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Big Lagoon State Park

Big Lagoon State Park, Gulf Beach Highway, Pensacola, FL, USA



hike, water-activities, road-trip, outdoor-adventures, camping

Explore the beautiful Big Lagoon State Park full of nature, wildlife, and fun activities!

Reconnect with nature at this beautiful 705-acre state park. Big Lagoon State Park’s amenities include gorgeous beaches along the shoreline, bicycling down the 2.6-mile (4.2 km) park drive, boating from a boat ramp on the Intracoastal Waterway, canoeing along Big Lagoon, fishing, hiking along 4 miles (6.4 km) of trails, kayaking in Grande Lagoon, wildlife viewing from a four-story observation tower and footbridge overlooks at Long Pond and Grande Lagoon, picnicking at 17 shelters, swimming in Big Lagoon and 75 electrified camping sites and a group camp. 

This park is a beautiful spot to relax on the lagoon and watch boats go by, fish on the beach, and just generally enjoy the beautiful view. Don't forget to pack everything you need like food, water, sunscreen, and the like. You'll want to have plenty of supplies to spend some time and enjoy the scenery of nature!

Campgrounds - A big attraction are the campgrounds that are perfect for a family getaway. The campground is at the center of the park and provides a surprising amount of habitat and terrain diversity within its loops.The section on the water features a boat launch, a shaded pavilion with grills, and green space to enjoy time outside. Choose a site within the inner loops to be well up atop the scrub ridge. Sites along the southern edge of the campground fringe the marshes. Boardwalks connect the campground with the main recreation area and the hiking trails.

Kayaking - The primary paddler put in is accessed from the very end of the park road near the observation tower. From here, you can explore the inner lagoons or launch out into the open waters of Big Lagoon. Be mindful that alligators can be found throughout the park, even in brackish waters.

Hiking - There are three distinct areas to hike in at Big Lagoon. As we did, you can tie them together to make one large loop. The boardwalk leading to the observation tower, along with footpaths connecting the waterfront pavilions and boardwalks, is the most popular walking destination in the park. Climb the tower for outstanding views across Big Lagoon to Perdido Key. The protected land on the opposite side of the lagoon is Johnson Beach, part of Gulf Islands National Seashore.

Bird watching - Big Lagoon State Park is notable for being a gateway to the Great Florida Birding Trail, with its large observation tower overlooking the vast sweep of Big Lagoon's Sandy Sweep lagoon.

Tarklin State Park is 3 miles away. You an easily do both parks in the same day if you choose. Then end the day with a 6'ish mile drive to Perdido Key for dinner at the "famous" Florabama. 


Parking Good for All Ages Biking Covered Pavilion Picnic Tables Trails Grills Boat Slips/Docks
Thoughtfully captured by:
Michelle Morgan
Michelle was born in Ohio, but after studying in Australia for a year, she longed for a sunny beach climate. She has traveled to 23 countries and throughout the U.S., however her home for the last 25 years has been in Pensacola, FL. Michelle is a licensed private pilot who enjoys four-wheeler riding, boating, hiking, extreme couponing, cooking, and dining at ethnic restaurants. She has a master's from the University of West Florida and works as an Instructional Designer. Her volunteerism includes a program lead for a virtual middle school book club through her employer’s school partnership program. She currently lives on 23 acres with her husband and 6-year-old son who jointly care for their (very large) vegetable and herb gardens. Her family donates any over-abundance of produce to a local church who prepares meals for the homeless. Michelle’s family also includes three adult children (one set of twins) and three grandchildren. She can be found most weekends working on their property or out on a family adventure with one or more kids in tow!
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