pavilions and grills along the shore provide a perfect setting for picnicking. Two short nature trails through the woods overlooking the lake will enthrall walking enthusiasts, while hikers, bicyclists and equestrians can enjoy five miles of multi-use trails surrounding Lake Overstreet which adjoins the gardens. High blooming season is from January 1-April 30, peaking in mid-to-late March.
Allen David Broussard Catfish Creek Preserve State ParkLocated along the beautiful Lake Wales Ridge, Allen David Broussard Catfish Creek Preserve State Park, covers more than 8,000 acres of scrub, sandhill and flatwoods land, in addition to 65 acres of submerged land. The preserve offers six miles of hiking trails, seven miles of equestrian trails, a covered pavilion, fishing and excellent wildlife viewing opportunities. The preserve is home to numerous rare plants, such as scrub morning glory, scrub plum, pygmy fringe tree and cutthroat grass and several protected animal species including Florida scrub-jays, bald eagles, gopher tortoises and Florida scrub lizards. When you visit the preserve make sure you are prepared for the rugged conditions typical of the scrub habitat. Bring plenty of water and be prepared for the challenging trails at the park. Enjoy your visit and bring back memories of one of the rarer habitats in Florida.
Amelia Island State ParkAn easy drive from Jacksonville, the park protects over 200 acres of unspoiled wilderness along the southern tip of Amelia Island. Beautiful beaches, salt marshes and coastal maritime forests provide visitors a glimpse of the original Florida. Amelia Island State Park is one of the few locations on the east coast that offers horseback riding on the beach and riding tours along the shoreline. Fishermen can surf fish along the shoreline or they can wet their line from the mile-long George Crady Bridge Fishing Pier which spans Nassau Sound. Visitors can also stroll along the beach, swim in the surf, look for shells or watch the wildlife. For horseback tour reservations, contact Kelly Seahorse Ranch at (904) 491-5166. Tours are given four times daily.
We welcome you to visit all seven of the parks which collectively comprise Talbot Islands State Parks: Pumpkin Hill Creek Preserve State Park, George Crady Bridge Fishing Pier State Park, Little Talbot Island State Park, Fort George Island Cultural State Park, Yellow Bluff Fort Historic State Park and Big Talbot Island State Park.
Anastasia State ParkAnastasia State Park includes more than 1,600 acres featuring four miles of pristine beach, a tidal salt marsh, and a maritime and upland hammock. There is also an archaeological site where coquina rock was mined to create the nearby fortress, Castillo de San Marcos National Monument.
At Anastasia you can enjoy camping, beachcombing, swimming, picnicking, fishing, windsurfing, hiking, wildlife viewing, boating and more. Anastasia"s full-facility campground, including 139 campsites, is located in a wooded area within easy bicycling or walking distance of the beach. A self-guided nature trail guides hikers through a maritime hammock on ancient sand dunes and anglers have the opportunity to haul in the big catch.
Island Joe's camp store, rental shop, and grill sells beach sundries, camping and fishing supplies, rents bicycles, beach chairs, ocean toys and umbrellas in addition to delicious food. Call 904-461-9322 for more information. Anastasia Watersports rents canoes, sailboards, paddleboats and kayaks. Lessons on various water sports are available. Call (904) 460-9111 for more information.
Anclote Key Preserve State ParkEnjoy the blue-green Gulf waters that lap gently along the sandy beaches of the four islands that make up Anclote Key Preserve State Park - Anclote Key, North Anclote Bar, South Anclote Bar and Three Rooker Island. Located three miles off the coast of Tarpon Springs, Anclote Key Preserve State Park is accessible only by private boat or ferry service. The 403-acre park is home to at least 43 species of birds, including the American oystercatcher, bald eagle and piping plover. A picturesque 1887 lighthouse stands as a sentinel on the southern end of the island. Visitors can swim and sunbathe at the beach, fire up a grill and enjoy a picnic or pitch a tent and enjoy a night of primitive camping under the stars. There are no provisions offered on the island, so be prepared to bring your own water and supplies. Ferry service to the island is offered by Sun Line Cruises (727) 944-4468 and Sponge-O-Rama (727) 943-2164. These ferries both leave from Tarpon Springs' historic Sponge Docks.
Avalon State ParkAvalon has more than a mile of increasingly rare undeveloped beachfront. The park provides habitat for many species of wildlife. Threatened and endangered sea turtles like the loggerhead, Atlantic green and leatherback nest on the beach during the spring and summer. Dune crossovers protect the fragile dune ecosystem. The park is ideal for swimmers, snorkelers, fishermen and sunbathers for beach recreation. Swimmers and snorkelers are advised to be cautious of underwater obstacles left behind by amphibious warfare exercises during World War II.Visitors can enjoy a meal at sheltered picnic tables overlooking the beach.
Bahia Honda State ParkHenry Flagler's railroad to Key West turned the remote island of Bahia Honda Key into a tropical destination. Today, the island is home to one of Florida's southernmost state parks, known for beautiful beaches, magnificent sunsets and excellent snorkeling. Visitors can picnic on the beach and take a swim or relax and enjoy the balmy sea breezes that caress the shores year-round. Anglers can fish from shore or bring a boat and launch at the boat ramp. Kayaks and snorkeling gear can be rented. Boat trips to the reef for a snorkeling excursion are available. Bahia Honda is an excellent place to see wading birds and shorebirds. The nature center introduces nature lovers to the island's plants and animals. Full-facility campsites and vacation cabins are available.
Bald Point State ParkSome of the most picturesque scenic areas along north Florida"s Gulf Coast are found within the park which supports 4,065 upland acres. 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. Each fall, bald eagles and other migrating raptors along with monarch butterflies are commonly seen heading south for the winter. Bald Point offers access to two Apalachee Bay beaches for swimming, sunbathing, fishing, canoeing, kayaking and windsurfing. Facilities include a fishing dock and picnic pavilions.
Big Lagoon State ParkSitting on the northern shoreline of its namesake, Big Lagoon State Park"s 655 upland acres separate the mainland from Perdido Key and the Gulf of Mexico. Natural communities, ranging from saltwater marshes to pine flatwoods, attract a wide variety of birds, especially during the spring and fall migrations, while the beaches, shallow bays, nature trails and open woodlands offer splendid opportunities for nature study. The park also beckons visitors to camp, swim, fish, boat, canoe and hike. Crabbing in the shallow waters of Big Lagoon is a popular activity as well. The West Beach picnic area, shaded by pines and oaks, is just the place to enjoy a relaxing meal.
Big Shoals State ParkBig Shoals State Park features the largest whitewater rapids in Florida. Limestone bluffs, towering 80 feet above the banks of the Suwannee River, afford outstanding vistas not found anywhere else in Florida. When the water level on the Suwannee River is between 59 and 61 feet above mean sea level, the Big Shoals rapids earn a Class III Whitewater classification, attracting thrill-seeking canoe and kayak enthusiasts. Over 28 miles of wooded trails provide opportunities for hiking, biking, horseback riding and wildlife viewing. The Woodpecker Trail, a 3.4-mile long multipurpose paved trail, connects the Little Shoals and Big Shoals entrances to the park. The river offers excellent opportunities for freshwater fishing. A picnic pavilion that seats up to 40 people is available at the Little Shoals entrance.
Big Talbot Island State ParkLocated on one of Northeast Florida"s unique sea islands, Big Talbot Island State Park is primarily a natural preserve providing a premier location for nature study, bird-watching, and photography. Explore the diverse island habitats by hiking Blackrock Trail to the shoreline, Big Pine Trail to the marsh or Old Kings Highway and Jones Cut through the maritime forest.
Launch a boat from the north end of the island to fish and tour the salt marsh or rent a kayak and take a guided paddle tour with Kayak Amelia, (888) 30-KAYAK (305-2925). Kayak tours require advanced reservation.
Visit The Bluffs and enjoy a picnic at one of the pavilions overlooking the water or take a quick stroll down the trail to Boneyard Beach. The unique beach is famous for the salt washed skeletons of live oak and cedar trees that once grew near the shore.
We welcome you to visit all seven of the parks which collectively comprise Talbot Islands State Parks: Pumpkin Hill Creek Preserve State Park, Amelia Island State Park, George Crady Bridge Fishing Pier State Park, Little Talbot Island State Park, Fort George Island Cultural State Park, and Yellow Bluff Fort Historic State Park.
Bill Baggs Cape Florida State ParkCape Florida is the home of a historic lighthouse built in 1825 and reconstructed in 1846, the oldest standing structure in Miami-Dade County. Visitors come to the park to sunbathe, swim and picnic on more than one mile of sandy Atlantic beachfront. Biking and kayaking are popular activities. Anglers can throw in their lines from the seawall along Biscayne Bay for some of the best shoreline fishing in the region. Guided tours of the lighthouse and lighthouse keeper's cottage are given twice daily, Thursdays through Mondays. Two restaurants, Lighthouse Café and Boater"s Grill, offer authentic Cuban cuisine or picnickers can reserve a pavilion and fire up their own grill. Bicycles, beach chairs, and umbrellas can be rented. Overnight boat camping is allowed in No Name Harbor and a primitive campsite is available for organized youth groups.
Blackwater River State ParkA favorite destination for canoeists and kayakers, Blackwater River State Park offers opportunities for a variety of outdoor activities. The river is one of the purest sand-bottom rivers in the nation, making this park a popular place for swimming, fishing, camping, and paddling. Shaded campsites are just a short walk from the river and a picnic pavilion overlooks the river. Nature enthusiasts will enjoy strolling along trails through the more than 600 acres of undisturbed natural communities. In 1980 the park was certified as a Registered State Natural Feature for its exceptional illustration of Florida"s natural history. One of the largest and oldest Atlantic white cedars stands among the many that line the river and in 1982, it was recognized as a Florida Champion tree.
Blue Spring State ParkBlue Spring State Park covers more than 2,600 acres including the largest spring on the St. Johns River. Blue Spring is a designated Manatee Refuge and the winter home to a growing population of West Indian Manatees. The spring and spring run are closed during Manatee season, mid-November through March, swimming or diving with manatees is not permitted, this rule is strictly enforced.
For centuries, the spring area was home for Native Americans. In 1766 it was visited by Colonial American botanist John Bartram, but it was not until 1856 that it was settled by Louis Thursby and his family. The Thursby house, built in 1872, remains standing. The spring's crystal clear, 73 degree water can be enjoyed by swimmers, snorkelers, and certified scuba divers with a partner. The river is popular for fishing, canoeing, and boating. River boat tours are available; for reservations, call St. Johns River Cruises at (386) 917-0724. The park has plenty of picnic areas and a hiking trail. For overnight stays, air-conditioned cabins, a full-facility campground and primitive campsites are available.
Bulow Creek State ParkBulow Creek protects nearly 5,600 acres, more than 1,500 of which are submerged lands. The highlight of Bulow Creek is one of the largest remaining stands of southern live oak forest along Florida's east coast. The reigning tree is the Fairchild Oak, one of the largest live oak trees in the south. For more than 400 years it has been a silent witness to human activities along Bulow Creek, including the destruction of the neighboring Bulow Plantation during the Second Seminole War in 1836. Several trails allow hikers to explore the interior of the park, where visitors can see white-tailed deer, barred owls and raccoons. The Bulow Woods Trail, nearly seven miles long, takes hikers to Bulow Plantation Ruins Historic State Park. Visitors can picnic in a shady pavilion or at a table on the lawn within view of the Fairchild Oak.
Bulow Plantation Ruins Historic State ParkThe 150 acres of Bulow Plantation Ruins stand as a monument to the rise and fall of sugar plantations in East Florida. In 1836, the Second Seminole War swept away the prosperous Bulow Plantation where the Bulow family grew sugar cane, cotton, rice and indigo. Ruins of the former plantation, a sugar mill, a unique spring house, several wells and the crumbling foundations of the plantation house and slave cabins show how volatile the Florida frontier was in the early 19th century. Today, a scenic walking trail leads visitors to the sugar mill ruins, listed on the National Register of Historic Sites. The park has picnic facilities and an interpretive center that tells the plantation's history. A boat ramp provides access for canoes and small powerboats to scenic Bulow Creek, a designated state canoe trail. Anglers can fish from the dock or a boat.
Caladesi Island State ParkAs one of the few completely natural islands along Florida's Gulf Coast, Caladesi's white sand beaches were rated America's Best Beach in 2008. Beach lovers can enjoy swimming, sunbathing and beachcombing. Saltwater anglers can cast a line from their boats or surf fish. Nature enthusiasts can spot wildlife while hiking the three mile nature trail through the island's interior or paddling a three mile kayak trail through the mangroves and bay. Picnic tables and shelters are located near the beach, and picnic pavilions can be reserved for a fee. The park has a marina with electric and water hookups, as well as a snack bar and gift shop. The 661-acre park is only accessible by boat or ferry. Ferry service is provided by the Caladesi Island Ferry (727) 734-1501 and departs from Honeymoon Island State Park.
Camp Helen State ParkCamp Helen is bordered by the Gulf of Mexico on three sides, and Lake Powell – one of the largest coastal dune lakes in Florida. Prehistoric middens and mounds indicate that humans inhabited the area more than 4,000 years ago. From 1945 until 1987 Camp Helen was a company resort for the employees of an Alabama textile mill. Some of those buildings have now been restored. The 180-acre park is for day use only. Activities include swimming, beachcombing, nature study, hiking and both freshwater and saltwater fishing.
Cayo Costa State ParkWith nine miles of beautiful beaches and acres of pine forests, oak-palm hammocks and mangrove swamps, this barrier island park is a Gulf Coast paradise. Cayo Costa is accessible only by private boat or ferry. Visitors may see manatees and pods of dolphins in the waters around the 2,426 acre park, as well as a spectacular assortment of birds. On the island, visitors can swim or snorkel in the surf, enjoy the sun and picnic in the shade. Keep your eyes peeled as you stroll along the beach, especially during the winter months. The nature trails that crisscross the island provide opportunities for hiking and off-road bicycling. Saltwater anglers can fish from their boats or throw a line out into the surf. An amphitheater provides educational programs about the island"s ecology and history. For overnight stays, the park offers primitive cabins and tent camping. The ferry, Tropic Star of Pine Island, departs from Pineland, Florida (Pine Island) and requires reservations.
