2022 Construction Projects Underway

A palm tree stands guard over repairs to the former breach and road.

Many construction projects are underway at T.H. Stone Memorial St. Joseph Peninsula State Park.

Cabin renovations, two campground loops and two new day-use areas are being renovated or built. Additional projects will follow in the next few years.  

In October 2018, Hurricane Michael severed the peninsula just 1 mile north of the park entrance, rendering 90% of the park inaccessible (2,470 of 2,790 acres). The majority of the park’s vital infrastructure was wholly destroyed, including the popular Gulf Breeze and Shady Pines campground loops and cabins.

Many construction projects are underway at T.H. Stone Memorial St. Joseph Peninsula State Park. Cabin renovations, two campground loops and two new day-use areas are being renovated or built. Additional projects will follow in the next few years. 

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection welcomes opportunities to make improvements to the park facilities. We appreciate the patience and understanding of visitors. While these projects may present a temporary inconvenience, they will provide valuable amenity improvements and will symbolize the park’s resilience following a devastating storm.

Available at the Park Now

Today, the park is open for day use from 8 a.m. to sundown and offers nearly 20 miles of beach and bay shoreline for recreation and wildlife habitat. Visitors can enjoy fishing, bicycling, birding, boating, hiking, paddling, picnicking, shelling, swimming and wildlife viewing. The boat launch provides access to St. Joseph Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. Kayak, canoe and pontoon boat rentals are available at the Eagle Harbor Marina. The popular Maritime Hammock Nature Trail has reopened.  

Completed Projects

Since 2018, several significant projects have been completed. Tons of debris and downed or hazardous timber have been removed from the park. The breach caused by Hurricane Michael has filled in and been stabilized, and a new road is in place. A beach renourishment project repaired the dunescape using an off-shore dredge site. The beach restroom has been remodeled, and sea oats have been planted to stabilize the dune and help prevent erosion.

Cabin Renovations

The eight cabins and linked boardwalks were damaged by storm surge flooding and will be renovated and/or reconstructed to bring back this popular overnight accommodation within the park. The gulf access trail from cabins will be reestablished for cabin visitors to reach the beach within a short walking distance. The cabins will reopen for reservations in mid-2023. 

Please be patient and exercise caution, and do not enter the construction zone.

Camping at the Park

In the future, the park will offer two camping loops.

The former Shady Pines Campground was washed out by Hurricane Michael and the bathhouses were destroyed. Much of the tree canopy was lost. The dune adjacent to the Gulf of Mexico was eroded.

The new Shady Pines campground will feature 36 standard-facility campsites and 10 tent-only campsites. Two new bathhouses will be built. Campers will have access to the gulf beach from the campground. The Shady Pines campground will open for reservations in mid-2023.

A new camping loop, the Bayview Campground, will be created on the site of the former boat trailer parking area. Campers will enjoy a scenic view over the waters of St. Joseph Bay. Approximately 19 standard-facility campsites will surround an area of natural scrubby flatwoods with a footpath to a bathhouse. 

Please be patient and exercise caution, and do not enter the construction zone.

Day-Use Facilities

Park visitors will have access to two new day-use areas for picnicking and other recreation.

The Gulf Breeze Day-Use Area (former Gulf Breeze Campground) will allow visitors to explore an area of beach north of Eagle Harbor with a scenic backdrop of piney flatwoods and open marsh that provide habitat for an abundance of wildlife. Short walking paths will provide opportunities to explore the landscape. Additional amenities at this location will include overflow parking for vehicles with boat trailers plus a restroom and covered pavilions.

Pavilions at the Bayview Day-Use Area will provide shade for picnickers. This area will be used by hikers on the Bayview Hiking Trail and paddlers for launching paddle craft and small watercraft.

Please be patient and exercise caution, and do not enter the construction zone.

Primitive Camping

Fourteen primitive campsites will offer a remote experience in the Wilderness Preserve. This sensitive natural community was resilient to the impacts of Hurricane Michael. The winds of the storm left many trees bent over and snapped into the shape of an A-frame. Storm surge left behind debris. Today, palmettos, rosemary, oaks and pines are sprouting in the understory.

Please be patient and exercise caution, and do not enter the construction zone.