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T.H. Stone Memorial St. Joseph Peninsula State Park

 Activities at T.H. Stone Memorial St. Joseph Peninsula State Park

Beaches

Beaches

In 2002 St. Joseph Peninsula State Park was named # 1 beach in the nation by Dr. Beach. Once rated number one it will not be rated again but remains on the list of top rated beaches. The park offers 10 miles of white sandy beaches and some of the tallest sand dunes in the state.  Swimming, fishing, shelling, snorkeling and just relaxing on the beach are the most popular activities. Sea turtle and shore birds nest on the beach in summer months. Please stay off the dunes and do not disturb sea turtle nest or enter shore bird nesting areas.  Pets are not permitted on the beach at the State Park but are permitted on public beaches outside of the park.   

Bicycling

Bicycling

Bicycles are welcome at the park.  The park has nearly 4 miles of paved road that can be shared with other motorist.  Just outside the park there is a 3 mile bike trail that boarders County road 30E.  State law requires children under 16 wear a helmet while riding a bicycle.

Boat Ramp

Boat Ramp

A paved ramp and deep water access can accommodate most trailered vessels.  The park has a marina that is limited in space.  Only vessels of registered campers and cabin guest are permitted to leave boats in the marina overnight.  Covered picnic shelters, access to the beach, cold water outdoor shower, fish cleaning station and restrooms can also be found near the boat ramp.  Parking is limited and a $5.00 fee is required to launch your boat at the park in addition to the general park admission fee.

Boating

Boating

Boating is a popular activity at St. Joseph Peninsula State Park.  The clear water of St. Joseph Bay, the deep water access from the park, great fishing, snorkeling and easy access to off shore reefs and fishing attracts a large boating crowd. Knowledge of local waters is required.  Please be cautious of changing tides and water depth and do not damage seagrass or other sensitive marine habitat.

Cabins

Cabins

The park offers eight cabins which over look St. Joseph Bay. Each cabin can accommodate six people. The cabins are furnished with 2 queen beds, a futon, and a day bed. Each cabin is equipped with a gas fireplace (available November through March), central heating and cooling, kitchen with basic cooking and dining utensils, screened in porch and outdoor grill. Linens, pillows, blankets and towels are provided. Linens are not refreshed daily. Television and telephones are not provided in the cabins, cell reception is extremely limited.

Reservations may be made up to 11 months in advance through ReserveAmerica. Book Online @reserveamerica.com or call (800) 326-3521 (8:00 a.m. to 8:00p.m.) or TDD (888) 433-0287. Pets are not permitted in cabins.

There is a minimum two nights stay in cabins on weekends and holidays, either Friday and Saturday night, or Saturday and Sunday nights. A single Friday or Saturday night may be reserved only if the following Saturday or Sunday night is already reserved.

View the photo gallery.

Campfire Circles

Campfire Circles

An amphitheater is located in the Shady Pines camping area and is available for campers to gather.  Nature programs are scheduled during the winter months or may be scheduled upon request.

Camping, Full Facility

Camping, Full Facility

St. Joseph Peninsula State Park offers 2 separate camping areas with a total of 119 sites.  Gulf Breeze and Shady Pines camp areas are both located just a short walk from the beach.  Shady Pines is appropriately named and most sites offer more shade than those at Gulf Breeze. Pets are welcome in the campground, they must be on a leash at all times and other pet rules apply.  Limited 30Amp electric, water, a picnic table, and fire ring is provided at each site.  A central dump station is provided for RV waste.  Restrooms and showers are located at each camping area.  Some of the sites can accommodate RV’s up to 40’ but most sites are smaller and limit the size of camping unit.

 

Reservations may be made up to 11 months in advance through ReserveAmerica.  Book Online @reserveamerica.comor call (800) 326-3521 (8:00 a.m. to 8:00p.m.) or TDD

Camping, Primitive

Camping, Primitive

Primitive camping is allowed in the Wilderness Preserve for a maximum of 14 nights at $5.00/ person/night. No facilities are available. Campers must bring their own supplies. Campers are required to carry in and carry all items including trash out.  Pets, alcohol, and collection of wood is prohibited. Fires are permitted in provided fire rings only.  Fire wood is sold at the park office.