Cedar Key Museum State ParkPicturesque Cedar Key, on Florida's Gulf Coast, was a thriving port city and railroad connection during the 19th century. The museum contains exhibits that depict its colorful history during that era. Part of the collection has sea shells and Indian artifacts collected by Saint Clair Whitman, the founder of the first museum in Cedar Key. Whitman's house is located at the park and has been restored to reflect life in the 1920s. A short nature trail gives visitors the opportunity to see wildlife and birds, as well as native vegetation. Small gray squirrels, doves, mockingbirds, blue jays, woodpeckers and green tree frogs can be seen on the museum grounds and along the walking trail.
Cedar Key Scrub State ReserveSalt marshes on the Gulf of Mexico give way to a succession of swamps, hardwood forests, pine flatwoods and scrub, providing splendid opportunities for nature study and wildlife observation. The scrub is dominated by species such as sand live oak, myrtle oak and Chapman's oak, along with rusty lyonia and saw palmetto. Hikers and off-road bicyclists who want to experience a mosaic of Florida habitats will find it on the miles of trails that wind through the park. The shallow waters and numerous creeks near the salt marshes are ideal for canoeing and kayaking. Rental canoes and kayaks are available in the city of Cedar Key.
Charlotte Harbor Preserve State ParkCharlotte Harbor Preserve State Park is comprised of 42,000 acres and protects 70 miles of shoreline along Charlotte Harbor in Charlotte and Lee Counties. Visitors can take advantage of opportunities to hike, fish, paddle and observe wildlife in the park"s many natural communities, including mangrove forests, marshes, scrub habitats and pine flatwoods. Most of the park is shallow water fringed by mangroves, providing amazing opportunities to view wading birds, manatees, dolphins and other wildlife. The park is best accessed by kayak or canoe. Portions of two paddle trail systems wind through the park. Hikers and bird-watchers can access Charlotte Harbor"s upland areas at pedestrian walkthroughs available in each section of the park and explore the wildlife found along three marked trails. Visitors can also enjoy the resources provided by the Charlotte Harbor Environmental Center (CHEC) located in the park. CHEC is a non-profit group that offers a visitor's center, environmental education programs, interpretive guided hikes and six miles of marked trails. More information can be found at www.checflorida.org. Visitors are welcome to explore other areas of the Preserve, unless posted as closed, but should be aware that these areas are a remote and primitive wilderness. Visitors should take a compass, a map and sufficient water for their trip. No restrooms or drinking water are available.
Collier-Seminole State ParkExperience the natural beauty and wildlife of the Everglades, as well as a forest of tropical trees at Collier-Seminole State Park. The 7,271-acre park lies partly within the great mangrove swamp of southern Florida, one of the largest mangrove swamps in the world. Collier-Seminole also contains one of the three original stands of the rare royal palm in Florida. The park is the site of a National Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark, the last existing Bay City Walking Dredge. Built in 1924, it was used to build the Tamiami Trail Highway (U.S. 41) through the Everglades and Big Cypress Swamp, linking Tampa and Miami and opening southwest Florida to travelers. Visitors to Collier-Seminole have the opportunity to explore the park"s wilderness in many ways, including hiking, bicycling or canoeing. Collier-Seminole provides canoe rentals, as well as a boat ramp with access to the Blackwater River, where anglers can fish for both saltwater and freshwater fishing. Collier-Seminole offers full-facility, primitive and youth camping. The picnic areas have pavilions and grills for use on a first-come-first-served basis.
Colt Creek State ParkColt Creek was purchased from the Overstreet Family in May of 2006. This 5,067 acre park nestled within the Green Swamp Wilderness Area and named after one of the tributaries that flows through the property was opened to the public on January 20, 2007. For over 60 years this property was managed as a cattle ranch by the Overstreet family. Past activities on the land included lime rock mining, timber harvesting, citrus production and turpentining. Comprised mainly of pine flatwoods, cypress domes and open pasture land, this piece of pristine wilderness is home to many animal species including the American Bald Eagle, Sherman"s Fox Squirrel, gopher tortoise, white-tailed deer, wild turkey and bobcat. The park is currently equipped with a lime rock entrance road, grass parking area, wheelchair accessible restroom, informational kiosk, picnic pavilion and several picnic tables and grills. Visitors are invited to fish, picnic and hike or ride their horses on over 12 miles of trails and enjoy nature study at its finest.
Constitution Convention Museum State ParkThe original settlement in St. Joseph lasted only nine years, but was a boomtown when it was founded in 1835 and competed with Apalachicola as a Gulf Coast trading port. During its short life, the city was selected over Tallahassee to host Florida's first State Constitution Convention. The museum, which sits on a portion of the park"s 12 acres, commemorates the work of the 56 territorial delegates who drafted Florida's first constitution in 1838. Following four more constitution conventions, Florida was finally admitted to the Union in 1845 as the 27th state. Visitors can take a self-guided tour through displays and exhibits of the era. A replicated convention hall takes visitors into the debate of delegates Robert Raymond Reid, William P. Duvall, David Y. Levy and Thomas L Baltzell. These life-size, audio-animated mannequins bring a realistic demonstration of the debate and process of drafting a state constitution.
Crystal River Archaeological State ParkA National Historic Landmark, this 61-acre, pre-Columbian, Native American site has burial mounds, temple/platform mounds, a plaza area and a substantial midden. The six-mound complex is one of the longest continuously occupied sites in Florida. For 1,600 years the site served as an imposing ceremonial center for Native Americans. People traveled to the complex from great distances to bury their dead and conduct trade. It is estimated that as many as 7,500 Native Americans may have visited the complex every year. Although primarily an archaeological site, the park sits on the edge of an expansive coastal marsh. Anglers may catch saltwater and freshwater fish. As part of the Great Florida Birding Trail, the park offers bird-watchers the chance to observe a variety of birds.
Crystal River Preserve State ParkA place of exceptional natural beauty, the undisturbed islands, inlets, backwaters and forests of this Crystal River Preserve are especially cherished by nature lovers and photographers. The park borders 20 miles of the northern Gulf Coast between the two cities of Yankeetown and Homosassa. Visitors can hike or bicycle along nine miles of trails or study the native wildlife and plants on the two-and-a-half mile interpretive trail. Anglers can walk down a short path to the Mullet Hole for a relaxing afternoon of fishing. Paddlers can launch a kayak or canoe into the waters of the scenic Crystal River to see the park from the water. On the third Saturday of each month, the visitor center features the Redfish Revue Theatre, a video presentation about the park.
Curry Hammock State ParkCurry Hammock is made up of a group of islands in the Middle Keys, with public access to swimming, a playground, picnic tables, grills and showers on the ocean side of Little Crawl Key. The hardwood hammocks found on these tropical islands support one of the largest populations of thatch palms in the United States. Mangrove swamps, seagrass beds and wetlands provide vital habitats for tropical wildlife.
Dade Battlefield Historic State ParkEvery January, under the oaks of Dade Battlefield State Park, history lovers gather to commemorate the battle that started the Second Seminole War. On December 28, 1835, Indian warriors ambushed 108 U.S. soldiers at this site, and only three soldiers survived. The 80-acre park protects not only a historic battlefield, but also the natural communities as they existed during the war. As you stroll the half-mile trail through pine flatwoods, keep your eyes peeled for gopher tortoises, woodpeckers, songbirds, hawks or indigo snakes. The amenities of Dade Battlefield include a playground, picnic area with covered shelters and recreation hall. The park"s visitor center provides information and displays about the historic battle, as well as a 12 minute video history of the battle This Land, These Men.
Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State ParkOnce slated to become a condominium development, this park contains one of the largest tracts of West Indian tropical hardwood hammock in the United States. The park is home to 84 protected species of plants and animals, including wild cotton, mahogany mistletoe and the American crocodile. Exploring the park's trails gives visitors a chance to see some of these rare species of plants and animals. Over six miles of nature trails provide a wealth of opportunities for birdwatchers and photographers. Most of the park's trails are paved and accessible to both bicycles and wheelchairs. Signs along a self-guided nature trail provide information about the park's ecosystem and wildlife. Ranger-guided tours are also available.
De Leon Springs State ParkNative Americans visited and used these springs as long as 6,000 years ago. In the early 1800s, settlers built sugar and cotton plantations that were sacked by Seminole Indians during the Second Seminole War. By the 1880s the springs had become a winter resort, and tourists were promised "a fountain of youth impregnated with a deliciously healthy combination of soda and sulphur." The swimming area is adjacent to a beautiful, shady picnic ground. Canoe, kayak and paddleboat rentals are available for a paddling tour of the spring and spring run. De Leon Springs flows into the Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge where canoeists and kayakers can explore 18,000 acres of lakes, creeks and marshes. At The Old Spanish Sugar Mill Restaurant, guests can make their own pancakes at the table.
Deer Lake State ParkDeer 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 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.
Delnor-Wiggins Pass State ParkOne of the most popular seaside destinations in Naples, the mile-long stretch of white sugar sand at Delnor-Wiggins has been rated one of the best beaches in the nation. The 166-acre park is a tropical paradise for beach lovers, boaters and divers. The beach is a popular spot to sunbathe, swim, beachcomb, snorkel and picnic. At the beach along Wiggins Pass, where swimming is not allowed, fishing is a popular activity. Boaters can launch their vessels into Water Turkey Bay and travel to the Gulf or up the Cocohatchee River for both saltwater and freshwater fishing. Kayakers can enjoy paddling through estuaries and scuba divers can explore the hard bottom reef in the Gulf. At the north end of the island, a tower gives visitors a bird's-eye view of Wiggins Pass and the surrounding coastal habitat.
Devil's Millhopper Geological State ParkIn the midst of north Florida's sandy terrain and pine forests, a bowl-shaped cavity 120 feet deep leads down to a miniature rain forest. Small streams trickle down the steep slopes of the limestone sinkhole, disappearing through crevices in the ground. Lush vegetation thrives in the shade of the walls even in dry summers. A significant geological formation, Devil's Millhopper is a National Natural Landmark that has been visited by the curious since the early 1880s. Researchers have learned a great deal about Florida's natural history by studying fossil shark teeth, marine shells and the fossilized remains of extinct land animals found in the sink. Visitors can enjoy picnicking and learn more about this sinkhole through interpretive displays.
Don Pedro Island State ParkBeautiful Don Pedro Island State Park is part of an extensive chain of barrier islands extending along Florida"s Gulf Coast. Between Knight Island and Little Gasparilla Island, Don Pedro is accessible only by private boat or ferry. Boaters can tie up at the dock on the mangrove-lined bay side of the island. Access the dock via the channel south of the Cape Haze power line crossing, but be sure to idle, as the channel is only 2.5 feet deep. Keep your eyes peeled for endangered species such as West Indian manatees, gopher tortoises, bald eagles and American oystercatchers. With one mile of white sand beach, enjoy sunbathing, swimming, snorkeling and shelling on Don Pedro"s Gulf side. Boat and surf fishing are other favorite pastimes of visitors to the 230-acre park. Hikers and nature lovers can explore trails of the Park"s land base portion on the Cape Haze Peninsula. The 100-acre land base also offers a fishing dock, nature trails and a picnic shelter. Grande Tours, in Placida, offers ferry service to Don Pedro on certain days of the week.
Dr. Julian G. Bruce St. George Island State ParkMiles of undeveloped beach with the Gulf of Mexico on one side and Apalachicola Bay on the other provide the perfect setting for this 2,023-acre park. Two boat ramps provide access to Apalachicola Bay where anglers can fish for flounder, redfish, sea trout, pompano, whiting and Spanish mackerel. Few parks offer better opportunities for gulf coast shelling while enjoying the antics of the shore birds, such as the snowy plover, least tern, black skimmer and willet who often nest along the park"s sandy shores and grass flats. Visitors have ample opportunities for sunbathing, swimming, canoeing, boating, hiking, camping and nature study. The park has six large picnic shelters equipped with grills, tables and restrooms, and the campground features full-facility campsites. A primitive campsite can be accessed by trail or by private boat.
Dudley Farm Historic State ParkListed on the National Register of Historic Places, this park demonstrates the evolution of Florida farming from the 1850s to the mid-1940s-through three generations of the Dudley family. An authentic working farm, the homestead consists of 18 buildings, including the family farmhouse with original furnishings, an 1880s kitchen outbuilding, a general store and post office, and a functional cane syrup complex. Park staff in period clothing perform daily chores, raise crops and tend to livestock. The farm features seasonal cane grindings, corn shuckings and heritage varieties of livestock and plants. Deer, wild turkeys, gopher tortoises and bluebirds are still seen in the fields. The park has a visitor center, picnic area and nature trail.
Dunns Creek State ParkLocated south of a sharp bend in the St. Johns River, more than 6,200 acres of natural communities represent Dunns Creek. These natural communities include sandhills, covered with longleaf pines, wiregrass and sand pine scrub. These protect several endangered and threatened species, such as the gopher tortoise and other native animals. A picnic and hiking area is located on U.S. 17, north of Pomona Park. The 1.5-mile hiking and bicycling trail takes visitors to the pristine waters of Blue Pond.
Econfina River State ParkNestled along the northern Gulf Coast, the nearly 4,400-acre park protects a mosaic of diverse landscapes. The Econfina River meanders like a dark ribbon through pine flatwoods, oaks and palm forests to broad expanses of salt marsh dotted with pine islands. Nature lovers can explore nine miles of scenic, wooded trails by foot, bicycle or on horseback. Those who prefer water activities can explore the river by kayak, canoe or boat. Trails lead to a panoramic view of coastal Florida where lush islands and sand dunes left from a bygone era dot the horizon. The Econfina River empties into the Gulf of Mexico 2.2 miles south of the park's boat ramp with picnic facilities nearby. Equestrians must register with the park office prior to riding the trails.
