Scenic USA - Florida

St. Joseph Peninsula State Park

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St. Joseph Peninsula - Port St Joe, Florida

Photos by Ben Prepelka
Scenic USA Photography
Lighthouse photo by Lou Kellenberger

   Cape San Blas, a thin strip of land that juts out into the Gulf of Mexico, is part of Florida's "Forgotten Coast." Nestled in the crook of the Panhandle's "Big Bend," the arm of land appears as a miniature Cape Cod. The shallow shoals around the peninsula have been marked by a lighthouse since 1849. Surviving beach erosion and hurricane winds since 1885, the latest Cape San Blas Light has recently been relocated to its new home in Port St. Joe's George Core Park.
   Found between the towns of Apalachicola and Port St. Joe, the peninsula is just far enough from the "beaten path," about 75 miles from Interstate-10. Traveling out on the peninsula, the first section is found covered in vacation homes and beachside cottages, most resting on piers and concrete pilings. Cape San Blas Lighthouse - Port St Joe, Florida Rounding the elbow of Cape San Blas, the highway continues northward to St. Joseph Peninsula State Park. Just beyond the park's beach access, its campgrounds and cabins, the paved road ends, marking the beginning of a wilderness preserve. This seven mile stretch of bayshore and Gulf beaches can be explored either by hiking the beach or by boat (designated boat access points).
   This Gulf-side view catches a lone angler enjoying the weekend, finding this section of beach deserted. The thin peninsula is covered in small dunes and a thick pine-scrub, and is home to deer, fox, bobcats and skunk. Peninsula bird watchers have identified over 200 species of birds. The St. Joe Bay, created by the long arm of Cape San Blas, is noted for its rich beds of oysters, scallops and excellent fishing grounds.

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