Water's edge at St. Joseph Peninsula State Park
The water's edge

The T.H. Stone Memorial St. Joseph Peninsula State Park is more than 1,750 acres of mosquito and dog fly infested park. The park has an official policy of never spraying for insect control, which can sometimes mean the beaches are unusable. Other than that little thing (which is easily taken care of by industrial-strength bug repellent), the white sugar sand beaches on St. Joseph Peninsula are rated among the finest in the United States. St. Joseph Peninsula State Park offers fishing, hiking, biking, canoeing, kayaking, snorkeling, swimming, sunbathing, picnicking, boating, birding, wildlife viewing and full camping facilities. However, this coastal barrier peninsula is pretty remote and there are no stores or restaurants nearby (that's why they call this the "Forgotten Coast"). Personally, the three nature trails and Wilderness Preserve more than make up for the lack of other tourist activities.

The dune formations here are big and backed up by sand pine scrub. You'll find more than 240 species of birds hanging out here in different seasons. On the bay side of the peninsula, you'll find a boat ramp at Eagle Harbor. The full-amenity campground is only a short walk from the beach, or you can hike in and enjoy primitive campsites inside the Wilderness Preserve. There's even 8 cabins for rent on the bay side of the park.

Day use is from 8 am to sundown. The entrance to the park is located off County Road 30-E. To get there, go just east of Port St. Joe on US Highway 98 and turn south on County Road 30-A. Follow that to CR 30-E.

Admission fees: $4 per single occupant vehicle, $6 per vehicle for 2-8 occupants, $2 for pedestrians, bicyclists and extra passengers. The Camping fee is $24 per night (plus tax) and includes water and electric. Cabin fees are $100 (plus tax) per night. Picnic Pavilion fees: $35 per day (plus tax). The Picnic Pavilion offers 70 seats at the Bayview picnic area, with water and electric. A nature trail, restrooms and a playground are close by. Gulf Beach is about 1 mile away. Call the park office to make reservations.