Eden Gardens State ParkThe focal point of this 161-acre park is the beautifully renovated, two-story Wesley house with its elegant white columns and wrap-around porch. The moss-draped live oaks and ornamental gardens inspire visions of hoop skirts and landed gentry. Named after a wealthy Florida timber family, the park is part of the family"s estate. In 1963, Lois Maxon bought and renovated the home, creating a showplace for her family heirlooms and antiques. The house holds the second largest known collection of Louis XVI furniture in the United States. Visitors can also take a stroll along the grounds and enjoy the picnic area.
Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State ParkHome of one of the largest and deepest freshwater springs in the world, this park plays host to an abundance of wildlife, including alligators, turtles, deer, and birds. Daily guided riverboat tours provide a closer view of wildlife, and glass bottom boat tours are offered when the water is clear. Swimming is a popular activity during the hot summer months. A nature trail offers a leisurely walk along the upland wooded areas of the park. The Wakulla Springs Lodge was built in 1937 by financier Edward Ball and is open year-round. A full-service dining room overlooks the spring; lodge meeting facilities offer an excellent place for retreats. Wakulla Springs State Park and Lodge is listed on the Natural Register of Historic Places and is designated as a National Natural Landmark.
Egmont Key State ParkAlthough this park is primarily a wildlife refuge, it can be a personal refuge - a place to relax and collect shells along secluded, pristine beaches. Accessible only by private boat, Egmont Key has a unique natural and cultural history, including a lighthouse that has stood since 1858. During the 19th century, the island served as a camp for captured Seminoles at the end of the Third Seminole War and was later occupied by the Union Navy during the Civil War. In 1898, as the Spanish - American War threatened, Fort Dade was built on the island and remained active until 1923. After touring the historic sites and trails, visitors can enjoy swimming, fishing, wildlife viewing, and picnicking. Located at the mouth of Tampa Bay, southwest of Fort DeSoto Beach.
Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State ParkVisitors can see West Indian manatees every day of the year from the park's underwater observatory in the main spring. The park showcases native Florida wildlife, including manatees, black bears, bobcats, white-tailed deer, American alligators, American crocodiles, and river otters. Manatee programs are offered three times daily. At the Wildlife Encounter programs, snakes and other native animals are featured. Recreational opportunities include picnicking, nature study, and bird-watching. The park features a children's education center, providing hands-on experiences about Florida's environment. Transportation from the visitor center on U.S. 19 to the West Entrance is available by tram or boat. The park has two gift shops and a café with a selection of beverages and snacks. Plan 3 1/2 to 4 hours to tour the park. Check the Ranger Programs for a list of interactive events throughout the park each day.
Estero Bay Preserve State ParkThe first aquatic preserve established in Florida, this is one of the most productive estuaries in the state. The bay is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including the bald eagle. The preserve protects the water, inlets, and islands along 10 miles of Estero Bay. Visitors can canoe or kayak in the bay or on the Estero River. Launch facilities are available at Koreshan State Historic Site and Lovers Key/Carl E. Johnson State Park. Miles of trails offer visitors the opportunity to hike, bicycle, or study the variety of wildlife and native vegetation protected here. There are gopher tortoises, fiddler crabs, slash pines, and live oaks. Located near Estero, between Fort Myers and Naples. Take the Corkscrew Road exit from I-75, go west on Corkscrew Road, turn right on U.S. 41. Turn west (left) on Broadway West. Public access point is on the north (right) side of the road next to the Florida Power & Light substation.
Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State ParkWelcome to the Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park, "the Amazon of North America." The Fakahatchee Strand is a linear swamp forest, approximately twenty miles long by five miles wide and oriented from north to south. It has been sculpted by the movement of water for thousands of years and clean fresh water is the key to its existence. Beneath a protective canopy of bald cypress trees flows a slow moving, shallow river or slough that is warmer than the ambient temperature in the winter and cooler in the summer. The buffering effect of the slough and the deeper lakes that punctuate it shield the forest interior from extreme cold temperatures and this fosters a high level of rare and endangered tropical plant species.
The Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park hosts a wide array of habitats and forest types from the wetter swamps and prairies to the drier islands of tropical hardwood hammocks and pine rock lands. Its groves of native royal palms are the most abundant in the state and the ecosystem of the Fakahatchee Strand is the only place in the world where bald cypress trees and royal palms share the forest canopy. It is the orchid and bromeliad capital of the continent with 44 native orchids and 14 native bromeliad species. It is a haven for wildlife. Florida panthers still pursue white-tailed deer from the uplands across the wetlands. Florida black bears and Eastern indigo snakes, Everglades minks and diamondback terrapins can still be found here. The resident and migratory bird life is spectacular and attracts many enthusiastic visitors.
Changes on an ecosystem-wide level are predicted to occur within the Fakahatchee Strand over the coming decades as the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) is implemented. The restoration of the Prairie Canal which defines the western border of the Preserve is an especially important aspect of CERP. For almost half a century the Prairie Canal has hastened the drainage of water that the native plant and animal communities of the Fakahatchee Strand depend upon. Once the Prairie Canal is completely filled in, the surface water will move across the landscape, draining slowly instead of poring into bigger canals and gushing into the estuaries of the 10,000 Islands. It will recharge groundwater and pass through the natural filtration processes of swamps, prairies, marshes and mangroves before gradually mixing with salt water. It is and will continue to be an important source of fresh water for human and natural communities.
The southern portion of the Fakahatchee Strand Preserve is a part of one of the most productive estuarine ecosystems in the world. Beneath the surface, where fresh water gradually becomes more saline, ideal conditions exist for spawning and the development of the fry of commercially and recreationally important fish species. Rookeries of wading birds color the landscape with dots of white, blue and pink. Canoeists and kayakers enjoy exploring amidst the scenic beauty. Anglers ply the mangrove-hugged backwaters for snook, snapper, tarpon and redfish. West Indian manatees float about in slow motion while American crocodiles carry on their secretive existence, slipping in and out of the of the tannic water to bask in the sun. On the coastal keys of the Ten Thousand Islands, loggerhead and green sea turtles return annually to nest on the same spits of white sand beach from which they themselves once emerged.
In spite of the ecological damage visited upon the Fakahatchee Strand in the past by clear-cut logging, road building and drainage, it has recovered remarkably well and remains a fairly intact and functional natural system. The raised railway beds or trams of the old logging train still crisscross the Fakahatchee Strand and they create a grid of trails, many of which are maintained for hiking. The Big Cypress Bend Boardwalk provides visitors a glimpse into the past as it winds through a stand of primary cypress forest. The Fakahatchee Strand is an ecological gem. It has much to offer and every season presents different opportunities for visitors. Contact the Preserve Office for upcoming activities like guided swamp walks and canoe trips.
Falling Waters State ParkHuge trees and fern-covered sinkholes line Sink Hole Trail, the boardwalk that leads visitors to Florida's highest waterfall. Falling Waters Sink is a 100-foot deep, 20-foot wide cylindrical pit into which flows a small stream that drops 73 feet to the bottom of the sink. The water's final destination remains unknown. Only a few miles south of I-10, the park provides travelers with a quiet, serene stop on their journey. Visitors can see beautiful native and migrating butterflies in the butterfly garden, take a dip in the lake, or have a family picnic. Hikers can experience the verdant, gently sloping landscape of North Florida. Park rangers host interpretive programs in the amphitheater. Full-facility campsites nestled in a shady pine forest provide the perfect excuse for an overnight stay at Falling Waters.
Fanning Springs State ParkLocated on the Suwannee River, this inviting source of cool, clear water has attracted people for thousands of years. Fanning Springs now produces less than 65 million gallons of water daily, making it a second magnitude spring. Historically, Fanning Spring was a first-magnitude springs as recently as the 1990s. Swimming or snorkeling in the spring is a refreshing activity on a hot day. Visitors can enter the park by boat from the Suwannee River or by car from U.S. 19/98. Visitors enjoy the picnic area, playground and sandy volleyball court. A boardwalk overlooks the spring and river. Seasonal concessions provide food and canoe/kayak rentals. White-tailed deer, gray squirrels, red-shouldered hawks, pileated woodpeckers and barred owls are some of the animals seen in the park. Manatees sometimes visit the spring during the winter months. Five full-service cabins are available for rent. Primitive camping is available for a fee. Reserve a canoe or kayak by calling Suwannee Guides & Outfitters at 352) 542-8331.
Faver-Dykes State ParkNoted for its pristine condition, this tranquil park borders Pellicer Creek as it winds along Florida's east coast highways down to the Matanzas River. Pellicer Creek is a popular site for birding with more than one hundred bird species seen during spring and fall migrations. Songbirds, including the colorful wood warblers, along with eagles and falcons, return to nest at the park each year. Wading birds, such as egrets, wood storks, white ibis, and herons, feed in the tidal marshes and creeks. This peaceful park is also home to deer, turkeys, hawks, bobcats, and river otters. Fishing, picnicking, and nature walks are popular activities. Pellicer Creek is a designated state canoe trail and visitors can rent canoes at the park. A full-facility campground is available for overnight stays. Located 15 miles south of St. Augustine near the intersection of I-95 and U.S. 1.
Florida Caverns State ParkOne of the few state parks with dry (air filled) caves and the only Florida state park to offer cave tours to the public. The cave has dazzling formations of limestone stalactites, stalagmites, soda straws, flowstones and draperies. Florida Caverns is also popular for camping, swimming, fishing, picnicking, canoeing, boating, hiking, bicycling and horseback riding. Though the park does not rent horses, stables are available for equestrian campers. Cave tour lasts approximately 45 minutes and are considered to be moderately strenuous. An audiovisual program, touring the cave and other natural areas of the park, is available in the visitor center.
Cave tours are CLOSED on Tuesdays and Wednesdays each week.
Canoe rentals are not available on days the cave tours are closed.
Please be aware our cave tours sometimes sell out.
Call our Ranger Station prior to departing for the park to ensure that all tours have not sold out for that day (850)482-1228.
Florida Caverns State Park is here to serve and meet your family needs. Please stop by and enjoy your park.
Forest Capital Museum State ParkThe importance of forestry in Florida dates back to the early 1800s. The museum celebrates the heritage of Florida's forest industry. The heart of the museum is dedicated to longleaf pines and the 5,000 products manufactured from them. The 50-plus-year-old longleaf pines growing on the museum grounds provide a majestic canopy and create an enjoyable walking trail for visitors. Adjacent to the museum is an authentic 19th century Cracker homestead, much like those scattered throughout Florida at the turn of the century. Rangers lead interpretive tours during special events and upon request. Three covered pavilions, that seat up to 60 people each, are available.
Fort Clinch State ParkA part of the park system since 1935, Fort Clinch is one of the most well-preserved 19th century forts in the country. Although no battles were fought here, it was garrisoned during both the Civil and Spanish-American wars. During the 1930s, the Civilian Conservation Corps began preserving and rebuilding many of the structures of the abandoned fort. Daily tours with period reenactors depicting garrison life bring the fort to life for visitors. Sunbathing, swimming, and beachcombing are popular activities at the beach. Anglers can fish from the pier or take advantage of excellent surf fishing. Hikers and bicyclists can enjoy a six-mile trail through the park. Self-guided nature trails provide opportunities to learn about and observe native plants and wildlife. A full-facility campground and a youth camping area provide overnight accommodations.
Fort Cooper State ParkThe sparkling waters of Lake Holathlikaha were a welcome sight to sick and wounded soldiers during the Second Seminole War. In 1836, the First Georgia Battalion of Volunteers built a stockade for the soldiers resting here, enabling the Volunteers to hold their own through several skirmishes with the Seminole Indians. The park's diverse natural areas provide a refuge for many plants and animals, including threatened and endangered species. Fishing in Lake Holathlikaha is a popular activity; swimming is available only when the lake level is high enough. Private boats are not allowed on the lake, but paddleboat and canoe rentals are available. Nearly five miles of self-guided trails offer some of the best bird and wildlife viewing in Citrus County. Park visitors also can enjoy the picnic facilities, a recreation hall and primitive group campground.
Fort Foster State Historic SiteFort Foster State Historic Site is part of Hillsborough River State Park, though located on the East Side of US 301 from the park. Fort Foster is a reconstructed fort from the Second Seminole War. The Fort is located 1800 feet from the parking lot and has no restrooms available. Tours of the fort are offered (weather permitting) on Weekends and an annual Fort Foster Rendezvous with skirmishes is held in February.
An interpretive center is located on the West Side of U.S. 301 in Hillsborough River State Park. The interpretive center contains exhibits about the fort, the Seminoles, and the Second Seminole War. Admission to the visitor center is included in the entrance fee to Hillsborough River State Park.
Fort George Island Cultural State ParkNative Americans feasted here, colonists built a fort, and the Smart Set of the 1920s came for vacations. A site of human occupation for over 5,000 years, Fort George Island was named for a 1736 fort built to defend the southern flank of Georgia when it was a colony. Today's visitors come for boating, fishing, off-road bicycling, and hiking. A key attraction is the recently restored Ribault Club. Once an exclusive resort, it is now a visitor center with meeting space available for special functions. Behind the club, small boats, canoes, and kayaks can be launched on the tidal waters.
To reserve the Ribault Club for a special event, contact Amelia Occasions at 904-251-1050.
For an eco-friendly experience you won't soon forget, sign up for a guided tour of Fort George Island on a cross terrain Segway with Ecomotion Tours. This 2 hour tour departs from the historic Ribault Club and visits the Kingsley Plantation while traveling along more than 3 miles of maritime forest, abundant with plant and animal life. No experience necessary, but advance reservations are required so please call 904-251-9477 for more information.
We welcome you to visit all seven of the parks which collectively comprise Talbot Islands State Parks: Pumpkin Hill Creek Preserve State Park, Amelia Island State Park, George Crady Bridge Fishing Pier State Park, Little Talbot Island State Park, Yellow Bluff Fort Historic State Park and Big Talbot Island State Park.
