Tuesday, February 16, 2016

St George Island State Park

Another day trip taken from our base in Sopchoppy was to St George Island State Park.  We will come back here for sure!  This marvelous park sits on a gulf-side outer bank island, right in the elbow of the Florida panhandle.  Traveling on route 98, the highway that hugs the panhandle coast, when you reach Eastpoint, turn onto route 300, and enjoy the breathtaking views on the trip over the bridge onto St. George Island.  Just looking at the location on a map makes you want to come here.

Since it was 12:30, we headed to the closest pavilion for a picnic. 

 There are multiple picnic pavilions spaced out along the park road, each with large parking lots.  The park road is a total of 9 miles long, 5 of those miles are closed to motorized vehicles.

Rest rooms

A hungry motley crew!

After lunch we headed onto the beach.  We sat in the sun for awhile, then took a long walk in the sand.  No one else was on the beach.  Hardy Mainers.

Ocean on one side, beautiful sand dunes on the other.

When we were leaving the park we checked out the campground.  As with all the Florida State Parks we have been in, the sites were spacious, nicely spaced out, and surrounded by vegetation to offer a measure of privacy for each camper.  Canoes and kayaks were for rent and there were multiple boat ramps located at convenient locations.  Definitely a return-to spot.

In the small village at the island entrance stands Cape St. George Light.  This lighthouse has an interesting, and recent, history.  It is the fourth Cape St. George light.  The first, built in 1833, was damaged by storms, the second fell during a hurricane in 1851.  The third lighthouse was reconstructed from the salvaged materials of lighthouse number two, but built further inland from the water.  That one held up for 153 years but succumbed to beach erosion in 2005. 

After the collapse of number 3, local volunteers salvaged the original bricks and with community support and private funding, the light was successfully rebuild and reopened in 2008.  Open every day except Thursday.  Guess which day we visited the island!



Who knew Florida had so many lighthouses.

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