St. Joseph Peninsula State Park offers two lovely camping loops, white-sand beaches, Florida's tallest dunes, and a wilderness preserve. Backpackers and paddlesport enthusiasts are invited to enjoy the 1,650-acre wilderness. No facilities are offered at the peninsula's tip. It is strictly a carry-in and carry-out primitive site.
Copyright: Florida Division of Recreation & Parks
St. Joseph Peninsula State Park
The main campgrounds offer 119 campsites with water, picnic tables and grills. Electricity is available on 97 of the sites. Three restrooms, nine showers and a dump station accommodate the campers.
Each campground has access trails and boardwalks leading to the beach. Gulf Breeze Campground offers little shade but is closer to the beach. On the other hand, Shady Pine Campground is appropriately named and rests toward the interior of the peninsula. In addition to the sabal palms, longleaf pines, and coastal live oaks towering overhead, saw palmettos divide the sites offering some privacy.
A boardwalk links the two campgrounds. An offshoot carries hikers to an observation deck overlooking the tidal creek. This is wonderful place to observe the park's fabulous birdlife. Over 200 species of birds have been recorded at St. Joseph. The park is strategically located along the Atlantic Flyway making it a favorite resting spot for migrating warblers, raptors and monarch butterflies. Look for wading birds fishing the swallow waters of the tidal creek.
A variety of water sports are easily available from both campgrounds. Swimming and sunbathing are the two most popular. Wind surfing, beachcombing, surf fishing, and snorkeling are the other enjoyments. Crabbing and scalloping is easy, fun and delicious.
Directions from Port St. Joe, FL: Travel south along County Route 30-A approximately 10 miles. Turn right (west) onto County Route 30-E which travels onto the penninsula. Follow past Eglin Air Force Base heading north several miles to the park. Once inside the park, travel to the fork. Bear left for Gulf Breeze Campground and bear right for Shady Pines Campground. Youth camping is beyond Shady Pines.