Trails at St. Joseph

Boardwalk passes through heavily vegetated marsh.  Pink flowers can be seen along the boardwalk.

The popular Maritime Hammock Nature Trail is open for hiking at T.H. Stone Memorial St. Joseph Peninsula State Park.

The half-mile scenic walk winds through three distinct natural communities: a depression marsh, sand scrub and a coastal hammock. The boardwalk at the beginning of the trail passes through a depression marsh. Hikers can observe saw grass, slash pines and bracken ferns in the seasonally flooded marsh. 

As hikers progress on the trail, gently rolling hills can be seen in the scrub habitat. This natural community is the largest plant community in the park and consists of very loose, soft sand. Common plants found here are sand pine, Florida rosemary, deer moss and Chapman oak.

Sandy path travels through scrub habitat.

The last portion of the trail loops through maritime hammock. Red cedar, Southern magnolia and red bay can be seen in the dense vegetation. Yaupon, sabal palm, resurrection fern and beautyberry are also widespread within the hammock. 

Two benches along the bay shore are the perfect place to relax and enjoy the Real Florida. 

Two wooden benches sit beneath the shade on the beach of the St. Joseph Bay.

When hiking the trail, keep in mind:

  • During the warmer months, insects can be bothersome. Bug spray or lotions should be applied prior to hiking the trail. 
  • Pets are welcome on the trail but are not permitted on the sandy beach. 
  • Collecting plants, artifacts, sand dollars and starfish is prohibited. Please take nothing but pictures and leave nothing but footprints. 

Due to damage from Hurricane Michael, the Maritime Hammock Trail is the only nature trail that is currently accessible. The Wilderness Preserve and Bay View trails are not open at this time. Once access to the northern section of the peninsula is restored, work to reopen the other trails will begin.