Fort Mose Historic State ParkThe power politics of 18th century England and Spain reached across the Atlantic to the Florida frontier. In 1738, the Spanish governor of Florida chartered Fort Mose as a settlement for freed Africans who had fled slavery in the British Carolinas. When Spain ceded Florida to Britain in 1763, the inhabitants of Fort Mose migrated to Cuba. Although nothing remains of the fort, the site was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1994 for its importance in American history. Visitors may view the site from a boardwalk and stop for a picnic in a covered pavilion.
Fort Pierce Inlet State ParkThe shores and coastal waters at this park provide an abundance of recreational opportunities. The breathtakingly beautiful half-mile beach welcomes visitors for swimming, snorkeling, surfing, and scuba diving. Beachcombing, picnicking, or just relaxing on the sand are also popular activities. Dynamite Point was once the training site for WWII Navy Frogmen, but is now a haven for birdwatchers. Along the south end of the park, Fort Pierce Inlet is a popular place for anglers to catch their dinners. Jack Island Preserve, located one mile north of the park, has trails for hiking, bicycling, and nature study. At the west end of the Marsh Rabbit Run Trail, visitors can climb an observation tower to get a bird's-eye view of Indian River and the island. A primitive youth/group campground is available on a reservation basis; please call the park. Located four miles east of Fort Pierce, via North Causeway.
Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State ParkDesignated a National Historic Landmark in 1973, Florida's southernmost state park is popular for recreation, as well as U.S. military history. The fort was one of a series built in the mid-1800s to defend the nation's southeastern coastline. Completed in 1866, Fort Zachary Taylor played important roles in the Civil War and Spanish-American War. A beautiful beach at the southern end of the park provides opportunities for picnicking, swimming, snorkeling, and fishing. Visitors can also enjoy a short nature trail and bicycling within the park. A refreshment stand at the beach offers snacks, cold beverages, beach sundries, and souvenirs. Guided tours of the fort are available daily. Located in Key West at the end of Southard Street on Truman Annex.
Fred Gannon Rocky Bayou State ParkU.S. Air Force Colonel Fred Gannon was instrumental in transforming this site from a bombing practice range during World War II to a picturesque state park. The property now preserves beautiful old-growth longleaf pine trees, several over 300 years old, that once dominated this area of Florida. Rocky Bayou, the main feature of the park, is the trailing arm of Choctawhatchee Bay and is popular for boating and fishing. A double-lane boat ramp makes this one of the best boat launching locations on the bay, where both freshwater and saltwater fish are found. Other opportunities for fun include hiking, bicycling, picnicking and wildlife viewing. Puddin Head Lake, at the center of the park, is a great spot for freshwater fishing and canoeing. A well shaded campground is available for full-facility camping.
Gainesville-Hawthorne State TrailGainesville-Hawthorne State Trail stretches 16 miles from the city of Gainesville's Boulware Springs Park through the Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park and the Lochloosa Wildlife Management Area. The recreational trail is designed for walking, cycling and horseback riding. Parking is provided at three trail heads: 3300 SE 15th Street in Gainesville, at Boulware Springs City Park, 7902 SE 200th Drive, off of CR2082 west of Hawthorne and 2182 SE 71st Avenue in Hawthorne.
Gamble Plantation Historic State ParkThis antebellum mansion was home to Major Robert Gamble and headquarters of an extensive sugar plantation. It is the only surviving plantation house in South Florida. It is believed that Confederate Secretary of State, Judah P. Benjamin, took refuge here after the fall of the Confederacy, until his safe passage to England could be secured. In 1925, the house and 16 acres were saved by the United Daughters of the Confederacy and donated to the state. Today, the mansion is furnished in the style of a successful mid-19th century plantation. Guided tours of the house are given six times a day, Thursday through Monday and there are picnic tables on the grounds. The visitor center is open from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., Thursday through Monday; it is closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day. Located in Ellenton on U.S. 301 East.
Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreation AreaNestled between the Atlantic Ocean and the Intracoastal Waterway, this windswept park is named for Florida folk singer Gamble Rogers and railroad entrepreneur Henry Flagler. The beach is the most popular feature at this park, where visitors enjoy swimming, sunbathing, or beachcombing. The daily low tide is an ideal time to observe shore birds feeding in tidal ponds; summer months bring sea turtles that lay their eggs in the golden-brown sand. On the Intracoastal Waterway side of the park, picnic pavilions provide a shady place to enjoy a meal. A nature trail winds through a shady coastal forest of scrub oaks and saw palmetto. Boaters and canoeists can launch from a boat ramp on the Intracoastal Waterway. The park's full-facility campground overlooks the Atlantic Ocean and is just a short walk along a boardwalk from the beach. Located in Flagler Beach off Highway A1A.
Gasparilla Island State ParkSeparated from the mainland by Charlotte Harbor and Pine Island Sound, this island is part of a chain of Gulf Coast barrier islands. The centerpiece of Gasparilla is the restored Boca Grande Lighthouse built in 1890. Swimming, snorkeling, fishing, and nature study are popular activities. Shelling is particularly good in the winter months. Two picnic areas offer pavilions for shade and scenic views of the surrounding water. The lighthouse is open to the public 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. daily from November through April. From May through July and September it is open Wednesday through Sunday. The lighthouse will be closed during the month of August. It is closed on these major holidays: New Years Day, Martin Luther King's Birthday, Easter, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas. Visit www.barrierislandparkssociety.org for more information. Located on the south end of Gasparilla Island on the Boca Grande Causeway (private toll) at County Road 775 and Placida.
George Crady Bridge Fishing PierLocated in Jacksonville, this one-mile, pedestrian-only fishing bridge spans Nassau Sound and provides access to one of the best fishing areas in Northeast Florida. Anglers catch a variety of fish, including whiting, jacks, drum and tarpon. Access to the bridge is through Amelia Island State Park.
We welcome you to visit all seven of the parks which collectively comprise Talbot Islands State Parks: Pumpkin Hill Creek Preserve State Park, Amelia Island State Park, Little Talbot Island State Park, Fort George Island Cultural State Park, Yellow Bluff Fort Historic State Park and Big Talbot Island State Park.
Grayton Beach State ParkGrayton 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 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 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.
Henderson Beach State ParkPristine white sugar sand beaches and more than 6,000 feet of natural scenic shoreline border the emerald green waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Natural features of the park include sand pines, scrub oaks, and dune rosemary. Boardwalks provide access to the beach for swimming, sunbathing, and fishing. Two large pavilions allow for picnicking and grilling. A playground is the first stop on our nature trail and is sure to be a success with the kids. The nature trail provides visitors a rare glimpse of the coastal dune ecosystem and abundant wildlife and is pet friendly. Camping at Henderson Beach State Park provides 60 campsites that are located in our secondary dune system. The sites include water and electric hookups and access to air conditioned and heated bathhouse facilities. A separate beach access boardwalk with outdoor showers and a playground are included in our campground. Henderson Beach is A.D.A accessible and includes beach wheel chair availability. Visitors can enjoy truly breathtaking sunsets while relaxing by the warm crystal clear water of the Gulf of Mexico.
Highlands Hammock State ParkOne of Florida's oldest parks, opening to the public in 1931, this park was established when local citizens came together to promote the hammock as a candidate for national park status. During the Great Depression, just prior to World War II, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) developed additional park facilities and the beginnings of a botanical garden. Many visitors enjoy bicycling the scenic 3-mile loop drive or hiking along the park's nine trails. An elevated boardwalk traverses an old-growth cypress swamp. For equestrians, there is an 11-mile, day-use trail. Picnicking is another popular activity as are ranger-guided tours of the park. Highlands Hammock offers a full-facility campground, as well as a youth/group tent campground. A full-service restaurant is located on the park grounds. For schedule and catering information, call (863) 385-7025. A recreation hall is available for rental, as are several picnic pavilions. A museum showcasing the history of the CCC is open 9:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. Located on County Road 634, four miles west of Sebring.
Hillsborough River State ParkOpened in 1938, Hillsborough River State Park is one of Florida"s first state parks; this original CCC Park is divided by the swiftly flowing Hillsborough River with a set of Class II rapids. The river provides opportunities for fishing, canoeing, and kayaking; a canoe/kayak launch is available at parking lot#4. Some of our amenities are the Spirit of the Woods Café" which is open 9am-5pm seven days a week. This concession provides breakfast and lunch daily from 9am-4pm, camping & picnic supplies, and a variety of memorable souvenirs. Canoes and bikes can be rented from 9am –3pm and all rental equipment must be returned by 4pm. Hikers can walk over seven miles of nature trials. (Rapids Trail, Baynard Trail, a sub-section of the Florida Trail and the Wetlands Restoration Trail. Note: Wetlands Restoration accommodates both bicyclists and hikers only. When the weather calls for it, visitors can enjoy a refreshing swim in the park"s ADA accessible swimming pool. Please contact the park for swimming pool informational updates at (813) 987-6771.) The park offers full-facility camping and a youth/group tent campground. A primitive campsite is available via foot trail; reservations are always recommended.
Honeymoon Island State ParkThe pioneers called it Hog Island, but it became Honeymoon Isle in 1939 when a New York developer built 50 palm - thatched bungalows for honeymooners. Today, visitors can drive across Dunedin Causeway to enjoy the sun - drenched Gulf beaches, mangrove swamps, and tidal flats. Nature lovers will find osprey nests, a wide variety of shorebirds, and one of the few remaining virgin slash pine forests in South Florida. The park boasts several nature trails and bird observation areas. Visitors can swim, fish, and snorkel in the warm waters of the Gulf or picnic while they enjoy the beautiful scenery. Shelling is particularly good here, as the Gulf currents deposit an incredible variety of seashells on the shore. Showers are available and the park's concession has a gift shop and snack bar. Located at the extreme west end of State Road 586.
Hontoon Island State ParkThis island, located in the St. Johns River in Volusia County, welcomes visitors to enjoy nature and history in quiet solitude. The island is accessible only by private boat or park ferry. Evidence of Native American habitation over thousands of years can be witnessed as visitors hike through the park. Stop in and walk through the impressive visitor center to learn more about the many inhabitants and uses of Hontoon Island over the years. Boating, canoeing, and fishing are popular activities and canoe rentals are available. Picnic areas include tables, grills, and a playground. Overnight boat slip rentals are also available. The park's ferry operates daily from 8:00 a.m. to one hour before sunset. Located six miles west of Deland off State Road 44.
Hugh Taylor Birch State ParkA short walk from beachside shops and condominiums, this park is an oasis of tropical hammocks-a gift from Hugh Taylor Birch to Florida's posterity. His former estate preserves four distinct natural communities, nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and the Intracoastal Waterway. Visitors can rent a canoe and paddle along a mile-long freshwater lagoon or fish from the seawall. Nature lovers can hike along two short trails and learn about local plants and wildlife while bicyclists and skaters glide along the paved park road. Visitors can access the beach via the pedestrian tunnel under A1A. Picnic areas overlook the channel; pavilions with water and electricity are available for rental. A group/youth campground is available to organized groups. The Terramar Visitor Center features displays regarding the area's natural and cultural history. Located on East Sunrise Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale, off A1A.
Ichetucknee Springs State ParkThe crystalline Ichetucknee River flows six miles through shaded hammocks and wetlands before it joins the Santa Fe River. In 1972, the head spring of the river was declared a National Natural Landmark by the U. S. Department of the Interior. From the end of May until early September, tubing down the river is the premier activity in the area. In addition to tubing, visitors can enjoy picnicking, snorkeling, canoeing, swimming, hiking, and wildlife viewing. October through March scuba diving is available in the Blue Hole only (you must be cave certified). White-tailed deer, raccoons, wild turkeys, wood ducks and great blue herons can be seen from the river. Picnic areas, equipped with tables and grills, are available throughout the park. A full-service concession offers food, refreshments, and outdoor products from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Tubes plus snorkeling and diving equipment can be rented from private vendors outside the park located four miles northwest of Fort White, off State Roads 47 and 238.
Indian Key Historic State ParkIn 1836, Indian Key became the first county seat for Dade County. At that time, this tiny island was the site of a lucrative business-salvaging cargo from shipwrecks in the Florida Keys. Accessible only by canoe or kayak, visitors come here to swim, sunbathe, and hike. Fishing is also a popular activity. Boat and kayak rentals are available from Robbie's Marina at (305) 664-9814. Located on the oceanside of U.S. 1 at Mile Marker 78.5.
John D. MacArthur Beach State ParkA unique mixture of coastal and tropical hammock and mangrove forest, this barrier island provides a haven for several rare or endangered native tropical and coastal plant species. The park's Nature Center shows visitors why the park is a biological treasure. Visitors can swim, picnic, and surf at the beach; scuba diving and snorkeling are also popular activities. Birdwatchers can see herons, brown pelicans, terns, sandpipers, and gulls. Anglers can fish in the lagoon by wading, kayaking, or canoeing. They can also fish from non-swimming areas of the beach. Located in northern Palm Beach County, 2.8 miles south of the intersection of U.S. 1 and PGA Boulevard on A1A.
John Gorrie Museum State ParkA young physician named John Gorrie moved to Apalachicola in the early 1800s when it was a prominent port of trade, commerce, and shipping in Florida. Gorrie served as postmaster, city treasurer, town councilman, and bank director. Concern for his yellow fever patients motivated Gorrie to invent a method for cooling their rooms. He became a pioneer in the field of air conditioning and refrigeration by inventing a machine that made ice, and received the first U.S. Patent for mechanical refrigeration in 1851. A replica of his ice-making machine is on display at the museum, as well as exhibits chronicling the colorful history of Apalachicola, which played an important role in Florida's economic development.
John Pennekamp Coral Reef State ParkThe first underwater park in the U.S., John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park encompasses approximately 70 nautical square miles. While the mangrove swamps and tropical hammocks in the park"s upland areas offer visitors a unique experience, it is the coral reefs and their associated marine life that bring most visitors to the park. Many enjoy the view of the reef from a glass-bottom boat tour, but visitors can get a closer look by scuba diving or snorkeling. Canoeing and kayaking through the park"s waters are popular activities; fishing is permitted in designated areas. Visitors can enjoy walking on short trails, picnicking, or swimming at the beach. The Visitor Center has a 30,000-gallon saltwater aquarium and nature videos are shown in its theater. Full-facility and Youth/Group campsites are available. Beach wheelchairs are available without cost.
