Saturday, December 29, 2012
Date: 12/29/2012 - 1/2/2013
Location: St. Joe, Florida
GPS Coordinates: 29.774579, -85.406412
Julie and I wanted to have a quiet New Year Eve and decided that a camping trip was the best option. We had been wanting to try some of the campgrounds in the panhandle of Florida. Many have very few openings at this time of year, but we were able to find some still available at St. Joseph’s Peninsula State Park. Driving to St. Joe from Gainesville took a little over 4 hours. There’s not a whole lot of development as you drive up that way working our way through many, many miles of pine forests.
St. Josephs Peninsula is a very nice area of the panhandle. The very southern section is an Air Force base, followed by a few miles of beach houses and then you come to the campground. The park takes up all of the central and northern part of the peninsula.
There are two campground loops, Gulf Breeze is the closest to the beach as its’ right behind two rows of sand dunes. Some of the sites are a little close with not much vegetation between them. There are some (especially the lowest numbers) that have decent privacy. We spent 2 nights in site 31 and then moved to site 5 as it was larger and more secluded. The second loop is Shady Pines. As the name suggests, it is a more wooded than Gulf Breeze and the sites are a little larger also.
There’s a lot of activities available at this park. We did a lot of bike riding and hiked the main trail that runs up through the park towards the north point. The trail is very nice, but a little tiring as it is loose sand.
We also did some kayaking in the bay. The water is very clear and also very shallow!! Be sure to check out the tide charts before heading out!
The time we were at this campground, the weather was a little cool and windy. But this would be an awesome place to spend some beach time during warmer weather. There’s miles of beach and you can sure to find an area that is away from the crowds.
Here is our Review of this campground:
Campground: St. Joseph’s Peninsula State park
Site Number: 31 & 5
Date visited: 12/29/2012 - 1/2/2013
Rating (1 = low, 5 = high)
Campsite size: 2 (average site on the small side. Some in the Shady Pines loop are a little larger)
Campsite space between sites: 2 (Most a little close, but some are ok)
Campsite privacy between sites: 2.5 (Gulf Breeze loop is fairly open and the Shady Pines has more foliage between sites)
Campsite level: 3 (a few sites are not very level, but most are ok)
Campsite parking: dirt
Campfire permitted: yes in fire ring
Campsite picnic table: Wood
Campground Facilities: 3.5
Campground access to hiking: 4
Campground access to water (kayaking, fishing, swimming, etc): 5
Campground access to biking: 3.5
Overall Campground rating: 3.5
The salt marsh behind the campground
Many deer running around
Some bike riding:
St. Joseph's Park Biking at EveryTrail
Hiking the main trail though the park
St. Joseph's Park Hiking Trail at EveryTrail
And this is where we did some kayaking
St. Joseph's Bay Kayaking at EveryTrail