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Guide To Visiting The St. George Island State Park

Situated along the east end of the island, St. George Island State Park (also known as Dr. Julian G. Bruce St. George Island State Park) is a pristine destination for families and groups. Boasting over nine miles of undeveloped beaches, sand dunes, and marshes, this Florida State Park is the perfect spot to enjoy a secluded day on the water.

 

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Located just south of Tallahassee in Franklin County, the park occupies over 2,000 acres on the barrier island, offering unique experiences on both the Gulf of Mexico and the historic Apalachicola Bay. Open 365 days a year, the state park also offers activities for every season, making it a bucket list item for Florida Panhandle visitors throughout the year.

Featuring picturesque blue water and white sand beaches, the gulf side of the island is ideal for a day on the water. Pack beach favorites like chairs, umbrellas, towels, beach toys and games, and snacks for the ultimate beach getaway. The state park’s Gulf Coast beaches are also less busy than other Florida beaches, making it easy to find hidden gems, like unique sea shells, sharks teeth, beach glass, and more. In 2013, Forbes ranked the beach at St. George Island State Park as the third best in the United States

In contrast, the bay side of the island features marshland ecosystems with thriving wildlife, making it a perfect site for fishing, birdwatching, and even spotting a pod of dolphins. The bay side also features calmer, shallow waters, ideal for casual kayaking, canoeing, and paddle boarding.

 

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Are you curious about specific activities that are permitted at the St. George Island State Park? Pencil in a few of the following:

  • Cycling
  • Fishing
  • Paddle boarding
  • Kayaking
  • Shelling
  • Running
  • Birding
  • Geocaching
  • Picnicking
  • Hiking
  • Roller blading
  • Swimming
  • Boating
  • Beach and yard games

Wildlife activities are a top draw to the island park—and it’s not hard to figure out why! The state park is home to over 250 species of birds and almost as many species as fish. Other native species include various sea turtles, dolphins, crabs, and amphibians. Summer months find a swell of sea turtles and shore birds like the snowy plover, least tern, black skimmer, and willet nesting on the beautiful beaches. If you’re looking to catch your dinner, just remember that you’ll need a license to legally fish in the park. Anglers can fish for flounder, redfish, snapper, sea trout, pompano, whiting, and more in the bay or from the beach.

Visitors that prefer an active lifestyle are also in luck. The park features hiking trails in the form of four miles of paved road and an additional five miles of stabilized road leading to the far end of the island. The park also offers three and a half miles of lush nature trails and a dedicated bike path. The park was designed with an active mindset and is the perfect spot for running, hiking, cycling, and more. If you bring bikes, be sure to pack helmets, as they are required by Florida state law. Don’t forget to pack a picnic lunch for a midday break! Multiple beachfront picnic shelters are equipped with grills and tables, as well as accessible restrooms and showers.

Campers love St. George Island State Park! The park is home to a family campground and RV park with more than 50 campsites, a playground, electricity, water hookups and a nearby dump station. Find out more about camping at Florida State Parks, and reserve your campsite today! Visitors are able to reserve a campsite space from one day to 11 months in advance.

Water activities are also popular, with plenty of fun waiting on both sides of the island. The state park offers a boat ramp for easy launching and the ranger station offers affordable rentals for kayaks and paddle boards, though guests are certainly welcome to bring their own.

The St. George Island State Park hosts lively events throughout the year. Events are seasonal and include everything from beach yoga and historical tours to educational children’s programs and guided wildlife tours—to name a few. If you’re curious about what’s happening during your stay, just call the park or visit the website (below) for a full list of weekly activities.

 

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Hurricane Michael update: Due to damages sustained during Hurricane Michael, some areas of SGI State Park are currently closed, including: Sugar Hill Beach Use Area and the East End Special Use Area. The East Slough Beach Use Area is open for parking and beach access only. Restrooms and rinse off showers are available, but the picnic pavilions are not currently use-able at this time.

Four park-style grills are still available for use. The East Slough Boat Ramp should only be used by shallow draft vessels during high tide periods until further notice. Park representatives are aiming to be fully functional in the early fall.


St. George Island State Park FAQs

Do you have a question about visiting St. George Island State Park? Check out our FAQs for more information.

Where is the park located?

The address for the park is:

1900 E. Gulf Beach Dr.

Eastpoint – St. George Island, FL, 32328

What are the park hours?

The park is open from 8 a.m. through sundown daily. The park is open 365 days a year, pending weather.

What is the cost of entry?

The entry fee is $6 per vehicle.

What are the park amenities?

The St. George Island State Park offers several convenient amenities, including hiking and biking trails, paved sidewalks and pathways, picnic tables, grills, waterfront boardwalks, a boat ramp and boat trailer parking area, restroom facilities, water fountains, an on-site information station, and more. Rest assured that you’ll have everything you need for a comfortable visit!

Does the park have a boat launch?

Yes, the boat ramp is located along the gulf side of the park.

Can I fish at the park?

Yes! Just remember that you’ll need a Florida fishing license.

Does the park have restrooms?

Yes! The state park does have restroom facilities that are regularly maintained.

Is the park pet friendly?

Pets are permitted to enter SGI State Park, but are not allowed on the beach, boardwalks, or pavilions. Additionally, all pets must remain on a leash and stay with the owner at all times.

Where can I get more information?

For more information, visit the official state park website at or call (850) 927-2111.

It’s not hard to see why the St. George Island State Park is an annual tradition for many!

Be sure to pencil in this local gem during your island adventure, and visit our official St. George Island blog for more vacation inspiration.