 

There are seven designated sites and a limited number 5 of primitive campers are permitted in each site.  Due to the sensitive ecosystem in the Wilderness preserve, camping is restricted to designated sites. Reservations may be made up to 60 days in advance by contacting the park at (850) 227-1327.  Campers must arrive at least two hours prior to sunset to register for primitive camping and must check out upon departure. Camping permit or permit for day access to the wilderness preserve must be obtained at the ranger station prior to entering the area.

Camping, Youth

Camping, Youth

The youth camping area is available to organized youth groups of up to 30. Adult supervisors must remain with the youth at all times. Check in and checkout time is at 1 pm, EST. Restrooms, cold water showers, picnic tables and a fire ring are provided. Reservations for the youth camp may be made up to 11 months in advance by calling the park at (850) 227-1327.

 

Canoeing & Kayaking

Canoeing & Kayaking

Canoeing and Kayaking are popular activities at St. Joseph Peninsula State Park.  You may carry your vessel and launch from the beach, conditions permitting; or you can launch into the bay at the ramp area, Bay view picnic area or any other designated Bayshore access area.  There is plenty of clear shallow water areas that make St. Joseph Bay idea for canoe or kayak.

Concession & Restaurant

Concession & Restaurant

Scallop Cove II - Concession offers food, snacks, drinks, groceries, beach supplies, boating and fishing supplies, camping supplies, beach rentals, Kayak, canoe, and bicycle rentals. Contact park office for hours of operation or other information.
 

Fishing

Fishing

A Florida Fishing License is required to fish in fresh or salt water.  Regulations change frequently so check them before your trip.  Fish caught in the waters around the park include speckled trout, red drum, flounder, mullet, bluefish, whiting and shark.  Spear fishing is not permitted in the park.  Scalloping is an extremely popular activity during the summer months.  Remember you must have a fishing license and make sure you know the fishing regulations.

Hiking/Nature Trail

Hiking/Nature Trail

St. Joseph Peninsula State Park offers 3 different trail experiences: The Maritime Hammock Trail winds through a coastal hammock environment to the shores of St. Joseph Bay.  The mile long Bay view Nature Trail passes through maritime oak community, salt marsh, scrub and runs alongside the bay. The Wilderness Preserve Trail runs 6 miles through 1750 acres of an unspoiled coastal ecosystem and sand pine scrub, permit required.  Coastal scrub habitat is rare due to habitat being lost to the development of coastal communities.  Obtain a permit at the ranger station prior to access.  There are no facilities or drinking water available on the 6 mile wilderness trail and there is a carry in carry out policy, plan your hike accordingly.

Picnicking

Picnicking

Two picnic areas are provided at St. Joseph Peninsula State Park.   Bay view picnic area provides access to the 1 mile long Bay view trail, has a large picnic shelter for family gatherings, a large playground, canoe / kayak launch, and restrooms.  The picnic area at Eagle harbor provides small picnic shelters, restrooms, boat ramp and access to the beach and bay.

Playground

Playground

There is a large playground located at Bay view picnic area.  A picnic shelter is

located nearby where mom or dad can relax and keep an eye on he children.

Showers, Day Visitors

Showers, Day Visitors

Cold water outdoor showers are available at the beach access and boat ramp area at eagle harbor.  Hot showers in the campground are restricted to overnight guest. Use of the shower in the campground may be available for an additional fee, check at the ranger station for special hot shower permit.

Snorkeling

Snorkeling

Snorkelers are drawn to the clear shallow waters of St. Joseph Bay.  A visible dive flag is required while snorkeling and you must shay within 25’ of your flag.  Collecting live shells or marine life is prohibited.  You should be familiar with the regulations of your activity.

Swimming

Swimming

Swimming from the beach or bay is permitted and is a popular activity.  There are no lifeguards on duty and you should be familiar with the risk associated with swimming in open water.  Rip tides and marine hazards can cause harm and at times be deadly.

Wildlife Viewing

Wildlife Viewing

St. Joseph Peninsula State Park offers an excellent opportunity to observe wildlife.  Deer are commonly viewed along the park drive.  Bobcat, fox, otter, raccoon, squirrels, opossum, coyote and armadillo are just a few animals you may get a chance to see.  Shore birds and wading birds rest, nest and feed at the park.  Sea turtles come onto the beach during the summer to lay their eggs.  In the fall and spring the park is a much needed stop for migrating birds and butterflies.  The park is one of the many stops listed on the Florida Birding Trail.