Ochlockonee River State Park is an absolute gem that has a wide variety of ecological environments, recreational activities, and is one of the last examples of a natural flatwoods in Florida. RV lovers will feel comfortable in the quaint campground that is located right near the river trail and the Ochlockonee River. Located in Wakulla County south of the town of Sopchoppy in the Florida Panhandle, the park is 543 acres in size and is surrounded by the Apalachicola National Forest and the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge.
The land including and surrounding Ochlockonee River State Park was once populated by the Native American peoples of the Weeden Island culture from 300–1000 AD. The location of the park provides very important habitat for the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker and is also home to freshwater and saltwater fish along with birds, bobcats, and bears.
There are a number of great recreational activities that visitors can enjoy in the park. Some of the most popular ones are fishing, hiking, swimming, and kayaking and there are also picnicking areas available throughout the park.
There is one small campground at Ochlockonee River State Park that has some great facilities. All sites are pet-friendly and have 30-amp electric and water connections. Ochlockonee River State Park is open all year round, including for camping.
Ochlockonee River State Park is located south of the small town of Sopchoppy in the Florida Panhandle. The park is very easy to locate as it is found just off US Highway 319. Accessing the park via US Highway 319 is the only way to get to get into the park. This area of Florida is quite remote in comparison to the rest of the state, but there are a few towns around. Sopchoppy is five miles north of the park, Lanark Village is on the Saint George Sound 12 miles from the park and Panacea is 15 miles to the east. Tallahassee is the closest city to Ochlockonee River State Park and is around 38 miles to the north.
US Highway 319 is a very easy road to drive as it is flat and relatively straight with no overhanging trees. Once you are on Ochlockonee River State Park Road it will get a little narrower. Once inside the park the roads do decrease in quality and are known for having potholes and small bumps. If you have a bigger rig take caution and drive very slowly so you don't damage your RV. There will also be overhanging trees so that is something to take into consideration.
Parking is limited as Ochlockonee River State Park is quite small.
There are no public transportation options to get to Ochlockonee River State Park.
Ochlockonee River State Park has a great little campground that is very well equipped. In total there are 25 sites located in one loop that are RV friendly, along with another two that are only suitable for tents. All of the RV sites have a 30-amp electric and water connection and they are also pet-friendly. The campground has toilets, showers, a dump station, picnic tables, fire rings and clothes lines for you convenience. There is also an outside sink located near the toilets and showers that can be used for washing dishes and also has a water collection point.
The location of the campground is great for those wanting to access the river as it can be found within a walkable distance from the southern end of the campground. You should be able to get cell reception on all providers in the campground. Some of the electric hookups are located on the opposite side of the sites from usual, so keep that in mind when selecting a site. Reservations can be made up to 11 months in advance and camping is available all year round.
There are two different trails in Ochlockonee River State Park that are accessible all year round. The Pine Flatwoods Nature Trail is the most popular out of the two. It is best to hike the trail in the morning when you can see birds being active and the sun will be at your back in the open areas. The trail is around two and a half miles long and is gentle, broad and well-kept throughout the year.
Ochlockonee River State Park is a unique birding location and is a must to explore if you are a fan of birds.. The park is only one of a few areas left in the United States that is home to a resident population of the rare and endangered Red Cockaded Woodpeckers. These beautiful birds are unfortunately down to around 1% of its original population, so the various habitable pines are very important to the survival of the bird. The rivers are also a great place to see some birds, with many osprey, eagles and hawks seen during the migration season.
Over the last few years geocaching has become a very popular activity across the United States. Geocaching allows you to explore Ochlockonee River State Park in a new and challenging way where you can find caches that could contain trinkets, treasures, or information in various places around the park. The park is also apart of the Operation Recreation GeoTour that stretches from Pensacola to Key West. For current up-to-date information and clues to locate the caches in Ochlockonee River State Park check out the geocaching website for the park.
During the summertime boating is another popular activity that can be done throughout the waters of the park. Canoeing, kayaking and paddleboarding are the most popular ways to explore the waterways. There are miles and miles of tidal creeks and rivers to explore so you will have hours of entertainment ahead of you. Check out the rangers station for a map of the rivers and you can also rent canoes, kayaks and paddleboards from the station.
A swimming and picnic area is located near a scenic point in the park where the Ochlockonee and Dead rivers intersect. The waters in this area in the park are brackish so they will be a mixture between salt and fresh water. There are showers located to the north of the swimming area so you can wash off after visiting the beach. There are no lifeguards at Ochlockonee River State Park so make sure that you are confident in your swimming abilities before jumping in for a dip.
Due to its location Ochlockonee River State Park has a mixture of both fresh and salt water. Known as brackish water, this environment provides excellent fresh and saltwater fishing. You are able to fish in a few different spots in and around the park, including from an accessible dock on the Dead River, the Ochlockonee River and Little Tide Creek. Common species in the freshwater include largemouth bass, catfish, bream and speckled perch in the fresh waters. In the brackish water you can catch speckled trout and redfish.