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Florida
17

Florida State Parks

USA Parks
Florida
Northwest Region
Big Lagoon State Park
Big Lagoon State Park View south from observation tower © John Bunting
This view is looking south towards the lagoona and across the island towards the Gulf of Mexico from the observation tower at Big Lagoon St. Park.
Big Lagoon State Park Big Lagoon waterfront © John Bunting
View of Big Lagoon and intercoasstal waterway.
Big Lagoon State Park Camping at Big Lagoon © John Bunting
Roughing it at Big Lagoon St. Park in NW Florida
Big Lagoon State Park View from observation tower © John Bunting
View looking nirth from observation tower at Big Lagoon Park.
Big Lagoon State Park Big bird at Big Lagoon © John Bunting
A large bird on railing at Big Lagoon St. Park.
Big Lagoon State Park View of Big Lagoon © John Bunting
View looking southeast from the Big Lagoon observation tower.
Big Lagoon State Park Campfire at Big Lagoon © John Bunting
Putting the fire pit to use at Big Lagoon St. Park.
Big Lagoon State Park View west at Big Lagoon © John Bunting
This view is looking west toward the bridge going to Perdido Key.
Big Lagoon State Park © Ebyabe / CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Big Lagoon State Park View from observation tower
Big Lagoon State Park © Ebyabe / CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Big Lagoon State Park Sign
BIG LAGOON STATE PARK
BIG LAGOON STATE PARK
12301 Gulf Beach Highway
Pensacola, Florida   32507
(lat:30.315 lon:-87.4106)

Phone: 850-492-1595
Reservations: 1-800-326-3521
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
Effective May 21, 2021 Big Lagoon State Park is open 8 a.m. to sunset daily. Park staff is working diligently to clean up debris from Hurricane Sally. The following areas of the park are currently closed the boardwalks, west beach day-use area, governor's pavilion, amphitheater and picnic area, east beach day-use area, hand kayak launch and observation tower. The lagoon is currently inaccessible due to extensive hurricane damage to the boardwalks.

The following areas of the park are currently open the boat ramp day use area, boat ramp picnic area, sand pine trail, and campground.

This coastal park sits on the northern shoreline of its namesake, Big Lagoon, which separates the mainland from Perdido Key and the Gulf of Mexico. Natural communities, ranging from saltwater marshes to pine flatwoods, attract a wide variety of birds, especially during the spring and fall migrations. Beaches, shallow bays, nature trails, and open woodlands offer splendid opportunities for nature study. The park also beckons visitors with opportunities for camping, fishing, boating, and hiking. Located on County Road 292A, 10 miles southwest of Pensacola.
Nature of the Area
Natural communities, ranging from saltwater tidal marshes to pine flatwoods, attract a wide variety of birds, especially during the spring and fall migrations.

The park is a stopover for more than 23 species of wood-warbler and a variety of ducks, sandpipers and black-bellied plovers.
History of the Area
Big Lagoon State Park was acquired by the Florida Park Service in 1978.

This area has evidence of prehistoric and historic occupation and visitation dating back to the 19th and 20th centuries. Changing water levels and glaciation impacts have created the altered topography throughout the park ranging from historical dune ridges and coastal scrub to scrubby flatwoods. Woodland 800 BCE-1000 AD and Mississippian 1000 AD-1600 AD period occupation is evident.

One shell midden from the Woodland period was found in the park in 1983 after it had unfortunately been disturbed by prior park development. Native Americans utilized the fertile waters in this maritime habitat foraging on abundant shell fish. Another prehistoric shell scatter mostly consisting of oyster shell was found during coastal surveys in response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010. The site dates back to an unknown prehistoric period.

Recent history includes a 20th-century site where Miss Ivey lived in a wood-built home in the area that would later become Big Lagoon State Park. She ran one of the first fast-food restaurants in the area out of a mobile home - serving burgers to local anglers and beach visitors.

Historic 1950s aerial photography shows most of this area as basin swamp or marsh. Stormwater ditching changed the hydrology, making much of the northeastern area of the park a denser baygall habitat. This change in water flow was due to the increase in developed neighborhoods surrounding all three landward sides of the state park.

Tropical systems including Hurricane Ivan in 2004 and multiple near-misses in 2005 led to saltwater inundation that was documented to depths of 10 feet or more in the basin swamps. This led to an extreme change in the habitat with many trees not able to survive the increase in saltwater in the water table, which is evident by the number of snags throughout the park.

Park staff continue to work to preserve, protect and restore the Real Florida at Big Lagoon State Park with the use of many land management tools, including multiple types of surveying, conducting prescribed fires, and exotic plant management and control.
Passes
Annual Entrance Passes can be purchased at all park ranger stations and museums. If you require immediate use of your pass, this is the best option. Passes can be purchased during regular business hours 365 days a year. Please call the park in advance to ensure availability. Those who are eligible for discounted or free passes may use this method to receive their pass. Annual Entrance Passes may be purchased online by visiting the FLORIDA STATE PARKS ANNUALENTRANCE PASSES web page.
FACILITIES AND ACTIVITIES OVERVIEW
Day-UseFishingyes
 Hiking Trailyes
 Swimming Beachyes
 Bike Trailsyes
BoatingLaunch Rampsyes
CampingElectric Sitesyes
 Water/Electric Sitesyes
WinterActivitiesyes
Cabins
No Cabins at this park.
Camping
This 712 acre park has 75 campsites with electric and water hookups available for reservation.
Nearby Vacation Rentals
Search for a vacation rental
Swimming
When swimming, stay alert keep your safety and that of others in mind by staying clear of boat traffic.
Beaches
The beach areas of the park are currently closed due to extensive damage from Hurricane Sally.

The beaches, shallow bays, boardwalks, nature trails and open woodlands offer ample opportunity for nature study. An observation tower at the East Beach area provides a panoramic view of Big Lagoon, the park and Gulf Islands National Seashore across the Intracoastal Waterway.
Fishing
Fishing brings in redfish, flounder, and trout seasonally.



Day Use Area
Currently the only day use area open is the boat ramp area.
Picnicking
Four first-come first-serve picnic pavilions are located at the boat ramp area. All other pavilions are currently closed due to hurricane damage.
Trails
Currently the Sand Pine Trail is the only trail open, it is a 3 mile round trip trail that circles the park. Parking for this trail is located at the boat ramp area.

Guided walks, campfire programs and recreational skills programs are offered seasonally and upon special request for groups.

Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
June 4 My favorite so far by Cynthia Miller
Big lagoon was my first campground with my RV, and is still my favorite. The walkways to the beach are so beautiful. The staff was amazing. Would love to go back as camphost.
March 28 where is the gator? by Sandra Nojiri-Matsheshu
We love to camp at Big Lagoon. Nice camp sitesand restrooms, and the views are spectacular!
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Area Campgrounds
Perdido Cove RV Resort & Marina
13770 River Road
Pensacola, FL
850-492-7304
Pets
Dogs are allowed in the park, they are welcome on the trails but must be on a leash at all times and are not allowed along the beach front areas.

Directions
Big Lagoon State Park is located at 12301 Gulf Beach Highway, approximately ten miles Southwest of Pensacola Interstate 10 Exit 7 (Pensacola), South on Pine Forest Road (297), Right on Blue Angel Parkway (SR173), Right on Sorrento Road (SR292), Left on Bauer Road (CR293).

Florida
17

Florida State Parks

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