Rocky Bayou State Park

U.S. Air Force Colonel Fred Gannon was instrumental in preserving this site with beautiful old-growth longleaf pine trees, several more than 300 years old. Rocky Bayou, the main feature of the park, is the trailing arm of Choctawhatchee Bay and is popular for boating and fishing.

A double-lane boat ramp makes this one of the best boat-launching locations on the bay, where saltwater fish is found. Other opportunities for recreation include hiking, bicycling, picnicking, canoeing and wildlife viewing. A well-shaded campground is available for full-facility camping.

Camping reservations may be made by visiting ReserveAmerica.com or by calling ReserveAmerica at (800) 326-3521, TDD (888) 433-0287.

Annual special events include Pioneer Day in November and Estuary Day in May. Other events and ranger programs are available. Located on State Road 20, five miles east of Highway 85.

Rocky Bayou

Canoeing & Kayaking

Bring your own canoe or kayak or rent one from the park for a day of adventure exploring the wonders of Rocky Bayou and near by freshwater stream. This rare community has designated the waters as an Aquatic Preserve. Here, it is often possible to see dolphins and otters, as well as various migrant fowl, such as the rare trumpeter swan. Birds abound, and with the occasional sighting of the bald eagle, make this trail a favorite among bird watchers. Enjoy the tranquil and serene environment away from the noise and the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Biking

A popular past time at the park, take a leisurely ride on the park’s approx. 3 miles of paved road. For your safety, remember persons under the age of 16 years are required by state law to wear a properly fitting bike helmet. To preserve the natural areas of the park, bicycles are limited to roadways and are not permitted on any footpaths

Fishing

With a freshwater stream feeding the tidal influenced Rocky Bayou, the park offers many varieties of fishing. Some of the more common fish are mullet, trout, and flounder. Saltwater fish may be caught in Rocky Bayou while freshwater fishing is available where Rocky Creek flows into the bay. A fishing license may be required.

Hiking

The Red Cedar Trail hosts the popular and impressive red cedar tree, along with many other varieties of plants, shrubs, and trees. Sand Pine Trail follows the Eastern Shore of Puddin Head Stream. This stream is a rare habitat unique to this area, which is a fragile ecosystem with several species of aquatic plants, such as the pitcher plant and Florida Anise. Adjacent to Sandpine Trail, lies Rocky Bayou Trail. The return loop of this trail follows the picturesque shoreline of the bayou. The park shoreline is home to our most fragile ecosystem, known as estuarine sea grass beds. This rare community has designated the waters an Aquatic Preserve. Here, it is often possible to see dolphins and otters, as well as various migrant fowl, such as the rare trumpeter swan. Birds abound, and with the occasional sighting of the bald eagle, make this trail a favorite among bird watchers.

Wildlife Viewing

Bird Watchers can enjoy sighting wading birds, shore birds and migratory birds in the spring and fall. Dolphins, sea turtles and other fish species may be sighted off the beach. Small species of some reptiles and other wildlife may also be sighted.

Full Camping Facility

Fred Gannon Rocky Bayou is an excellent facility for campers, conveniently located near two of the park’s three beautiful nature trails, as well as a picnic pavilion overlooking the bayou. Whether tent campers or RV enthusiasts, 42 spacious, clean, shady sites will suit your needs. The sites each boast water and electric, a picnic table, and a fire ring and some have water views. A modern heated and air-conditioned bathhouse provides for your comfort needs. Four of these sites are ADA accessible and conveniently located next to the heated and air-conditioned shower facility. An emergency telephone, laundry and vending machines are also located within the campground. Pets are welcome.

Maximum RV length = 40 ft.

Reservations: Reservations may be made up to 11 months in advance through ReserveAmerica. Book Online or call (800) 326-3521 (8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.) or TDD (888) 433-0287.

Campfire Circles

Join our camping community around the fire circle.

Each campsite also has its own fire ring.

Boat Ramp

Boaters can enjoy the convenient double access boat launching facility which provides access to Rocky Bayou, Choctawhatchee Bay, and the Gulf of Mexico. A large parking area is provided in the boat ramp area to allow boaters enough room for their vehicle and boat trailer to park. Overnight docking is not permitted, and all boaters must pay entrance fees to access the park. $5.00 Boat ramp fee.

Pets

Pets are permitted in designated day-use areas and the camping area. Pets are not permitted on beaches or playgrounds, or in bathing areas, or any park buildings. They must be kept on a hand-held leash that is six feet or shorter and be well-behaved at all times. Pet owners are required to pick up after their pets and properly dispose of their droppings. Available throughout the park are courtesy mutt mitts. Service animals are welcome in all areas of Florida State Parks.

Showers, Day Use Visitors

The day use area has several outdoor showers provided for you convenience. Also, for our registered campers there is an outdoor shower conveniently located on the trail returning to your campsite.

Weddings

The pavilions are available to rent after sunset year round. Daytime rentals of the pavilion are September through May, but not during the busy seasons (May 30 – September 1st).

For more information call Anne Marie, the Events Coordinator, at (850) 269-1062. She is in the office Monday through Friday, 10:00am until 5:00pm.

Family Reunions

The picnic pavilions at Rocky Bayou State Park are available for rent daytime from September through May, but not during the busy season (May 30 & September 1). Call Anne Marie, the Events Coordinator, at (850) 269-1062.  She is in the office Monday through Friday, 10:00am until 5:00pm. Or simply call and leave a message.

Picnic Pavilions

Picnic pavilions are available with two of those being adjacent to restrooms. A playground is adjacent to the Red Cedar Pavilion and the Magnolia Pavilion is close to the boat ramp. All pavilions feature barbecue grills. They provide the perfect place to enjoy lunch with family and friends.  The Red Cedar & Magnolia Pavilions are are available to rent for weddings and reunions.

For more information call Anne Marie, the Events Coordinator, at (850) 269-1062. She is in the office Monday through Friday, 10:00am until 5:00pm. Consumption of alcohol beverages is prohibited.

Picnicking

The day use area has six pavilions with barbecue grills, picnic tables, and three restroom facilities.

These pavilions provide the only shade on the sun-drenched beach, unless visitors bring their own umbrellas. Consumption of alcohol beverages is prohibited.

Playground

For your children’s enjoyment and new modern playground facility is conveniently located in the day use are near the picnic pavilion overlooking the Rocky Bayou. For your child’s safety please insure that adult supervision is provided at all times.