Where Ochlockonee Bay meets the Gulf, Bald Point State Park protects the tip of the peninsula. Off the beaten track, it’s a quiet place, perfect for a seaside stroll with a bit of estuarine exploration.
Where Ochlockonee Bay meets the Gulf of Mexico along the Forgotten Coast, quiet Bald Point State Park protects the tip of the peninsula, providing beaches to roam and estuaries and uplands to explore.
In a hidden corner of Collier County, Barefoot Beach Preserve provides immersion in nature at a beauty spot along two miles of natural shoreline on the Gulf of Mexico just north of Wiggins Pass.
Where the highway ends, Bayport Park begins. Perched on the edge of the estuary where the Weeki Wachee River meets the Gulf of Mexico, it offers spectacular sunset views along with its water access.
Following the Bayport-Linda Pedersen Paddling Trail for 1.7 miles through mazes of needlerush along Florida’s Adventure Coast, you’re immersed in the sights and sounds of a coastal estuary.
Near Perdido Key, Big Lagoon State Park is best known for its (really big) lagoon, but the scenic trail system through the scrub is a delight for hardy hikers, involving much trekking through soft white sand.
At Lovers Key State Park, head to the north end of the island to explore the Black Island Trail. Shared with mountain bikers, the trail system at Black Island consists of two separate loops linked by an unpaved service road.
Between Sarasota and St. Petersburg on the south side of Tampa Bay, Bradenton has trails that explore the mangrove-lined coast as well as wooded uplands to the east.
Haunted by a sea monster sighted in one of the largest ancient coastal dune lakes on Florida’s coast, Camp Helen State Park offers seaside relaxation and historic interpretation.
At Caspersen Beach Park, meander the gentle nature trail through a tropical hammock or take a long stroll down a quiet beach where shark’s teeth wash ashore
Offshore from Boca Grande and Pine Island, Cayo Costa State Park is tough to get to but the 6.5 miles of trails and many more miles of beaches will be yours to roam
To spend a day or a weekend on your own deserted island? Heaven. This is one of the tougher and costlier state parks to get to, but well worth it.