Florida"s state parks are committed to providing equal access to all facilities and programs. Should you need assistance to enable your participation, please contact the park directly.
For boat tour information and reservations, please call (305) 451-6300.
Located at Mile Marker 102.5 Overseas Highway in Key Largo.
John U. Lloyd Beach State ParkPerfect for a day at the beach or a family picnic, this park provides an abundance of recreational activities. Surf fishing, canoeing, swimming, nature study, boating, and picnicking will keep the whole family busy. For those interested in South Florida's underwater beauty, Lloyd Beach has one of the easiest and most interesting shore dives in the area. The park has two boat ramps with easy access to the ocean through the Port Everglades Inlet, which will please those who prefer to fish in open water. The mangrove-lined waterway is a scenic place to canoe, observe bird life, and take photographs. At the Loggerhead Café, visitors can have a leisurely lunch or grab a quick snack. A variety of items are available for rental: canoes, kayaks, paddleboats, sailboats, pontoon boats, gazebos, barbecue grills, and volleyballs. Located north of Hollywood, off A1A.
Jonathan Dickinson State ParkLocated just south of Stuart, this park teems with wildlife in 13 natural communities, including sand pine scrub, pine flatwoods, mangroves, and river swamps. The Loxahatchee River, Florida's first federally designated Wild and Scenic River, runs through the park. Ranger-guided tours of the 1930s pioneer homestead of Trapper Nelson are available year-round. Visitors can enjoy paved and off-road biking, equestrian, and hiking trails. Boating, canoeing, and kayaking along the river are also great ways to see the park. Anglers can fish along the riverbank or from a boat. The nature and history of the park comes to life through exhibits and displays in the Elsa Kimbell Environmental Education and Research Center. Programs for the kids, or for the whole family, are also offered here. The park also offers two full-facility campgrounds and a youth/group primitive campground. Visitors can arrange boat tours of the river and rent canoes, kayaks, and motorboats by calling (561) 746-1466. Located 12 miles south of Stuart on U.S. 1.
Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State ParkThis preserve protects one of the largest remaining stretches of Florida dry prairie, home to an array of endangered plants and animals. While driving the five-mile-long road into the park, visitors can enjoy sweeping vistas of grasslands reminiscent of the Great Plains of the Midwest. The park offers excellent seasonal birding opportunities and is home to the endangered Florida grasshopper sparrow, as well as the crested caracara and sandhill crane. Over 100 miles of dirt roads allow hikers, bicyclists, and equestrians to explore prairies, wetlands, and shady hammocks. Ranger-led prairie buggy tours take visitors to remote areas of the park. For overnight stays, the park has full-facility and primitive equestrian campgrounds. Kissimmee Prairie's remote location makes it one of Florida's premier locations for stargazing. Located 25 miles northwest of Okeechobee via U.S. 441 and County Road 724.
Koreshan State Historic SiteThroughout its history, Florida has welcomed pioneers of all kinds. Cyrus Reed Teed was probably the most unusual, bringing followers to Estero in 1894 to build New Jerusalem for his new faith, Koreshanity. The colony, known as the Koreshan Unity, believed that the entire universe existed within a giant, hollow sphere. The colony began fading after Teed's death in 1908, and in 1961 the last four members deeded the land to the state. Today, visitors can fish, picnic, boat, and hike where Teed's visionaries once carried out survey experiments to prove the horizon on the beaches of Lee County curves upward. A boat ramp and canoe rentals are available. Visitors can take self-guided tours of the settlement or a ranger-guided tour. For overnight stays, the park has a full-facility campground. Campers can enjoy campfire programs every Friday night from January through March. Located on U.S. 41 at Corkscrew Road.
Lafayette Blue Spring State ParkVisitors can take a dip in this first magnitude spring, walk across the natural limestone bridge that crosses the spring run flowing into the Suwannee River or picnic under the oaks with their swaying Spanish moss. Fish or canoe on the Suwannee River or stay in one of the park"s rental cabins, which stand on stilts high above the spring. Bicycling, hiking and wildlife viewing are favorite pastimes for visitors. The picnic area has tables, grills and two pavilions, which are popular for family reunions and parties. Walk-in tent camping in the full-service campground is available to visitors and also serves as a river camp for travelers along the Suwannee River Wilderness Trail.
Lake Griffin State ParkLocated within an hour of central Florida attractions and theme parks, this park is home to one of the state's largest live oak trees. A short trail near the park entrance takes visitors to the mammoth oak tree. A canal connects the park to Lake Griffin, the eighth largest lake in Florida, where visitors can enjoy boating and canoeing, as well as fishing. Anglers will find plenty of largemouth bass, bluegill, speckled perch, and catfish. Visitors can observe the park's wildlife while picnicking or strolling along the half-mile nature trail. A shady, full-facility campground beckons travelers to spend the night or an entire vacation here. There is no swimming due to a healthy alligator population. Located three miles north of Leesburg and 30 miles south of Ocala.
Lake Jackson Mounds Archaeological State ParkMore than eight centuries ago, Native Americans inhabited the area around Lake Jackson, just north of Tallahassee. The park site was part of what is now known as the Southeastern Ceremonial Complex. Today, it encompasses six earthen temple mounds and one possible burial mound. The largest mound is 278 feet by 312 feet at the base and approximately 36 feet in height. Artifacts of pre-Columbian societies have been found here including copper breastplates, necklaces, bracelets, anklets, and cloaks. Visitors can enjoy a short hike past the remains of an 1800s grist mill or picnic on an open grassy area near the largest mound. Guided tours and interpretive programs of the park are available upon request.
Lake June-in-Winter Scrub State ParkThis park protects one of the state's most endangered natural communities-sand scrub-which is sometimes called "Florida's desert." Some of Florida's rarest plants and animals, including the Florida scrub-jay, Florida scrub lizard, Florida mouse, deer, gopher tortoise, and bobcat are found in the scrub. Ospreys and bald eagles are frequently sighted along the three miles of lakefront. This relatively new park is still in development and best suited to those seeking a remote wilderness experience and nature study. Visitors can hike along the white sand firelanes, walk a half-mile nature trail, fish from the lakeshore, or launch a canoe or kayak onto the lake. A picnic area has tables and a shelter, but no grills. Located about 12 miles south of Sebring off U.S. 27. Travel U.S. 27 to County Road 621 and go west for four miles to Daffodil Road. Travel two miles south on Daffodil Road to the park entrance.
Lake Kissimmee State ParkFlorida's cowboy heritage comes alive with living history demonstrations of the early Florida "cow hunters" in an 1876-era cow camp. White-tailed deer, bald eagles, sandhill cranes, turkeys, and bobcats have been seen in the park, located on the shores of lakes Kissimmee, Tiger, and Rosalie. Visitors enjoy boating, canoeing, and fishing in the picturesque lakes. Nature students can hike over 13 miles of trails to observe and study the abundant plant and animal life. Six miles of trails are open to equestrians. A large, shaded picnic area with pavilions is available. The park has full-facility campsites, as well as a primitive camping facility. The youth camping area can accommodate up to 50 people. The dark skies make stargazing a popular nighttime activity for campers. Located off State Road 60 15 miles east of Lake Wales.
Lake Louisa State ParkA short drive from Orlando, this park is noted for its six beautiful lakes, rolling hills, and scenic landscapes. Lake Louisa is the largest in a chain of 13 lakes connected by the Palatlakaha River, which is designated as an Outstanding Florida Waterway. Lake Louisa, Dixie Lake, and Hammond Lake, the park's most accessible lakes, provide access for fishing, canoeing, and kayaking. Anglers can fish in four of the park's six lakes, but gasoline-powered boats are not allowed; only boats powered by trolling motors or without motors are permitted. Camping facilities and more than 15 miles of horse trails are available for equestrians. For hikers and backpackers, the park has over 20 miles of hiking trails with excellent opportunities for wildlife viewing. Dixie Lake has a fishing pier, canoe/kayak launch, and a picnic pavilion.The park also has a full-facility campground, fully furnished cabins for rent, and primitive campsites. Lake Louisa State Park is located just seven miles south of State Road 50 in Clermont on U.S. 27.
Lake Manatee State ParkLake Manatee State Park extends along three miles of the south shore of Lake Manatee, our name sake, which serves as a water reservoir for Manatee and Sarasota counties. Despite the name of the lake and park, visitors cannot actually see manatees at this park because of the dam on the Manatee River. The rest of the park is primarily pine flatwoods and sand pine scrub with some depression marshes and hardwood forests. A boat ramp provides easy access to the lake; boat motors must be less than 20 horsepower. Canoeing and kayaking are popular activities. The lake offers excellent freshwater fishing, and anglers can fish from their boats or from the park's fishing dock. Swimming is permitted in a designated area of Lake Manatee; a facility with showers is located nearby. A large picnic area is nestled in a sand pine scrub area near the lake. A picnic pavilion may be reserved for a fee. Campers can enjoy full-facility camping, just a short walk from the lake. Located 15 miles east of Bradenton on State Road 64.
Lake Talquin State ParkIn 1927 the Jackson Bluff Dam was constructed on the Ochlockonee River to produce hydroelectric power. The waters held back by the dam formed Lake Talquin, which now offers outstanding recreational opportunities. Catch largemouth bass, bream, shellcracker, and speckled perch. Visitors can enjoy nature walks, picnicking, boating, and canoeing. Nature lovers will enjoy the rolling hills and deep ravines with forests of pines and hardwoods where they may spy wild turkeys, bald eagles, ospreys, and deer. To reserve the picnic pavilion for a special gathering, please call at least two weeks in advance. The pavilion is reserved on a first-come-first-served basis.
Letchworth-Love Mounds Archaeological State ParkVisitors to this archaeological site will see Florida's tallest Native American ceremonial mound-46 feet-built between 1100 and 1800 years ago. The people who built the mound are believed to have been members of the Weedon Island Culture, a group of Native Americans who lived in North Florida between 200 and 800 A.D. The park offers picnicking, birding, and hiking. A nature trail winds around the perimeter of the ceremonial mound. The picnic area and platform viewing area for the mound are wheelchair-accessible.
Lignumvitae Key Botanical State ParkThe virgin tropical hardwood hammock that thrives on this island was once common on most of Florida's Upper Keys; most of these forests have been lost to development on other islands. In 1919, William J. Matheson, a wealthy Miami chemist, bought this tiny island and built a caretaker's home with a windmill for electricity and a cistern for rainwater. Today, his hideaway is the visitor center for this island forest. Ranger-guided tours are given twice daily, Friday through Sunday. The park is accessible only by private boat or tour boat. Tour boat services, as well as boat and kayak rentals, are available from Robbie's Marina. For tour reservations call (305) 664-9814. Located one mile west of U.S. 1 at Mile Marker 78.5.
Little Manatee River State ParkThe Little Manatee River begins in a swampy area near Fort Lonesome and flows almost 40 miles before emptying into Tampa Bay. The river has been designated an Outstanding Florida Water and is part of the Cockroach Bay Aquatic Preserve. Visitors can fish along the banks of the river. Wildlife enthusiasts can enjoy hiking a six-and-a-half mile trail through the park's northern wilderness area. For those who prefer their hikes on horseback, the park has 12 miles of equestrian trails and four equestrian campsites. Campers can spend the night in a full-facility campground or hike out to a primitive campsite along the trail. A youth/group campground accommodates up to 20 people. The scenic picnic area along the river has tables, grills, and pavilions. Pavilions can be reserved for a fee. Unreserved pavilions are available on a first-come-first-served basis. Located five miles south of Sun City, off U.S. 301 on Lightfoot Road.
Little Talbot Island State ParkWith more than five miles of beautiful, white sandy beaches, Little Talbot Island is one of the few remaining undeveloped barrier islands in Northeast Florida. Maritime forests, desert-like dunes and undisturbed salt marshes on the western side of the island allow for hours of nature study and relaxation. The diverse habitats in the park host a wealth of wildlife for viewing including river otters, marsh rabbits, bobcats and a variety of native and migratory birds.
Surrounding surf and tidal streams present excellent fishing for bluefish, striped bass, redfish, flounder, mullet and sheepshead. Other popular park activities include hiking, kayaking, beachcombing, surfing and picnicking. Beachside picnic pavilions are available for use by park visitors and can be reserved in advance for a fee. A full-facility campground is located along the eastern salt marshes of Myrtle Creek. Kayak rentals, guided paddle tours and Segway tours are available.
We welcome you to visit all seven of the parks which collectively comprise Talbot Islands State Parks: Pumpkin Hill Creek Preserve State Park, Amelia Island State Park, George Crady Bridge Fishing Pier State Park, Fort George Island Cultural State Park, Yellow Bluff Fort Historic State Park and Big Talbot Island State Park.
Long Key State ParkThe Spanish named this island "Cayo Vivora" or Rattlesnake Key because its shape resembles a snake with its jaws open. In the early 20th century, Long Key was the site of a luxurious fishing resort that was destroyed during the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935. Today, visitors can explore this island by canoeing through a chain of lagoons or hiking two land-based trails. The Golden Orb Trail leads visitors through five natural communities to an observation tower that provides a panoramic view of the island and its profusion of plant and animal life. Some of the best bonefishing in the Keys is found here. Full-facility campsites overlook the Atlantic Ocean. Located at Mile Marker 67.5, 67400 Overseas Highway.
Lovers Key State ParkFor years, Lovers Key was accessible only by boat and it was said that only lovers traveled to the island to enjoy its remote and solitary beach. Today, it is one of four barrier islands that make up this state park. A haven for wildlife, the islands and their waters are home to West Indian manatees, bottlenose dolphins, roseate spoonbills, marsh rabbits, and bald eagles. The two mile long beach is accessible by boardwalk or tram and is popular for shelling, swimming, picnicking, and sunbathing. Black Island has over five miles of multiuse trails for hiking and bicycling. Anglers and boaters can launch their vessels from the park's boat ramp. The park's concession offers boat and fishing tours, as well as bicycle, canoe and kayak rentals. For tour reservations and rentals of bicycles, canoes and kayaks, call (239)765-7788. Located on County Road 865 between Fort Myers Beach and Bonita Beach in Lee County.
