Florida State Parks

Florida’s state parks will reopen on Monday, part of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ Phase 1 of reopening the state.

During a Friday morning press conference at Little Talbot Island State Park in Jacksonville, DeSantis said the decision is “consistent with his safe, smart, step-by-step plan” to reopen Florida.

All Florida State Parks Close Over The Spread Of COVID-19

Mar 23, 2020

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Andrew Quintana / WLRN

On Saturday, a full moon party took place at Bill Baggs State Park. It was birthday party, to be exact. 

The 400-acre park - which takes up a third of Key Biscayne - usually hide in the shadows, looking across the water at the bright lights of downtown Miami. But, on this particular night, lights were strung under the historic lighthouse and music rippled through the surrounding tides to celebrate the park's 50th anniversary.


Florida State Parks want to help you usher in the New Year with a "First Day Hike."

More than 35 events are planned at parks across Florida on Jan. 1 as part of a national initiative to get folks out to their state parks. And unlike national parks, the federal shutdown won't affect state park facilities on the first day of the new year.

Gov. Rick Scott has appointed one of Florida's leading environmental advocates to run the state park system.

Eric Draper has been executive director of Audubon Florida for 18 years. At the end of the month, he'll take over as director of 164 state parks. It's a bit of a switch for a service that has been criticized in the past for proposals such as logging and grazing in state parks.

Bill Would Allow Local Smoking Regulations In Parks

Oct 20, 2017

A Senate Republican wants to allow cities and counties to be able to regulate smoking in public parks.

Three Florida parks in the Keys opened to the public Friday for the first time since Hurricane Irma, as the state looks at overall storm damage to its parks topping $55 million.

Florida State Parks May Have to Pay Their Way

Feb 16, 2016
The Sierra Club

The Sierra Club is against a bill in a Florida House committee that would allow hunting, lumbering and cattle grazing in state parks in order to increase state revenues.

Though Florida's 161 state parks bring in roughly $60 million annually via 20 million annual visitors, there is currently a $20 million  deficit in the parks’ budget.

Florida Fish and Wildlife/flickr

Florida’s efforts to bring more visitors to the state are getting a boost from National Geographic. The website has launched a new hub dedicated to the Florida parks system.

Swimmers, Watch Out For That Effluent

Mar 2, 2015
Creative Commons via Flickr / Edoardo P. (https://flic.kr/p/ahTj37)

Swimmers beware: Miami-Dade County is having trouble holding its water.

The deluge over the weekend bathed the region in as much as eight inches of rain in some areas. But near Oleta River State Park, the flooding brought some badwater.

The North District Wastewater Treatment Plant overflowed, releasing about five million gallons of partially treated wastewater into the waters around the park.

Maul Lake, Sand Spur Island, and Biscayne Bay waters inside Haulover Inlet were also potentially affected.


The bobcat will miss his traditional feast as will the eagle and hawk. All six of the remaining chickens at Cross Creek in North Central Florida are penned up for safety.  The chickens are not for eating. Not at Thanksgiving. Not at any time.

Free Entry To Florida State Parks On Veterans Day

Nov 10, 2014
Florida Department of Environmental Protection

Nearly four years ago my mother suffered a massive stroke that left her wheelchair-bound and nearly speechless. She joined the growing numbers of Americans with disabilities. 

This Veterans Day could pass as just another holiday, but for her and more than 250,000 disabled veterans in Florida, a roll down the beach or a picnic in the park is not only possible but free on Nov. 11.

Reminder: Florida State Parks Remain Open To The Public

Oct 2, 2013

While the partial shutdown of the federal government has caused national parks like the Everglades to close temporarily, the state parks are still open.

The Florida Park Service is reminding residents and visitors that all 171 state parks are open for business seven days a week.

Park managers say visitors who have planned a trip to a closed federal park shouldn't cancel their plans; they should just visit a nearby state park instead.