Description - Established in the 1930s, Florida State Parks are special places where visitors find a tonic for mind, body and spirit. Well over a hundred parks help visitors learn about the natural and cultural history of the state while providing an excellent outdoor experience.
Copyright: Florida Division of Recreation & Parks
Honeymoon Island State Recreation Area
- State Park adventures are unlimited in Florida. From the coral reefs and mangrove trees of the Keys to the freshwater springs and pine forests of the panhandle, Florida's environment and recreation is as diverse as it is beautiful. In the northwest, experience one of the world's purest sand bottom rivers along Blackwater River Canoe Trail. The northeast affords opportunities to explore more than 200 acres of undeveloped pristine beaches, salt marshes and maritime forests at Amelia Island State Recreation Area. A favorite spot for frolicking on white sandy beaches is Honeymoon Island State Recreation Area resting along the Gulf coast. As the theme park capitol of America, the central area of Florida boasts fabulous wildlife viewing amid pristine winding waterways and huge natural springs pouring 80 million gallons of water daily and affording terrific cave scuba diving opportunities. Central east region of Florida has one of the most prolific sea turtle nesting sights in America. Each summer loggerhead, green and leatherback females make their way to the sandy shores of St. Lucie Inlet State Preserve. Turtle night walks are one of the park system's most successful environmental education programs. South Florida, stretching from the east coast to the west coast has a bounty of wildlife and subtropical plant life. This is where the rare Florida panther roams freely and where the endangered American crocodile and alligator live side-by-side. Visit sites such as Mound Key State Archaeological Site where Calusa Indians left densely compacted artifacts, or visit one of the most popular saltwater fishing, scuba diving and snorkeling sights in America, John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. Accompaniments for your park visit should include camera, bug repellent, field guides, binoculars, sunscreen, and plenty of water.
Recreation - Florida State Parks explode with recreation opportunities. State Parks are open from 8 A.M. to sunset every day of the year. However, many museums, visitor centers and historic sites are closed two days a week and their hours may vary. Wildlife viewing and water sports are prime recreations in the state parks. From the panhandle down to the keys, tourists enjoy horse trails, camping, roller blading, boating, picnicking, nature programs, swimming, bicycling, fresh and saltwater fishing, snorkeling and much more. If you plan on camping in a state park, it is advisable to make your reservation early. Individual parks take reservations up to 11 months in advance. Many of these parks "book" at first opportunity. Over 14 million people visit Florida each year.
Climate - Florida's weather is dominated by the water that surrounds it. The Atlantic Ocean in the east and the Gulf of Mexico in the west provide a stabilizing force that maintains the mild climate. Northern Florida is considered sub tropical, although it does receive some snow. This area is drier than the rest of the state. Southern areas of the state, definitely the Keys, lie within a tropical climate. Humidity is high, a characteristic of the climate, although the temperatures usually don't extend past 90 degrees F.
On the average the state receives 50 to 65 inches of rain. Summer is the rainy season, which extends into October in the south. Hurricane season begins in late August. Some hurricanes can bring up to 25 inches of rain. An average of two hurricanes per season reach the Florida peninsula. Most often these storms reach the Atlantic Coast rather than the Gulf Coast.
State Parks are located throughout all regions of the state.