***Note: Like many local parks and recreational areas, T.H. Stone Memorial St. Joseph Peninsula State Park was badly damaged by Hurricane Michael. The park’s south end reopened for day use in January, 2019, but overnight facilities such as camping sites and cabins are likely to remain inaccessible for quite some time.***
T.H. Stone Memorial St. Joseph Peninsula State Park has delivered exceptional recreational opportunities to generations of adventurers. Opened in 1967 and named after community leader T. H. Stone, this stunning park is situated on a stunningly beautiful peninsula.
Open between 8 am and sunset, the park provides a full day’s worth of beachy fun. Entrance fees vary based on how you access the park and how many people you’re accompanied by in your vehicle.
The main appeal of the T.H. Stone Memorial’s beaches? They’re rarely busy. You might not see a lot of other people, but you’re likely to spot bald eagles, sea turtles, and a variety of other animals. Take a dip, hunt for shells, or simply soak in the sun — this is your opportunity to have fun as you see fit.
A few of our favorite activities and amenities include the following:
The clear waters of St. Joseph Bay allow for an exceptional boating experience. As a boater, you can explore a variety of off-shore reefs and top-notch fishing areas. Easy access is offered via a boat ramp on the bay side of Eagle Harbor. The park assesses a small fee for boat launching.
Fish commonly caught at and near the park include flounder, bluefish, and speckled trout. All fishing must conform to size, number, and capture method regulations. Boaters should arrive prepared with a general knowledge of local waters. If you’re properly prepared, fishing and boating at St. Joseph Bay can be a delight.
Few swimming sites are as scenic or peaceful as the Gulf of Mexico and St. Joseph Bay. However, swimming at T.H. Stone Memorial St. Joseph Peninsula State Park can come with its fair share of hazards so only strong swimmers should venture into the water. If you’re not feeling confident, you’re welcome to wade or simply lounge in the sand and take in the beautiful view. Set aside a little time to search for shells; you never know what you might find. The shells are most abundant during low tide and slightly after a storm.
If your favorite recreational pursuits all take place on land, you’ll be pleased to find plenty of opportunities for hiking at T.H. Stone Memorial St. Joseph Peninsula State Park. Several unique trail experiences await. If you’re content with a short hike, try the Bay View Nature Trail. If, however, you’re feeling ambitious, hit up the Wilderness Preserve Trail, which extends seven miles through sand pine scrub and a magnificent coastal ecosystem. Access is restricted, so you’ll want to grab a permit at the ranger station before you embark.
Pack a picnic lunch and set up shop at the shelters near the Bay View Trail or at Eagle Harbor. As you enjoy your meal, you’ll overlook gorgeous scenery. At the Bay View area, you’ll find a playground for keeping young ones entertained, as well as convenient restroom facilities.
There’s no excuse for boredom at T.H. Stone Memorial St. Joseph Peninsula State Park, where you’ll find a myriad of activities to help you strengthen your connection with nature. Whether you crave excitement or relaxation, you’ll find it easily at this enchanting getaway.
-Between May and October, flashlights and lanterns are prohibited on the beach, as they can negatively impact sea turtles’ perception.
-If you love exploring parks with your dog, you’re in luck; like most Florida state parks, T.H. Stone Memorial St. Joseph Peninsula State Park allows for leashed pets in select areas. Unfortunately, your dog cannot join you on the beach or the natural shoreline.