Manager's Message

Kiersten Wilson, Park Manager

Kiersten Wilson, Park Manager

Tarkiln Bayou Preserve is home to multiple species of endangered pitcher plants, as well as other rare and endangered plant species. The rare, carnivorous white-topped pitcher plant is unique to the Gulf Coast and is found only between the Apalachicola and Mississippi Rivers. Almost 100 other rare plants and animals depend on the wet prairie habitat, including alligator snapping turtles, sweet pitcher plant and chapman’s butterwort.

Prescribed fire is an essential part of this ecosystem. Tarkiln Bayou may be closed to visitors on occasion for safety during the coming months, while the park uses heavy equipment to prepare an area for prescribed fire. Areas of the park may also be closed during a prescribed burn. We apologize for this inconvenience, but we use the tool of prescribed fire to enhance the ecosystem and the wildflower population for the following year!

The Friends of Pensacola State Parks, Inc. is our citizen support organization. This is a dedicated group of volunteers that you can become involved with! They generate support for Big Lagoon, Perdido Key and Tarkiln Bayou Preserve State Parks through work projects, community relations, exhibits, fund raising activities, special events, and educational activities.

More information on events and how to become a Friend of Pensacola State Parks.

Need to get away from it all? Campsites are available just around short drive down the road at Big Lagoon State Park. Campers at Big Lagoon are given a pass allowing free admission to Tarkiln Bayou Preserve State Park during their stay. Reservations are only a mouse click away and can be made at or by calling 1-800-326-3521.