The St Joseph Peninsula State Park Trail
8899 Cape San Blas Rd.
An 18-mile loop combines beach and piney woods on an island refuge wedged between the Gulf and St Joseph's Bay, near Port St. Joe, Florida. The Maritime Hammock Trail and Bayview Nature Trail offer other peninsula explorations.
With miles of white sugar sand, this park has one of the top–rated beaches in the United States. Sunbathing, snorkeling, and swimming are popular activities along the Gulf of Mexico and St. Joseph Bay. From offshore, canoeists and kayakers can take in a superb view of the high dunes and sand pine scrub. Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy camping, fishing, hiking, and bicycling. As a coastal barrier peninsula, St. Joseph provides excellent opportunities for bird–watching; over 240 species have been sighted in the park. A boat ramp is located at Eagle Harbor on the bay side. Campers can stay in a full–facility campground, a short walk from the beach, or at primitive campsites in the wilderness preserve. Eight cabins on the bay side offer alternative overnight accommodations.
Hours of Operation - Florida state parks are open from 8 a.m. until sundown 365 days a year.
Driving Directions - St. Joseph Peninsula State Park is located near Port St. Joe. On US 98 (heading East) turn onto SR30–A, travel to SR30–E, turn and travel to the park.
Nature & History
St. Josephs Bay is ecologically unusual, since it's one of the few large bays in Florida that is not drained by a freshwater river. The mouth of the bay is relatively narrow, meaning the bay can be relatively smooth even when the Gulf of Mexico is too choppy for enjoyment in smaller boats. Sea turtles and other wildlife can be seen more easily than on the Gulf side of Cape San Blas.
Cape San Blas has a well earned reputation for rewarding bird watching. Your property owner can direct you to choice viewing areas. Birding seasons are fall through spring. Enjoy Northern Gannet, White and Brown Pelicans, Cormorants, Herons, Egrets, Geese, Blue Winged Teal, Bald Eagle, Northern Harrier, American Kestral, Black Bellied Plover, Snowy Plover, Wilson’s Plover, Semiplated Plover, Sanderling, Dunlin, Sandpipers, assorted gulls, Royal Tern, Forster’s Tern, Caspian Tern.
There is a bicycle path along Cape San Blas Road now. An 8 mile bay side bicycle trail, from St Joseph Peninsula State Park to Salinas Park is scheduled to open in 2005.