Many have visited scenic 30A along the Emerald Coast and have enjoyed the beautiful sugar sand beaches, and clear gulf waters. This unique stretch of land from Rosemary Beach to Santa Rosa is only 24 miles long, but did you know there are 4 State parks along that 24-mile stretch? If you haven’t visited them, you are missing out. Each one is different and unique, but all have stunning landscapes and serene spots to take in the natural surroundings. From the coastal dune lakes and saltwater marshes to massive sand dunes and winding nature trails through scrub oak forests, these 4 State parks should be at the top of your “must see” list.
At the far East end of 30A in Inlet Beach, is Camp Helen State Park. Bordering the Gulf of Mexico and Lake Powell, one of the largest coastal dune lakes in Florida, Camp Helen offers many outdoor activities for the whole family to enjoy.
Just a short distance West on 30A, is Deer Lake State Park. This beautiful, 1,920-acre State Park borders the Gulf of Mexico and Deer Lake, one of the 15 coastal dune lakes in Walton County. Newly renovated, this state park has picnic areas, hiking trails and a long high boardwalk that stretches hundreds of yards over the dunes to access the beach.
As you go West on 30A, you’ll reach Grayton Beach State Park and my personal favorite. Home to the 100-acre Western Lake, another coastal dune lake, Grayton Beach State Park is idyllic. It also has massive dunes, hiking trails, canoeing, kayaking, boat ramp, and a beautiful beach. There’s camping and cabins to rent at the park.
Topsail State Park is at the far West end of 30A in Santa Rosa Beach and is more like a resort than a state park. It has campground, bungalows, swimming pool, tennis and shuffleboard courts and of course hiking trails, bike paths, and 3.2 miles of beaches. They even have a tram service that picks up throughout the park.
Each park holds events throughout the year and sowal.com is a great website for information about the parks and all of 30A. There’s so much to do and see within these 24 miles of land and we hope you plan to visit one or more of these beautiful state parks on your next trip to 30A. You won’t regret it.