If you are looking for an amazing day trip out of the Rosemary Beach® community, take a short drive west along scenic Highway 30A! In about 20 miles you’ll reach Topsail Hill Preserve State Park, a 1,640-acre park showcasing a variety of Florida ecosystems and habitats. You can enjoy the park’s namesake sand dunes, which appear like ships’ sails, rising out of the turquoise waters of the Gulf of Mexico. These soft quartz dunes have created a rare ecosystem of freshwater dune lakes, where you can observe the unique wildlife that thrives here. A walk through Topsail State park will also take you into pine forests, through sandy scrubland and wetlands, and along miles of pristine beaches.
Experiences to Remember at Topsail State Park
Topsail State park Florida truly has an experience for everyone, and a day spent here will be long remembered by the whole family! The park offers rentals for bikes and you can enjoy a scenic ride along the paved path to Campbell Lake. If you want to get in the water, you can rent kayaks or paddleboards, or just hang out on the white sandy beaches and take a dip in the emerald waters. The options for hiking are plentiful as well. You can take the Turpentine Trail and see the remnants of the local turpentining industry from the late 1800s or go down the Gopher Tortoise Trail and try to catch a glimpse of the endangered burrowing reptiles. The Deer Track Trail offers the unique opportunity to see a rare coastal dune lake as well as carnivorous plants! Finally, on the Morris Lake Trail you can see remnants of the WWII JB-2 rocket development.
Access and Events
The trails are all easy to find if you start right at the day-pass parking lot at 7525 W County Hwy 30A in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida. You can pick up a trail map at the ranger station, and water, sunscreen, and bug spray are recommended to bring along! If you’re interested in a picnic here, they have plenty of picnic tables set up as well as a couple small pavilions at Campbell Lake. You can also enjoy a picnic on the beach, but no glass, alcohol or pets are allowed there. Leashed pets are welcome along all 15 miles of walking and hiking trails. If you’re interested in engaging with the locals, make sure to check the schedule for events like Campfire Stories, Sunday Funday Ranger Programs, or Breakfast with a Ranger and have some fun learning about the plants, animals and history of the park.