Lower Wekiva River Preserve State ParkCentral Florida nature exists in its purest form along four miles of the Wekiva River and Blackwater Creek. For thousands of years, Native Americans valued the abundance of wildlife in this area. This system of blackwater streams and wetlands provides habitat for black bears, river otters, alligators, wood storks, and sandhill cranes. Visitors can stroll along the Sand Hill Nature Trail for a self guided tour of the native Florida plants and wildlife found at the park. Canoeists can paddle through the park on the Wekiva River. Equestrian camping is available in designated areas and can be reserved by calling Wekiwa Springs State Park. Horse stalls and corrals are available for equestrian campers. Located nine miles west of Sanford on State Road 46.
Madira Bickel Mound State Archaeological SiteThis ancient Native American site was the first in Florida to be designated a State Archaeological Site. Karl and Madira Bickel donated the mound and surrounding property to the state in 1948. The flat-topped ceremonial mound-composed of sand, shell, and village debris-measures 100 by 170 feet at the base and is 20 feet in height. Archaeological excavations have disclosed at least three periods of Native American cultures, the earliest dating back 2,000 years. Picnic tables are available. Plans for the future include a nature trail and a kiosk with historical information. No additional amenities are available at this time. Located off U.S. 19 in Palmetto. The entrance road is approximately one mile south of I-275. The site is located on Bayshore Drive, approximately 1.5 miles after turning off U.S. 19.
Madison Blue Spring State ParkLocated in one of Florida's newest state parks, this crystal clear, first magnitude spring is a popular spot for swimming. About 82 feet wide and 25 feet deep, the spring bubbles up into a limestone basin along the west bank of the Withlacoochee River. Scenic woodlands of mixed hardwoods and pines create a picturesque setting for picnicking, paddling, and wildlife viewing. Madison Blue Spring is approximately ten (10) miles east of Madison on the west bank of the Withlacoochee River. From Madison, drive east on State Road 6 to the Withlacoochee River. Turn south on the west side of the bridge at the park sign. The entrance to the spring is 525 feet south of the highway.
Manatee Springs State ParkThe first-magnitude spring at this park produces an average of 100 million gallons of clear, cool water daily. In winter, West Indian manatees swim upriver to the warmer waters of the springs. Popular for snorkeling and scuba diving, the headwaters of the spring are also a great spot for swimming. The spring run forms a sparkling stream that meanders through hardwood wetlands to the Suwannee River. April-September a concession provides beverages, snacks and canoe/kayak rentals. Children enjoy the playground in the picnic area. Hiking and bicycling are available on the north end trail system. The full-facility campground is surrounded by red oak woods.
Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Historic State ParkVisitors to this Florida homestead can walk back in time to 1930s farm life where Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings lived and worked in the tiny community of Cross Creek. Her cracker style home and farm, where she lived for 25 years and wrote her Pulitzer prize-winning novel The Yearling, has been restored and is preserved as it was when she lived here.
Marjorie Rawlings was honored as a First Floridian by Governor Charlie Crist in March 2009. The United States Postal Service released a commemorative stamp in 2008 honoring Marjorie and the literary arts. In 2007, the Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings house and farm yard was designated as a National Historic Landmark. Visitors may tour the house with a ranger in period costume from October through July. Picnic facilities are located in the adjacent county park.
Mike Roess Gold Head Branch State ParkOne of Florida's first state parks, Mike Roess Gold Head Branch State Park was developed on a 2,000-acre site by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) during the 1930s. The extraordinary craftsmanship of the CCC is still evident today. Located on rolling sandhills in an area known as the central ridge of Florida, a deep ravine with springs issuing from its side bisects the area and forms Gold Head Branch. Marshes, lakes and scrub provide a habitat for a wide variety of wildlife.
Visitors to the park can enjoy hiking and wildlife viewing along the park's nature trails and a three-mile stretch of the Florida Trail. For aquatic recreation, visitors can swim or fish in the lake, or spend a lazy afternoon canoeing. A large picnic area, with tables and grills, overlooks Little Lake Johnson. Nestled under the trees is a full-facility campground. Group and primitive campsites are available as are fully equipped lakefront cabins, some of which were built by the CCC.
Mound Key Archaeological State ParkFramed in forests of mangrove trees, the shell mounds and ridges of Mound Key rise more than 30 feet above the waters of Estero Bay. Prehistoric Native Americans are credited with creating this island's complex of mounds with an accumulation of seashells, fish bones, and pottery. Mound Key is believed to have been the ceremonial center of the Calusa Indians when the Spaniards first attempted to colonize Southwest Florida. In 1566, the Spanish governor of Florida established a settlement on the island with a fort and the first Jesuit mission in the Spanish New World. The settlement was abandoned three years later after violent clashes with the Indians. The only access to the island is by boat; there are no facilities. Interpretive displays can be found along a trail that spans the width of the island. Located in Estero Bay, several miles by boat from Koreshan State Historic Site or Lovers Key State Park.
Myakka River State ParkOne of the oldest and largest state parks, Myakka protects one of the state's most diverse natural areas. The Myakka River, designated as a Florida Wild and Scenic River, flows through 58 square miles of wetlands, prairies, hammocks, and pinelands. Visitors can enjoy wildlife viewing from a boardwalk that stretches out over the Upper Myakka Lake, then take to the treetops with a stroll along the canopy walkway. The park's river and two lakes provide ample opportunities for boating, freshwater fishing, canoeing, and kayaking; a boat ramp provides access to Upper Myakka Lake. Hikers can explore trails that cross large expanses of rare Florida dry prairie. Scenic lake tours are offered daily on the world's two largest airboats. Safari tram tours of the park's backcountry are offered from mid-December through May. Full-facility campgrounds and primitive campsites are available. Five palm log cabins, built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps, have been modernized for comfortable lodging. Located nine miles east of Sarasota on State Road 72.
Natural Bridge Battlefield Historic State ParkNatural Bridge is the site of the second largest Civil War battle in Florida and where the St. Marks River drops into a sinkhole and flows underground for one-quarter of a mile before reemerging. During the final weeks of the Civil War, a Union flotilla landed at Apalachee Bay, planning to capture Fort Ward (San Marcos de Apalache Historic State Park) and march north to the state capital. With a timely warning, volunteers from the Tallahassee area-Confederate soldiers, old men, and young boys-met the Union forces at Natural Bridge and successfully repelled three major attacks. The Union troops were forced to retreat to the coast and Tallahassee was the only Confederate capital east of the Mississippi not captured by the Union. A reenactment of the battle is held at the park every March.
North Peninsula State ParkMore than two miles of beautiful, unspoiled Atlantic beaches beckon visitors to this park. Across State Road A1A, this Florida haven shelters rare creatures such as Florida scrub-jays, indigo snakes, and gopher tortoises. Visitors can spend the afternoon swimming, sunning at the beach, or surf fishing. Bird-watchers will enjoy spotting the native and migratory species seen in this park. Located on State Road A1A four miles south of Flagler Beach.
NOTE: There is no mail delivery to this park. All mail delivery is through Gamble Rogers Memorial SRA @ Flagler Beach.
O'Leno State ParkLocated along the banks of the scenic Santa Fe River, a tributary of the Suwannee River, the park features sinkholes, hardwood hammocks, river swamps, and sandhills. As the river courses through the park, it disappears underground and reemerges over three miles away in the River Rise State Preserve. One of Florida's first state parks, O'Leno was first developed by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the 1930s. The suspension bridge built by the CCC still spans the river. Visitors can picnic at one of the pavilions or fish in the river for their dinner. Canoes and bicycles are available for rent. While hiking the nature trails, visitors can look for wildlife and enjoy the beauty of native plants. The shady, full-facility campground is the perfect place for a relaxing overnight stay. Located on U.S. 441, six miles north of High Springs.
Ochlockonee River State ParkThis jewel of a park is a great place to get away for a weekend or a weeklong vacation. Picnic facilities and a swimming area are located near the scenic point where the Ochlockonee and Dead rivers intersect. Ochlockonee, which means "yellow waters," is a mix of brackish, tidal surge, and fresh water. Pristine and deep, the river empties into the Gulf of Mexico. Trails allow visitors to explore the park and see the diverse wildlife, including the red-cockaded woodpecker, and natural communities such as pine flatwoods and oak thickets. A boat ramp provides easy access to the river. Both freshwater and saltwater fish inhabit the waters around the park, including largemouth bass, bream, catfish and speckled perch. For overnight visitors, there are full-facility campsites with access to restrooms and showers. Youth group camping is also available.
Oleta River State ParkFlorida's largest urban park, Oleta River is located on Biscayne Bay in the busy Miami metropolitan area. Although it offers a variety of recreational opportunities, the park is best known for miles of off-road bicycling trails, ranging from novice trails to challenging trails for experienced bicyclists. Along the Oleta River, at the north end of the park, a large stand of beautiful mangrove forest preserves native South Florida plants and wildlife. Canoeists and kayakers can paddle the river to explore this amazing natural area. Swimming from a 1,200-foot sandy beach and saltwater fishing are also popular activities. Picnic tables and grills are available. Nine pavilions can be rented for a fee. All have water, and the largest one has electricity. Visitors can rent kayaks, canoes, and bicycles. The park has a loaner system for bicycle helmets. For overnight visits, the park has rustic, air-conditioned cabins and a youth campground for organized groups. Located at 3400 NE 163rd Street, off I-95 in North Miami.
Olustee Battlefield Historic State ParkThis park commemorates the site of Florida's largest Civil War battle, which took place February 20, 1864. More than 10,000 cavalry, infantry and artillery troops fought a five-hour battle in a pine forest near Olustee. Three U.S. Colored Troops took part in the battle, including the now famous 54th Massachusetts. The battle ended with 2,807 casualties and the retreat of Union troops to Jacksonville until the war's end just 14 months later. In 1912, when many living Civil War veterans still attended reunions, the battlefield became the state's first historic site. Olustee Battlefield has a visitor center with historical information and artifacts. A reenactment is held every February and a Civil War Expo takes place in late summer. Scenes for Civil War movies, including the 1989 movie Glory, have been filmed during the reenactments. Visitors can enjoy a meal at the picnic area or take a walk along a mile-long trail that has interpretive signs describing the events of the battle.
Orman House Historic State ParkBuilt in 1838 by Thomas Orman, this antebellum home overlooks the Apalachicola River, and was used for both business and social gatherings. Orman was a cotton merchant and businessman in Apalachicola from 1840 to the 1870s. He helped the tiny town become one of the Gulf Coast's most important cotton exporting ports during the mid-19th century. The house features details of both federal and Greek revival styles with wooden mantelpieces, molded plaster cornices, and wide heart-pine floorboards. For a small fee, guided tours are offered hourly.
Oscar Scherer State ParkA large acreage of scrubby flatwoods makes this park one of the best places to see Florida scrub-jays, a threatened species found only in Florida. The park protects scrubby and pine flatwoods that were once widespread throughout Sarasota County. Fifteen miles of trails through these beautiful natural areas provide opportunities for hiking, bicycling, and wildlife viewing. Canoeists and kayakers can paddle along South Creek, a blackwater stream that flows to the Gulf of Mexico. Canoe and kayak rentals are available, but motorized boats are not permitted in the park boundaries. Freshwater and saltwater fishing are available along the creek. Anglers can fish along the shores of Lake Osprey, which is also the park's swimming destination. Picnic areas along South Creek are equipped with grills; pavilions can be reserved for a fee. The park has full-facility campsites and a youth/group campground. The park nature center has exhibits and videos about the park's natural communities. Located on U.S. 41, two miles south of Osprey.
New Audio Tour Feature: A new Mobile Phone Audio Tour Spotlights Local Watersheds. Easily accessed from any cell phone, the Watershed Mobile Phone Audio Tour is the first of its kind in Sarasota County. By dialing (941) 926-6813, you can hear up to 15 different educational messages about watersheds (Oscar Scherer is #9.) While you can listen to a message from anywhere, visiting the sites listed on the menu provides an up-close and personal experience.
Paynes Creek Historic State ParkDuring the 1840s, tensions between the settlers and Seminole Indians prompted authorities to establish a trading post in Florida's interior, away from settlements. Built in early 1849, the post was attacked and destroyed by renegade Indians that summer. In late 1849 Fort Chokonikla was built nearby as the first outpost in a chain of forts established to control the Seminoles. The Seminoles never attacked the fort, but the Army was nearly defeated by mosquitoes. Today, nature enthusiasts and hikers can enjoy walking along trails through the park's natural areas. Paynes Creek and the adjoining Peace River provide opportunities for canoeing, kayaking, and fishing. A museum at the visitor center depicts the lives of Florida's Seminole Indians and pioneers during the 19th century. The visitor center is open 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Thursday through Monday. Located one-half mile southeast of Bowling Green on Lake Branch Road.
Paynes Prairie Preserve State ParkPaynes Prairie is biologically, geologically and historically unique. This park became Florida's first state preserve in 1971 and is now designated as a National Natural Landmark. Noted artist and naturalist William Bartram called it the great Alachua Savannah when he wrote about his visit to the prairie in 1774.
Over 20 distinct biological communities provide a rich array of habitats for wildlife, including alligators, bison, wild horses and over 270 species of birds. Exhibits and an audio-visual program at the visitor center explain the area's natural and cultural history. A 50-foot-high observation tower near the visitor center provides a panoramic view of the preserve.
Eight trails provide opportunities for hiking, horseback riding, and bicycling. Ranger-led activities are offered on weekends, November through April. Fishing on Lake Wauberg is allowed and a boat ramp provides access for canoes and boats with electric motors. Gasoline powered boats are not allowed. Full-facility campsites are available for overnight visitors.
