When you cannot choose between freshwater and saltwater adventures, you can get the best of both worlds by going to Camp Creek Lake in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida. It’s located just off Seacrest Beach at the southeastern edge of Deer Lake State Park.
At the northern edge of the lake, the creek winds into the parklands, serving as a spectacular habitat for all sorts of wildlife. The southern tail runs through the beach and pours into the Gulf, creating a brackish tidal creek that’s a blast to explore.
If you want to get out onto the water, the lake serves as a serene place to kayak, paddleboard, and fish to your heart’s content. You have about 70 acres of water to sail across in search of amazing sights and the best fishing spots.
When you want to swim around, head over to the banks near the tidal creek. You’ll find crystal clear water that’s free of plants and other hazards beneath the surface. Of course, you can also take a few steps south to the beach beyond and swim in the Gulf at your leisure.
Top things to do here include:
Fishing just might be the most popular pastime enjoyed on this lake, and for good reason. There are so many different types of fish to catch, including bass, trout, and flounder. Each type is just challenging enough to keep you engaged, but not enough that you’ll be going home empty-handed every time.
Explore by Kayak
Perhaps nothing is more serene than paddling out to the middle of this lake in your kayak. From there, you can take in the gorgeous views in awe while simply enjoying the peaceful atmosphere all around. Kayaks are perfectly sized for exploring every inch of the waterway, and you’ll get in a good workout, too.
Play in the Sand Dunes
All around the southern edge of the lake and beyond, you’ll find huge sand dunes that are a blast to climb. If you manage to scurry to the top, take a moment to view the breathtaking landscape and water at either side. To try your hand at building a sandcastle, get to the base of the dunes and work at the water’s edge.
Have a Picnic
As you run, play, and simply enjoy your day at this lake, expect to hear your stomach growling before long. Luckily, it’s an excellent place to throw down a blanket and have a picnic. You can bring takeout from one of the many restaurants in the area or whip up your own creation before leaving home. Either way, make sure to bring a bit extra to share, as you’re likely to meet new friends who’ll love to join you for lunch.
Although most of the lake is surrounded by private property, public access is available along Camp Creek Road North. Make sure to only park along the county easement and abide by all signage and avoid blocking driveways. Otherwise, you could get your vehicle towed. Parking is quite scarce on nice days and the weekends, so plan on making alternate transportation arrangements if you can’t find a spot.
– When fishing at coastal dune lakes, you’ll need to have a combo freshwater and saltwater fishing license.
– Although the mullet leap out of the water in droves, forget about catching them with a rod and reel. They’re not very keen on biting at the hook, though they’ll sometimes go for a lump of bread if you’re lucky.
– If you want to catch catfish, use live or frozen bait attached to a popping cork rig. Shrimp is the most effective bait, but you can also use pinfish and squid.