Florida Guide > State Parks
Henderson Beach State Park is situated east of Destin on the U. S 98 in Floridas Pan Handle. This park is named after the Henderson family who lived here til 1983 and they were so keen to see this area preseved and protected that they sold it to the State Parks department for just over $13000000. A remarkably small sum, even then.
The beach here is exceptional and the sun sets are magnificent. High Dunes and stunted pines also add interest to this stunning place. The Parks department have put in boardwalks that make accessing the beaches easy and there is even a special wheelchair you can use to take disabled people right on to the beach.
Terns, pelicans and laughing gulls are some of the shore birds you may see at the beach. The gulls are so called because of their distinctive cry. . . ha ha ha! They inhabit coastal areas and live mainly off small prey. You may also see turtles nesting in the sand; they mostly emerge at night, but it is not unusual to spot them in the day time. It is important not to disturb nesting turtles; the State Parks Department are doing great work in protecting these once threatened species.
At the start of this century, the nature trail was formed; and it takes you through three quarters of a mile of coastal scrub. Also look out for wild rosemary, pines and reindeer moss. It is called reindeer moss as it is one of the prime foods for reindeer. It belongs to the lichen family and is also used to make aquivat and in some places in the world it is also boiled and eaten by humans. We have reindeer moss in England too.
There is a pleasant pic nic area with pavilions to provide shade and there is a drinks machine by the park entrance. It is still a good idea to take extra water, particularly during thr hot summer months Fishing bait and tackle can be purchased from an out let just outside the park gates. You can look to catch flounder, cobia and pompano in these fertile waters You will need a fishing licence available from sports shops, Walmarts and also on line.
It costs just $3 for a car and up to 8 passengers and there are several near by State Parks including Fred Gannon. Topsail Hill, and Yelloow River Marsh. If you can fit at least one of these other parks into your day, so much the better.
Henderson Beach State Park
17000 Emerald Coast Parkway
Destin, Florida 32541
Phone: (850) 837-7550
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