T. H. Stone Memorial St. Joseph Peninsula State Park
Guide

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Introduction

Looking for a quaint beachside haven to kick back and relax at? T.H. Stone Memorial St. Joseph Peninsula State Park is a Florida State Park on the St. Joseph Peninsula that offers some great recreational activities and camping facilities for visitors to the park.

The area was first inhibited by Native Americans of the Weeden Island and Mississippian, Fort Walton Cultures long before the Florida Panhandle became an important part of shipping routes in the 1800s. In 1868, the Stone family purchased a lot of the land surrounding the bay before selling it to the U. S. government in 1940 to use for military training. The park was officially opened in 1967 and is named after former owner, T. H. Stone, who was a respected community leader in Gulf County.

Due to the park's stunning beachside location, many of the recreational activities revolve around the water. Swimming, snorkelling, scuba diving, fishing and paddling are very popular but you can also do some hiking, bike riding and birding. The park stretches 20 miles into the blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico so the area is truly a wildlife haven.

Camping in the park is separated into two separate camping areas that combine for a total of 119 sites. Both campgrounds are a short distance from the beach and 30 amp electric and water connections are provided to all sites. Peak season at T. H. Stone Memorial St. Joseph Peninsula State Park is during the summertime.

RV Rentals in T. H. Stone Memorial St. Joseph Peninsula State Park

Transportation in T. H. Stone Memorial St. Joseph Peninsula State Park

Driving

Due to the remote location of T. H. Stone Memorial St. Joseph Peninsula State Park the park isn't the easiest to access but is worth the trip. There is one road in and out of the park and it can be accessed via County Road 30A.

There are a few towns that are near the park, including Port St. Joe (around 17 and a half miles away), Highland View (around 20 miles from the park) and Apalachicola (around 30 miles from the park). The closest city to T. H. Stone Memorial St. Joseph Peninsula State Park is Panama City, which can be found 53 and a half miles to the north-west.

Since the park is in a remote location on the coast it has in the past been damaged by storms and hurricanes. If you are worried about the weather before you begin your trip to the park you can call through to the ranger station. They will provide you with weather updates and advise as to whether the park will be open or not.

Parking

There is plenty of parking available for visitors to T. H. Stone Memorial St. Joseph Peninsula State Park.

Public Transport

Unfortunately there are no public transport options for those wanting to travel to T. H. Stone Memorial St. Joseph Peninsula State Park.

Campgrounds and parking in T. H. Stone Memorial St. Joseph Peninsula State Park

Campsites in T. H. Stone Memorial St. Joseph Peninsula State Park

Reservations camping

Gulf Breeze Campground

Gulf Breeze Campground is the closest of the two RV-friendly campsites located to the beach that you will find within T. H. Stone Memorial St. Joseph Peninsula State Park. The Gulf Breeze Campground is the older of the two and the sites are a little more cosy than those within Gulf Breeze. There are 62 sites in Gulf Breeze Campground and they are all powered via 30 amp electrical hookups and have water hookups. You can also expect to have a picnic table and fire ring available for you to use at each individual site. Other amenities in the campground include two bathhouses, walkable beach access and a shared dump station with the Shady Pines Campground.

You should be able to get cell phone reception on all of the major networks within the campground. It is also pet friendly but pets must be kept on a leash. Since the park is quite remote we recommend stocking up on supplies when you are driving to the park. Reservations are available for up to 11 months in advance and camping is available all year round.

Shady Pines Campground

Shady Pines Campground is the more private campground that you will find within T. H. Stone Memorial St. Joseph Peninsula State Park. Along with being more private, Shady Pines Campground also features larger sites, so it is recommended for those who have bigger RV rigs.

There are 39 RV-friendly sites in Shady Pines Campground and they are all powered via 30 amp electrical hookups and have water hookups. You can also expect to have a picnic table and fire ring available for you to use at each individual site. Other amenities in the campground include two bathhouses and a shared dump station with the Gulf Breeze Campground.

You should be able to get cell phone reception on all of the major networks within the campground. It is also pet friendly but pets must be kept on a leash. Since the park is quite remote we recommend stocking up on supplies when you are driving to the park. Reservations are available for up to 11 months in advance and camping is available all year round.

First-come first-served

Alternate camping

Seasonal activities in T. H. Stone Memorial St. Joseph Peninsula State Park

In-Season

Swimming

There are miles and miles of pristine beaches available for visitors to T. H. Stone Memorial St. Joseph Peninsula State Park that are ideal for swimming during the summertime. If you aren't a fan of the beach and are looking for calmer waters you can also go for a swim on the St. Joseph Bay side of the park. There are no lifeguards on duty at either side of the park so take caution when swimming.

Snorkelling

Along with swimming, another popular water activity for those at the park is to go snorkeling. The most popular area to snorkel within the park is in the clear shallow waters of St. Joseph Bay. If you do plan to snorkel you must have a visible dive flag and you need to stay within 25’ of your flag. Remember that collecting live shells or marine life is prohibited so don't take anything that you find when you come up out of the water.

Picnicking

If you love to picnic then you will love the two accessible picnic areas that are provided to those within St. Joseph Peninsula State Park. The Bay View picnic area has a large picnic shelter for family gatherings, a large playground, canoe/kayak launch, restrooms and provides access to the mile-long Bay View Trail. The picnic area at Eagle Harbor is recommended for smaller groups and provides small picnic shelters, restrooms, boat ramp and access to the beach and bay.

Off-Season

Fishing

Fishing is available on both sides of the park and the area is known to be a fishing hotspot. Popular species that are caught in the waters around the park include red drum, flounder, mullet, speckled trout, bluefish, whiting and shark. Spear fishing is not permitted in the park so you may only fish if you are doing so on a traditional line. You may need a fishing license if you plan to fish during your stay so contact the park office for more information.

Canoe/Kayaking

No matter what time of the year it is, canoeing and kayaking are great activities that you can enjoy at the park. You have the option to either carry your watercraft and launch from the beach, or you can launch into the bay via the ramp area. The waters are clear and mostly shallow in St. Joseph Bay which is why it is such a popular place for people to paddle. If you don't have your own watercraft, call the park before arrival and see if there are any available for rent.

Birding

The St. Joseph Peninsula is an excellent location for people to take some quiet time and watch some beautiful birds. Due to the coastal environment there are numerous species of wading birds, shorebirds, migratory birds and birds of prey that live or spend time at the park throughout the year. A fun fact about the park is that the beach located on the shore of the park is most productive shorebird nesting beach in the panhandle of Florida.

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