Apalachicola, Florida Campgrounds

Apalachicola, Florida Campgrounds
Apalachicola brings to mind the creamy texture of the oysters pulled from Apalachicola Bay for many native Floridians. Dubbed the Forgotten Coast, the stretch of Gulf of Mexico shore around Apalachicola offers hiking, paddling and fishing to those looking to find a secluded escape from the densely populated tourist destinations throughout Florida. This atmosphere of native beauty encourages outdoor enthusiasts to replace hotel room air-conditioning with a Gulf breeze or a speckled ceiling for a forest canopy.

St. Joseph Peninsula State Park

The fourth segment of the 1,515 mile Florida Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail begins from the primitive campsites at St. Joseph Peninsula State Park. This wilderness preserve protects more than 7 miles of the peninsula separating St. Joseph's Bay from the Gulf of Mexico. This position ensures guests have miles of beaches and waterways to fish, paddle, swim and hike. More than 200 species of birds frequent the park, and summer visitors share the beach with loggerhead sea turtles as they come ashore to nest at night. In addition to primitive camping, this park also offers campsites with water and electricity behind the sand dunes along the beach. Park amenities include restrooms, showers, picnic areas, boat ramp, marina and a playground. Cabins rentals are available.

St. Joseph Peninsula State Park
8899 Cape San Blas Road
Port St. Joe, FL 32456
(850) 227-1327

St. George Island State Park

After 57 miles of paddling, the fourth leg of the Florida Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail comes to an end at the primitive campsites at Gap Point in St. George Island State Park. The park lies on the eastern end of St. George Island, which partitions Apalachicola Bay from the Gulf of Mexico. The park also offers campsites with electric and water hookup for tent and RV campers. Anglers testing the waters can yield Spanish mackerel, sea trout, pompano and redfish, and sunbathers can find their own patch of sand along the 9 miles of beaches. Park visitors are accommodated with boat ramps, bathrooms, showers, picnic areas, playground and several miles of linear hiking trails.

St. George Island State Park
1900 E. Gulf Beach Drive
St. George Island, FL 32328
(850) 927-2111

Tate's Hell State Forest

Primitive campsites are spread throughout the 202,000 acres of Tate's Hell State Forest. Hikers in the forest can stroll the 4-mile-long High Bluff Coastal Trail, which is included in the Florida State Forests Trailwalker Program, and more ambitious hikers might seek the portion of the Florida National Scenic Trail stretching through the adjoining Apalachicola National Forest. Coastal Paddlers will find reason to come here as the fifth segment of the Florida Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail follows the Crooked River as it meanders along the southern fringe of the forest. Most campsites, with the exception of the Womack Creek Camping Area, require a special use permit from the forestry office.

Tate's Hell State Forest
290 Airport Road
Carrabelle, FL 32322
(850) 697-3734

Article Written By David Chandler

David Chandler has been a freelance writer since 2006 whose work has appeared in various print and online publications. A former reconnaissance Marine, he is an active hiker, diver, kayaker, sailor and angler. He has traveled extensively and holds a bachelor's degree from the University of South Florida where he was educated in international studies and microbiology.

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