Cut in two by the ferocious force of Hurricane Michael in 2018, St. Joseph Peninsula State Park is continuing its progress towards recovery.
Portions of the park have reopened, enabling both day use access and overnight stays. But the peninsula is now in two parts with a connecting bridge.
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Address: 8899 Cape San Blas Rd, Port St. Joe
Fees: $6 per vehicle
Restrooms: At campgrounds and picnic areas
Land Manager: Florida State Parks
Open 8 AM to sunset. Leashed dogs on the bay side but not the beach.
From Port St. Joe, follow SR 30A to SR 30E; continue on SR 30E until it ends in the state park. Enter the park gates and pass the Maritime Forest Trail trailhead before reaching the entrance station.
About the Park
The primary purpose of St. Joseph Peninsula State Park is to protect windswept Cape San Blas, which shelters the expanse of St. Joseph Bay behind it.
But it’s always been a destination for beachgoers in a distinctly rural region west of the Apalachicola River.
En route to the park, much of the narrow spit of Cape San Blas is now crowded with beach homes.
But here at the park, you can relax and enjoy the surf on a vast expanse of white sand along emerald waters.
A large parking area is shared between the primary beach access point south of the new pass at Eagle Harbor and the bayside harbor with its marina.
Little remains of the massive dunes that once blocked your view of the Gulf of Mexico from the park road.
Before Hurricane Michael rearranged this peninsula, the park had also two large campgrounds in a pine forest by the sea and an array of bayside cabins.
The bayside cabins survived the storm and are once again open for rental. They have a unique “vacation cottage” vibe and great views of the bay.
Primitive camping is available in the Wilderness Preserve west of the cabins. A new campground is presently being built.
Three hiking trails existed on our last visit. The Maritime Forest Nature Trail just inside the park gate has reopened.
The Wilderness Trail has long been a destination for backpackers to sleep under the stars, and is currently the one place you can camp in the park.
Partially destroyed by the forces of nature that tore a new inlet at Eagle Harbor, the interpretive St. Joseph Bay Trail is being reconstructed.
A long-established paved bike path parallels CR 30E from the park entrance gates through the entire sweep of Cape San Blas for ten miles.
More worth exploring while you’re in this area.