Florida Guide > State Parks
FRED GANNON ROCKY BAYOU
Fred Gannon Rocky Bayou State Park is situated in Niceville (now who could resist going to Niceville? )
This park was once a bombing practice range and is named after a man called Fred Gannon, whose efforts started turning this old range into the park we know and love today.
The best part of this attractive State Park is the Choctawatchee Bay which is a magnet for anglers, boaters and kayakers. It is located at the very north end of the park. Puddin Head Lake can be found right in the middle of the park and is a good spot for fresh water fishing.
If you have visited this park in the past, you will be delighted to see all the improvements they have been making. These include a pedestrian bridge over Puddin Head Lake, making access a lot easier a playgound for the children and a shop that sells fishing essentials and souvenirs.
There are 3 nature trails here:
The Sand Pine Trail goes round Puddin Head Lake; here you will find many aquatic plants.
The Red Cedar Trail lives up to its name with masses of this stately trees to follow.
The Rocky Bayou Trail takes you on a tour of the bayou which has estuarine sea grass beds. You will be thrilled to hear that you may see otters, dolphins and trumpeter swans here so take your camers with you and have it at the ready.
Trumpeter swans are very much an endangered species since they were heavily hunted in the 19th century for their feathers and meat. They are Americas largest bird (if not the largest bird in the world) They tend to weigh around 25 lbs but can weigh up to 38 lbs.
They are so called because their bills look rather like trumpets, but they also make a sound very like a french horn. The largest number are found in Alaska, but they are trying to introduce the species to other parts of the States; this is proving hard since it is difficult to find the right conditions for them to thrive. Odd to think that the conditions in Florida could in any way be similar to those in Alaska!
There is a pleasant picnic area and the new playground with its up to date equipment. Canoes and kayaks can be rented by the half or full day. Phone this number for more details 850 833 9144
Fred Gannon Rocky Bayou State Park
4281 Hwy 20
Niceville, Florida 32578
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