Peacock Springs State ParkThis park has two major springs, a spring run and six sinkholes—all in near pristine condition. Cave divers have explored and surveyed nearly 33,000 feet of underwater passages at Peacock Springs. This park features one of the longest underwater cave systems in the continental United States. Only divers who have proof of their scuba certification are allowed to explore the underwater caverns. Around the springs, four major plant communities are represented in the mature forest stands. A nature trail leads visitors on a path tracing the twisting tunnels of the caves far below their feet. Swimming in Peacock Springs and Orange Grove Sink are popular activities during the summer. Grills and pavilions are available for picnicking.
Perdido Key State ParkBarrier islands protect the Florida mainland from the harsh effects of storms and provide habitats for shorebirds and other coastal animals. Perdido Key is a 247-acre barrier island near Pensacola on the Gulf of Mexico. White sand beaches and rolling dunes covered with sea oats make this park a favorite destination for swimmers and sunbathers. Surf fishing is another popular activity. Boardwalks from the parking lot allow visitors to access the beach without causing damage to the fragile dunes and beach vegetation. Covered picnic tables overlooking the beach provide a great place for family outings.
Ponce de Leon Springs State ParkThis beautiful spring is named for Juan Ponce de León, who led the first Spanish expedition to Florida in 1513-as legend has it-in search of the "fountain of youth." Visitors might well regain their youth by taking a dip in the cool, clear waters of Ponce de Leon Springs where the water temperature remains a constant 68 degrees Fahrenheit year-round. The main spring is a convergence of two underground water flows, and produces 14 million gallons of water daily. Visitors can take a leisurely walk along two self-guided nature trails through a lush, hardwood forest and learn about the local ecology and wildlife. Rangers also conduct seasonal guided walks. Picnicking is a popular activity at the park; grills and pavilions are available. Anglers will enjoy fishing for catfish, largemouth bass, chain pickerel, and panfish.
Pumpkin Hill Creek Preserve State ParkEast of Jacksonville's skyscrapers and west of the beaches, this state park protects one of the largest contiguous areas of coastal uplands remaining in Duval County. The uplands protect the water quality of the Nassau and St. Johns rivers, ensuring the survival of aquatic plants and animals, and providing an important refuge for birds. Wildlife is abundant and ranges from the threatened American alligator to the endangered wood stork. Equestrians, hikers, and off-road bicyclists can explore five miles of multi-use trails that wind through the park's many different natural communities. The park has a canoe/kayak launch accessible by a 500 foot portage to the marshes. Located off I-95 or 9A, head east on Heckscher Drive. Turn north on New Berlin Road, then east on Cedar Point Drive. Turn north on Pumpkin Hill Road. Trailhead parking is approximately one mile on the left.
We welcome you to visit all seven of the parks which collectively comprise Talbot Islands State Parks: Amelia Island State Park, George Crady Bridge Fishing Pier State Park, Little Talbot Island State Park, Fort George Island Cultural State Park, Yellow Bluff Fort Historic State Park and Big Talbot Island State Park.
Rainbow Springs State ParkArchaeological evidence indicates that people have been using this spring for nearly 10,000 years. Rainbow Springs is Florida's fourth largest spring and, from the 1930s through the 1970s, was the site of a popular, privately-owned attraction. The Rainbow River is popular for swimming, snorkeling, canoeing, and kayaking. Canoes and kayaks can be rented at the headsprings. A picnic area at the spring includes tables, grills, and pavilions. For large gatherings, private pavilions can be reserved. Tubing is not allowed in the headsprings area of the park. Tubers can launch at the Tube Entrance on SW 180th Avenue Road. The Campground Entrance with a full-facility campground is about nine miles from the day use area. The Headsprings Entrance is located three miles north of Dunnellon on the east side of U.S. 41. The campground is located on S.W. 180th Avenue Road about two miles north of County Road 484 and two miles south of State Road 40. The Tube Entrance is located 1.4 miles south of the campground Entrance on SW 180th Avenue Road.
Ravine Gardens State ParkA ravine was created over thousands of years by water flowing from the sandy ridges on the shore of the St. Johns River. In 1933, this ravine was transformed into a dramatic garden by the federal Works Progress Administration. Much of the original landscaping still exists as formal gardens and an extensive trail system. A 1.8-mile paved road winds around the ravine, offering motorists and bicyclists a view of the gardens. The Ravine Loop is closed to vehicle traffic one hour before sunset, but remains open for pedestrians, bicycles, and wheelchairs. The garden's peak flowering period is azalea season, late January to April. Numerous picnic sites, equipped with tables and grills, are available to visitors. The Roy E. Campbell Civic Center complex features a large covered pavilion, auditorium, and meeting rooms that are available for rent. Located in Palatka at 1600 Twigg Street.
River Rise Preserve State ParkThe Santa Fe River goes underground in O'Leno State Park and reemerges over three miles away in River Rise State Park as a circular pool before resuming its journey to the Suwannee River. Surrounded by quiet woods and huge trees, anglers can spend a relaxing afternoon fishing on the river. Hiking and wildlife viewing is also a favorite pastimes for park visitors.
Equestrians can explore over 20 miles of trails and end the day camping overnight with their horses. Located near the entrance to the park, the horse camp has primitive campsites, restrooms, and a 20-stall horse barn available on a first-come-first-served basis. Equestrian fees and camping fees are paid first at O'Leno State Park before entering River Rise State park. The equestrian fee includes park admission. Proof of negative Coggins is required.
O'Leno State Park is located on U.S. 441, six miles north of High Springs. The entrance to the River Rise is two miles west of High Springs on U.S. 27.
Rock Springs Run State ReserveSand pine scrub, pine flatwoods, swamps, and miles of pristine shoreline along Rock Springs Run and the Wekiva River make this reserve a refuge of natural beauty. Visitors can enjoy bicycling, hiking, or horseback riding along 17 miles of trails. Guided trail rides and horse rentals are available. The trail may be closed temporarily on days when reserve staff is conducting prescribed burns. Each fall, areas of the reserve are closed to equestrians during weekends of special hunts. Primitive campsites on Rock Springs Run and the Wekiva River are accessible by canoe only. Equestrian camping facilities are available. Campsites can be reserved by calling Wekiwa Springs State Park. Located in Sorrento off State Road 46. The reserve is open from 8:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. daily.
ATTENTION VISITORS: THERE IS NO SWIMMING AT ROCK SPRINGS RUN STATE RESERVE.
San Felasco Hammock Preserve State ParkThis preserve has one of the few remaining mature forests in Florida. The limestone outcrops and extreme changes in elevation provide ideal conditions for many species of hardwood trees, including several champion trees. Bobcats, white-tailed deer, gray foxes, turkeys, and many species of songbirds make their homes in the 18 natural communities found in the preserve. The park offers outdoor adventure to hikers, off-road bicyclists, horseback riders, and nature lovers. To ensure solitude and quiet for a true wilderness experience, the southern two-thirds of the park is designated for hiking only. The northern third of the park has horse trails, off-road cycling, and hiking. Equestrians must carry proof of a negative Coggins test. The hiking trailhead is located four miles northwest of Gainesville on State Road 232. The horseback and bicycle trailheads are located off U.S. 441 just south of Alachua.
San Marcos de Apalache Historic State ParkThe many different flags welcoming visitors to the park demonstrate the colorful history of this site, from the first Spanish explorers to the present day. The history of this National Landmark began in 1528 when Panfilo de Narvaez arrived in the area with 300 men; however, the first fort was not built until 1679. Andrew Jackson occupied the fort for a brief time in the early 1800s. The museum at the park displays pottery and tools unearthed near the original fort and explains the history of the San Marcos site. A self-guided trail is open to visitors and guided tours are available with two weeks advance notice.
San Pedro Underwater Archaeological Preserve State ParkThis underwater archaeological preserve features a submerged shipwreck that is available for diving and snorkeling. Part of a Spanish flotilla, the San Pedro was a 287-ton, Dutch-built ship which sank in a hurricane on July 13, 1733. Her remains were discovered in 1960 in Hawk Channel near Indian Key. After major salvage efforts in the 1960s, all that remains of San Pedro is a large pile of ballast stones covering an area 90 feet long and 30 feet wide. The underwater site has been enhanced with seven replica cannons, an anchor, and an information plaque. Visitors can also appreciate the marine life that occupies the site. Located in 18 feet of water, approximately 1.25 nautical miles south from Indian Key at GPS coordinates 24 degrees 51.802'N, 80 degrees 40.795'W. To prevent anchor damage, please tie up to mooring buoys located at the site. For more information about the San Pedro and other Florida underwater archaeological preserves, please visit Florida's "Museums in the Sea."
Savannas Preserve State ParkFreshwater marshes or "savannas" once extended all along Florida's southeast coast. Stretching more than 10 miles from Ft. Pierce to Jensen Beach, this preserve is the largest and most intact remnant of Florida's east coast savannas. A good place for visitors to start is the Environmental Education Center where they can learn about the importance of this unique and endangered natural system. Picnic tables are available near the center. Canoeing, kayaking, and fishing in the wetlands are popular activities. Wildlife enthusiasts and photographers can enjoy the diversity of habitats this undisturbed area offers. Over eight miles of multi-use trails provide opportunities for hiking, bicycling, and horseback riding. Guided walks and canoe trips are available by reservation. The Education Center is located in Port St. Lucie, two miles east of U.S. 1 on Walton Road.
Seabranch Preserve State ParkAncient oceans shaped the physical landscape of this park, which allowed a variety of habitats to develop over time. Today, this preserve provides a unique opportunity to experience several different natural communities in a relatively short distance. In less than one mile, visitors can see rare sand pine scrub, scrubby flatwoods, a baygall community, and a mangrove swamp. Hikers can explore these natural communities over four miles of trails. A small picnic shelter is also available. Future recreational development is planned for this preserve, including the addition of interpretive displays and an elevated boardwalk. Located near Hobe Sound in eastern Martin County about 10 miles south of Stuart. Access to the park is from State Road A1A near the VFW parking lot.
Sebastian Inlet State ParkThe premier saltwater fishing spot on Florida's east coast, this park is a favorite for anglers nationwide for catching snook, redfish, bluefish, and Spanish mackerel from its jetties. Surfing is also a popular recreation and several major competitions are held here every year. Two museums provide a history of the area. The McLarty Treasure Museum features the history of the 1715 Spanish treasure fleet; the Sebastian Fishing Museum tells the history of the area's fishing industry. Three miles of beautiful beaches provide opportunities for swimming, scuba diving, snorkeling, shelling, and sunbathing. Canoeing and kayaking in the Indian River Lagoon are also favorite pastimes. Visitors can relax with a stroll down the mile-long Hammock Trail. Waterfront pavilions and picnic areas are great for family outings. Full-facility campsites and a boat ramp are available. Located on State Road A1A 15 miles south of Melbourne Beach.
Silver River State ParkThis park has more than 10 distinct natural communities, dozens of springs, and miles of beautiful trails.
The park is home to a pioneer cracker village and the Silver River Museum and Environmental Education Center. The center is operated by the Marion County School District in cooperation with the park and is open to the public on weekends and holidays from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00. p.m. Admission to the Museum is $2.00 per person. Children under 6 are free. For more information please visit Silver River Museum
Visitors can canoe down the crystal clear river, hike or bike along one of the nature trails, or just sit and watch for the wide variety of birds and wildlife.
The picnic area features three pavilions with grills that may be rented for group outings and a playground for the youngsters.
For overnight stays, the park has a full facility campground and 10 luxury cabins.
Located east of Ocala, one mile south of State Road 40 on State Road 35.
Skyway Fishing Pier State ParkWhen the new Sunshine Skyway bridge was built over Tampa Bay, connecting St. Petersburg with Sarasota, the old bridge was turned into the world's longest fishing pier. Anglers love being able to park their cars or campers within a few feet of their favorite fishing spot. The bridge is lighted at night, so anglers can see to rig a line, bait the hook, and get a good look at their catch. The light also attracts many species of fish after sundown. Common catches include snook, tarpon, grouper, black sea bass, Spanish mackerel, king mackerel, cobia, sheepshead, red snapper, pompano, and many more. Snacks, drinks, bait, and fishing supplies are available. The pier is open 24 hours a day year-round. Located north and south of the Skyway Bridge on I-275 (U.S. 19).
St. Andrews State ParkWell known for its sugar white sands and emerald green waters, this former military reservation has over one-and-a-half miles of beaches on the Gulf of Mexico and Grand Lagoon. Water sports enthusiasts can enjoy swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, and canoeing. Two fishing piers, a jetty, and a boat ramp provide ample fishing opportunities for anglers. Two nature trails wind through a rich diversity of coastal plant communities - a splendid opportunity for bird-watching. Those wanting to relax can sunbathe on the beach or enjoy a leisurely lunch under the shade of a picnic pavilion. Full-facility campsites, as well as primitive youth group camping, make this park a popular overnight destination. A concession offers snacks, souvenirs, and fishing amenities. Shell Island Boat Tours are available during the spring and summer.
St. Lucie Inlet State ParkThis classic Florida barrier island is accessible only by boat, but it is worth the ride. A boardwalk takes visitors across mangrove forests and hammocks of live oaks, cabbage palms, paradise trees, and wild limes to a neatly preserved Atlantic beach. During the summer months, the island is an important nesting area for loggerhead, leatherback, and green turtles. They come ashore at night to dig holes in the beach sand where they lay their eggs. The preserve is a favorite for nature students interested in learning about the native flora and fauna of Florida barrier islands. Visitors come to swim, sunbathe, or picnic at the pavilion on the quiet beach. Others make the trip for the great surf fishing. Snorkeling and scuba diving are also popular activities. Located at Port Salerno, on the Intracoastal Waterway, 2/3 of a mile south of the inlet.
St. Sebastian River Preserve State ParkThis site preserves open grassy forests of longleaf pine that were once commonplace throughout Florida. The pine flatwoods form a backdrop for other biological communities, including cypress domes, scrubby flatwoods, sandhills, and a beautiful strand swamp. These habitats are home to many native plants and animals, including over 50 protected species. Photographers, bird-watchers, and nature enthusiasts can explore miles of trails on foot, bicycle, or horseback. Canoeing, boating, and fishing on the St. Sebastian River are popular activities. Launching facilities are available outside the preserve at Dale Wimbrow Park and several private ramps along the St. Sebastian River, and a canoe launch north of County Road 512.
