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Fred Gannon Rocky Bayou State Park
FRED GANNON ROCKY BAYOU STATE PARK
FRED GANNON ROCKY BAYOU STATE PARK
4281 Hwy 20
Niceville, Florida   32578

Phone: 850-833-9144
Reservations: 800-326-3521
U.S. Air Force Colonel Fred Gannon was instrumental in transforming this site from a bombing practice range during World War II to a picturesque state park. The property now preserves beautiful old growth long leaf pine trees, several over 300 years old, that once dominated this area of Florida. Rocky Bayou, the main feature of the park, is the trailing arm of Choctawhatchee Bay and is popular for boating and fishing. A double lane boat ramp makes this one of the best boat launching locations on the bay, where both freshwater and saltwater fish are found. Other opportunities for fun include hiking, bicycling, picnicking, and wildlife viewing. Puddin Head Lake, at the center of the park, is a great spot for freshwater fishing and canoeing. A well shaded campground is available for full facility camping. Located on State Road 20, five miles east of Highway 85.
Nature of the Area
The Red Cedar Trail hosts the popular and impressive red cedar tree, along with many other varieties of plants, shrubs, and trees. Sand Pine Trail follows the Eastern Shore of Puddin Head Lake. This seven-and-a-half acre lake is a fragile ecosystem with several species of aquatic plants, such as the pitcher plant and Florida Anise. Adjacent to Sandpine Trail, lays Rocky Bayou Trail. The return loop of this trail follows the picturesque shoreline of the bayou. The park shoreline is home to our most fragile ecosystem, known as estuarine sea grass beds. This rare community has designated the waters as an Aquatic Preserve. Here, it is often possible to see dolphins and otters, as well as various migrant fowl, such as the rare trumpeter swan. Birds abound, and with the occasional sighting of the bald eagle, make this trail a favorite among bird watchers.
Camping
Our park is an excellent facility for campers. Whether you are a tent camper or a RV enthusiast, we have 42 spacious, clean, shady sites that will suit your needs. The sites each boast water and electric, a picnic table, and a fire ring and some have water views. A modern heated and air-conditioned bathhouse provides for your comfort needs. The area is conveniently located near two of the park's three beautiful nature trails, as well as a picnic pavilion overlooking the bayou.
Canoeing
Bring your own canoe or kayak for a day of adventure exploring the wonders of Rocky Bayou and near by freshwater stream. This rare community has designated the waters as an Aquatic Preserve. Here, it is often possible to see dolphins and otters, as well as various migrant fowl, such as the rare trumpeter swan. Birds abound, and with the occasional sighting of the bald eagle, make this trail a favorite among bird watchers. Enjoy the tranquil and serene environment away from the noise and the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Boating
Boating

Boaters can enjoy the convenient double access boat launching facility which provides access to Rocky Bayou, Choctawhatchee Bay, and the Gulf of Mexico. A large parking area is provided in the boat ramp area to allow boaters enough room for their vehicle and boat trailer to park. Overnight docking is not permitted, and all boaters must pay entrance fees to access the park.

Boat Ramp

Boaters can enjoy the convenient double access boat launching facility which provides access to Rocky Bayou, Choctawhatchee Bay, and the Gulf of Mexico. A large parking area is provided in the boat ramp area to allow boaters enough room for their vehicle and boat trailer to park. Overnight docking is not permitted, and all boaters must pay entrance fees to access the park.


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Pets
Pets are permitted in designated day-use areas and the camping area. Pets are not permitted on beaches or playgrounds, or in bathing areas, or any park buildings. They must be kept on a hand-held leash that is six-feet or shorter and be well-behaved at all times. Pet owners are required to pick up after their pets and properly dispose of their droppings. Available throughout the park are courtesy mutt mitts. Service animals are welcome in all areas of Florida State Parks.

Pet Camping

Pets must be confined, leashed (not to exceed six feet in length) or otherwise under the physical control of a person at all times. Tethered pets must not be left unattended for more than 30 minutes. Quiet hours must be observed from 11:00 p.m. - 8:00 a.m. Pet owners must pick up after their pets and properly dispose of all pet droppings in trash receptacles. Florida law requires that pets be vaccinated against rabies. Any pet that is noisy, dangerous, intimidating or destructive will not be allowed to remain in the park. Non-furbearing pets, such as reptiles, birds, or fish must be confined or under the physical control of the owner. Some animals may be prohibited on park property. Failure to abide by these rules may result in the camper being asked to board the pet outside the park or to leave the campground.
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Directions
From the west: Take Interstate 10 east to highway 85 south until you reach highway 20. Go east on highway 20. Park will be approximately 5 miles on the left. From the east: Take Interstate 10 west to highway 331 south until you reach highway 20. Go west on highway 20 approximately 25 miles until you see signs for park on right.

USA Parks
Florida
Region
Fred Gannon Rocky Bayou State Park
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