The coast of Walton County is home to rare coastal dune lakes, an ecosystem that only exists in Florida and in Australia and Africa, and you’ll find them at Deer Lake State Park.
Location: Seagrove Beach
Lat-Long: 30.302900, -86.074800
Fees: $3 per vehicle
Open: 8 AM until sunset daily
Leashed pets welcome but not on beaches
Along SR 30-A west of Seaside
As the freshwater coastal dune lakes become too full, they naturally spill over and flow into the Gulf of Mexico. At that time seawater seeps back into the lakes, creating a unique, biodiverse ecosystem.
Deer Lake State Park preserves one of the 17 coastal dune lakes of Florida, with dune crossovers amid sweeping views of tall sand dunes to a stretch of white sand beach. On the north side of 30A, the wet flatwoods are home to pitcher plants, Gulf coast lupine, and other rare wildflowers.
Explore the park
A simple 0.3 mile (each way) dune crossover boardwalk from the parking area to the beach gives you a sweeping view of Deer Lake and its outflows to the Gulf of Mexico. Walk west on the beach for a half mile to explore the outflow areas. A nature trail explores the upland areas.