For information about the Visitors Center or Camping, please call 321.953.5004. For our Administrative office, please call 321.953.5005.
Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State ParkSituated on the banks of the legendary Suwannee River, this center honors the memory of American composer Stephen Foster, who wrote "Old Folks at Home," the song that made the river famous. The museum features exhibits about Foster's most famous songs and his music can be heard emanating from the park's 97-bell carillon throughout the day. In Craft Square, visitors can watch demonstrations of quilting, blacksmithing, stain glass making, and other crafts, or visit the gift shop. Hiking, bicycling, canoeing, and wildlife viewing are popular activities. Miles of trails wind through some of the most scenic areas of North Florida. For overnight stays, visitors can camp in the full-facility campground or stay in a cabin. Every Memorial Day weekend (last weekend in May), the park hosts the Florida Folk Festival. Other special events include concerts, weekend retreats, a monthly coffeehouse, a regional quilt show, and an antique tractor show. Located in White Springs off U.S. 41 North.
Stump Pass Beach State ParkAt the southwest corner of Charlotte County there is a mile of beach where seashells and shark teeth wash up, and anglers fish the surf for prize catches. Visitors can enjoy an excellent view of the Gulf of Mexico, as well as a stretch of undeveloped Florida coastline. Visitors come to this secluded beach to enjoy the year-round swimming and sunbathing; shelling is best during the winter months. A hiking trail passes through five distinct natural communities that provide homes for many species of wildlife; covered picnic tables are located along the trail. While at the park, visitors might see West Indian manatees, gopher tortoises, snowy egrets, least terns, and magnificent frigatebirds. Ranger-led turtle walks and beach nature walks are available in the summer. Located at the south end of Manasota Key off I-75, exit 191.
Suwannee River State ParkAbout a quarter mile past the ranger station, a high bluff overlooks the spot where the Withlacoochee River joins the Suwannee River on its way to the Gulf of Mexico. Vestiges of history in the park show how important the Suwannee River was to Florida history. Along the river are long mounds of earthworks built during the Civil War to guard against incursions by Union Navy gunboats. Other remnants from the past include one of the state's oldest cemeteries, and a paddle-wheel shaft from a 19th century steamboat. Five trails, ranging from a quarter mile to 18 miles, loop through surrounding woodlands and provide panoramic views of the rivers. Other activities include fishing, picnicking, and canoeing; for overnight stays, the park has a full-facility campground and cabins. Located 13 miles west of Live Oak, off U.S. 90.
T.H. Stone Memorial St. Joseph Peninsula State ParkWith miles of white sugar sand, this park has one of the top rated beaches in the United States. Sunbathing, snorkeling, and swimming are popular activities along the Gulf of Mexico and St. Joseph Bay. From offshore, canoeists and kayakers can take in a superb view of the high dunes and sand pine scrub. Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy camping, fishing, hiking, and bicycling. As a coastal barrier peninsula, St. Joseph provides excellent opportunities for bird watching; over 240 species have been sighted in the park. A boat ramp is located at Eagle Harbor on the bay side. Campers can stay in a full-facility campground, a short walk from the beach, or at primitive campsites in the wilderness preserve. Eight cabins on the bay side offer alternative overnight accommodations.
Tarkiln Bayou Preserve State ParkTarkiln Bayou Preserve is home to four species of endangered pitcher plants, as well as other rare and endangered plant species. The rare, carnivorous white-top pitcher plant is unique to the Gulf Coast and found only between the Apalachicola and Mississippi rivers. Almost 100 other rare plants and animals depend on the wet prairie habitat, including the alligator snapping turtle, sweet pitcher plant, and Chapman's butterwort. A boardwalk offers visitors a view of the wild and beautiful Tarkiln Bayou. Visitors can enjoy a picnic and then take a hike on the nature trails to observe the rare plants and animals. For a more adventurous outing, visitors can take a day-hike across the park to the Perdido River.
The Barnacle Historic State ParkThis beautiful house with a whimsical name dates to a quieter time. The Barnacle, built in 1891, offers a glimpse of Old Florida during The Era of the Bay. Situated on the shore of Biscayne Bay, this was the home of Ralph Middleton Munroe, one of Coconut Grove's most charming and influential pioneers. Munroe's principal passion was designing yachts. In his lifetime, he drew plans for 56 different boats. As a seaman, civic activist, naturalist, and photographer, Commodore Munroe was a man who cherished the natural world around him. A walk into the park passes through a tropical hardwood hammock. In the 1920s, it was representative of the original landscape within the city of Miami. Today, it is one of the last remnants of the once vast Miami Hammock. Enjoy sitting in the rocking chairs on the spacious porch used as a gathering place or on a bench under a tree for solitude.
Three Rivers State ParkWhere Florida meets the southwest corner of Georgia, the Chattahoochee and Flint rivers converge to form Lake Seminole, the setting for this peaceful park. Hiking through forested hills of pine and mixed hardwoods, visitors might catch sight of fox squirrels, white-tailed deer, gray foxes, or many species of native and migratory birds. Anglers can launch from a boat ramp to enjoy some of the best freshwater fishing in the state, or fish from a 100-foot pier in the camping area. A shady picnic area, with tables and grills, overlooks the lake. For large gatherings, a picnic pavilion that seats up to 60 people is available for rental. Overnight visitors can stay in a full-facility campground next to the lake or enjoy the comforts of a modern cabin.
Tomoka State ParkNative Americans once dwelled here, living off fish-filled lagoons. Today, these waters are popular for canoeing, boating, and fishing. The park protects a variety of wildlife habitats and endangered species, such as the West Indian manatee. Tomoka is a bird-watcher's paradise, with over 160 species sighted, especially during the spring and fall migrations. Visitors can stroll a one-half mile nature trail through a hardwood hammock that was once an indigo field for an 18th century British landowner. A boat ramp gives boaters and canoeists access to the river. The Park Store offers snacks, camping supplies, and canoe rentals. Contact 386-673-0022 for more information. For overnight stays, the park has full-facility campsites and youth camping. Located three miles north of Ormond Beach on North Beach Street.
Topsail Hill Preserve State ParkTopsail 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. Although boats are not allowed, fishing from the shoreline yields bass, bream, panfish, and catfish. Lakes, pristine beaches, old-growth long leaf pines, sand pine scrub, and a variety of wetlands offer a bird-watching and hiking paradise. Visitors may bike, walk, or enjoy a quick ride to the beach on our timely tram service to swim, fish, sunbathe, or beachcomb. 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 snacks and drinks.
Torreya State ParkHigh bluffs overlooking the Apalachicola River make Torreya one of Florida's most scenic places. The park is named for an extremely rare species of Torreya tree that only grows on the bluffs along the Apalachicola River. Developed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s, Torreya is popular for camping, hiking, and picnicking. Bird-watching is also a popular activity. Over 100 species of birds have been spotted in the park. Forests of hardwood trees provide the finest display of fall color found in Florida. The main campground offers full-facility campsites and a YURT (Year-round Universal Recreational Tent). Primitive campsites and a youth campground are also available. Ranger-guided tours of the Gregory House, a fully furnished plantation home built in 1849, are given at 10:00 a.m. on weekdays and 10:00 a.m., 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. on weekends and state holidays.
Troy Spring State ParkThe depths of this spring contain the remains of the Civil War-era steamboat Madison, scuttled in the spring run in 1863 to keep it from being captured. A recent addition to the state park system, Troy Spring now has an entrance road, restrooms, an accessible walkway, picnic tables, and a riverside dock for canoeists and boaters on the Suwannee River. This 70-foot deep, first magnitude spring offers opportunities for swimming, snorkeling, and scuba diving. Bring the family for an old fashioned swimming hole party! Only open-water scuba diving is permitted and divers must be certified; no solo diving is allowed. Trails for hiking and horseback riding are being developed. Located off County Road 425, 1.3 miles north of U.S. 27.
Waccasassa Bay Preserve State ParkAccessible only by boat, this preserve is a favorite of anglers because it boasts both saltwater and freshwater fishing. Bordering Florida's Gulf Coast between Cedar Key and Yankeetown, extensive salt marshes and tidal creeks create habitats for saltwater fish, crabs, and shellfish. The park's uplands protect a remnant of the Gulf Hammock that once spanned thousands of acres between the Suwannee and Withlacoochee rivers. Endangered and threatened species-including West Indian manatees, bald eagles, American alligators, and Florida black bears-live or feed within the preserve. Although there aren't any marked foot trails, nature enthusiasts can enjoy wildlife viewing from a canoe. There are several primitive campsites on the Preserve, accessible only by private boat and are available on a first-come-first-served basis. Boat access is from CR 40 in Yankeetown, CR 326 in Gulf Hammock, and Cedar Key.
Washington Oaks Gardens State ParkAlthough the formal gardens are the centerpiece of this park, Washington Oaks is also famous for the unique shoreline of coquina rock formations that line its Atlantic beach. Nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and the Matanzas River, this property was once owned by a distant relative of President George Washington. The gardens were established by Louise and Owen Young who purchased the land in 1936 and built a winter retirement home. They named it Washington Oaks and, in 1965, donated most of the property to the State. The gardens make remarkable use of native and exotic species, from azaleas and camellias to the exquisite bird of paradise, sheltered within a picturesque oak hammock. Visitors can picnic and fish from either the beach or the seawall along the Matanzas River. A number of short trails provide opportunities for hiking and bicycling. Visitors can learn about the park's natural and cultural resources in the visitor center. Located two miles south of Marineland on State Road A1A.
Weeki Wachee Springs State ParkThe mermaids at Weeki Wachee Springs have delighted visitors since 1947. Today, visitors can still witness the magic of the mermaids, take a river boat cruise and canoe or kayak on the Weeki Wachee River. The 538-acre park features a first magnitude spring and a 400-seat submerged theatre for watching the live mermaid show.
Buccaneer Bay offers a fun-filled flume ride for thrill seekers of all ages. Our white sandy beach area and covered picnic pavilions provide a relaxing day for your entire family. Weeki Wachee"s animal shows provide audiences with an entertaining and educational look at domesticated birds and reptiles. Located on U.S. 19 at the intersection of State Road 50, just north of Spring Hill and south of Homosassa Springs.
Wekiwa Springs State ParkLocated at the headwaters of the Wekiva River, the beautiful vistas within this park offer a glimpse of what Central Florida looked like when Timucuan Indians fished and hunted these lands. Just one hour from most central Florida attractions, Wekiwa Springs offers visitors the opportunity to relax in a natural setting, enjoy a picnic, or take a swim in the cool spring. Canoeists and kayakers can paddle along the Wekiva River and Rock Springs Run. Thirteen miles of trails provide opportunities for hiking, bicycling, and horseback riding. Options for camping include a full facility campground and primitive camping areas. Canoe and kayak rentals are available. For information about rentals, call (407) 884 4311.
Werner-Boyce Salt Springs State ParkThis park protects four miles of pristine coastline along the Gulf of Mexico in western Pasco County. The salt spring looks small, but it is an amazing 320 feet deep. Gray fox, gopher tortoises, alligators, and West Indian manatees call this park and its waters home. Birdwatchers can enjoy sighting raptors, wading birds, shore birds, and migratory songbirds. A recent addition to the state park system, Werner-Boyce now has a picnic pavilion, tables, informational kiosk, and a short hiking trail. Plans for the future include providing more access and recreational opportunities for visitors. Park entrance is located at the end of Cinema Drive along Scenic Drive. Turn west off US 19 onto Cinema Drive, park entrance is approx 2/10"s of a mile.
Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State ParkFormed of Key Largo limestone, fossilized coral, this land was sold to the Florida East Coast Railroad, which used the stone to build Henry Flagler's Overseas Railroad in the early 1900s. After the railroad was built, the quarry was used until the 1960s to produce exquisite pieces of decorative stone called Keystone. Today, visitors can walk along eight-foot-high quarry walls to see cross sections of the ancient coral and learn about the quarry and its operation- an important part of Florida's 20th century history. Samples of the quarry machinery have been preserved at the park. Visitors can enjoy the natural attributes of this island while strolling five short, self-guided trails. Picnic tables are available. The Visitor Center, open Friday through Sunday, 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., features educational exhibits about the history of this site. Located at Mile Marker 84.9 on Windley Key near Islamorada.
Ybor City Museum State ParkDon Vicente Martinez Ybor came to the frontier near Tampa and built a city that became the "Cigar Capital of the World." From the opening of the first cigar factory in 1886 until the 1930s, Ybor City flourished. This urban park is dedicated to the preservation of Ybor City's unique cultural heritage. The museum, housed in the historic Ferlita Bakery, traces the rich cultural history of Ybor City and the cigar making industry. The museum has self-guided exhibits, with written and audio information, and a video presentation. La Casita, a restored cigar worker's house, is open for viewing 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. Guided tours are available Monday through Saturday. The ornamental garden can be rented for events after regular park hours. Located at the corner of 9th Avenue and 19th Street in Tampa.
Yellow Bluff Fort Historic State ParkLocated near the mouth of the St. Johns River, this site was an important military position during the Civil War, allowing access to the inland areas of Florida's east coast. There was never an actual fort on Yellow Bluff, but an encampment that was fortified and equipped with large guns for protection. Constructed in 1862, the site was occupied by both Confederate and Union troops during the Civil War and-at its peak-housed over 250 soldiers. The site has a T-shaped earthworks and covers about 1.3 acres. Located on Yellow Bluff peninsula on the north side of the St. Johns River (on New Berlin Road).
We welcome you to visit all seven of the parks which collectively comprise Talbot Islands State Parks: Pumpkin Hill Creek Preserve State Park, Amelia Island State Park, George Crady Bridge Fishing Pier State Park, Little Talbot Island State Park, Fort George Island Cultural State Park, and Big Talbot Island State Park.