During a long morning of hiking on the breezy, open trails of Big Lagoon State Park with my friend Jeff, we made it out to the famed observation tower at Big Lagoon. This prominent structure offers a sweeping view of the park, the lagoon, the Gulf of Mexico, parts of Gulf Islands National Seashore, Perdido Key, and the surrounding shorelines. Quite the panorama! Big Lagoon State Park is a gateway to the Great Florida Birding Trail and we saw no lack of birds here, from bluebirds to osprey, stilts to blue-winged teals. While the hurricanes of 2004-2006 did a number on the tall trees, especially those shading the campground and trails, it’s still a pleasant destination. Enjoy scenic views? Here’s an article I wrote about observation towers around the state.