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Florida
27

Florida State Parks

USA Parks
Florida
Northwest Region
Rocky Bayou State Park
Rocky Bayou State Park Nice Cypress tree © John Bunting
Beautiful cypress along the shore at Rocky Bayou
Rocky Bayou State Park Raw Oyster © John Bunting
freshly shucked oyster
Rocky Bayou State Park morning calm © John Bunting
time to catch some morning fish
Rocky Bayou State Park Breakfast at Rocky Bayou © John Bunting
Typical morning chow at Rocky Bayou
Rocky Bayou State Park Sunset cypress © John Bunting
afternoon lit trees
Rocky Bayou State Park © John Bunting
Rocky Bayou State Park sunset on the bayou © John Bunting
Rocky Bayou State Park Puddin Head Lake © Morgan Rauch
Rocky Bayou State Park Deer Moss © John Bunting
Deer moss is a litchen that grows on the forest floor
ROCKY BAYOU STATE PARK
ROCKY BAYOU STATE PARK
4281 Hwy 20
Niceville, Florida   32578

Phone: 850-833-9144
Reservations: 850-833-9144
Email:
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.
FACILITIES AND ACTIVITIES OVERVIEW
Day-UseFishingyes
 Hiking Trailyes
 Swimming Beachyes
 Bike Trailsyes
BoatingLaunch Rampsyes
CampingWater/Electric Sitesyes
WinterActivitiesyes
Camping
Full Facility 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. Reservations may be made through Reserve America at 1-800-326-3521.

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.


Location
Rocky Bayou State Park is located near Destin, Fort Walton Beach and Mary Esther

Trails
Bicycling

A popular past time at the park, take a leisurely ride on the park?s approx. 3 miles of paved road. For your safety, remember persons under the age of 16 years are required by state law to wear a properly fitting bike helmet. To preserve the natural areas of the park, bicycles are limited to roadways and are not permitted on any footpaths.

Nature Trails

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.


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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.

Florida
27

Florida State Parks

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