Topsail Hill Preserve State Park
Topsail Hill Preserve State Park offers a wide variety of natural resources including 3.2 miles of secluded, white sand beaches with majestic dunes over 25 feet tall. Three rare coastal dune lakes provide excellent freshwater fishing. Although boats are not allowed, fishing from the shoreline yields bass, bream, panfish, and catfish.
Lakes, pristine beaches, old-growth long leaf pines, sand pine scrub, and a variety of wetlands offer a bird-watching and hiking paradise. Visitors may bike, walk, or enjoy a quick ride to the beach on the tram service to swim, fish, sunbathe, or beachcomb.
A full-facility campground features a swimming pool, tennis courts, and shuffleboard courts. Furnished bungalows are available for weekly stays. A camp store offers a variety of camping items, as well as snacks and drinks. Located in Santa Rosa Beach on the West end of Scenic 30A.
Throughout the year, there are ranger-led interpretive programs with topics that include fishing in the surf, freshwater fishing, beachcombing and learning about burning. Other guided tours offer wildlife discussions on sea turtles, alligators, sharks, butterflies, the Choctawhatchee Beach mouse, shore birds and birds of prey. Check ranger activities for program details.
The park’s options of tent and RV sites, cabins and bungalows make this a perfect destination for family-friendly year-round vacations. A tram carries guests to the beach, but visitors can also walk or ride bikes along the paved path to the shore. There are 13 miles of hiking trails for those wishing to explore the 1,640-acre park.
Guided tours like the beachcombing interpretive walk are fun for the whole family. Head to the beach where the rangers teach you what to look for there. You can discover the difference between sea beans and egg casings or the type of shells you find scattered along the shoreline. Other interpretive programs are guided walks where rangers take a group out to look at flora and fauna or visit the various ecosystems at the park.
Another interpretive offering features sea turtles. A hands-on turtle program on the beach demonstrates the various turtle crawls. To recreate the actions of a nesting sea turtle, children crawl around obstacles as she would to get to a safe and protected spot to lay her eggs.
There are also puppet shows, mainly for children but adults enjoy them as well.
Breakfast with a ranger provides biscuits and gravy, eggs, pancakes, orange juice and coffee for $4. While visitors eat breakfast, a ranger answers questions about the park and park life. The entrance fee is waived for this event.
Topsail was recently selected as one of the top campgrounds in the country providing tours and events. Although the summer is a busy time with lots of activities, there is always something happening a Topsail.
For a schedule of events, contact the park at (850) 267-8330.
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