Big Lagoon State Park, Pensacola in the beautiful State of Florida serves as a gateway to a slew of fun outdoor activities and adventures on the Florida Panhandle. This gorgeous park spans over 655 acres and provides visitors with not only breathtaking views of the surrounding area but also a multitude of recreational opportunities.
From swimming and boating to camping and hiking, Big Lagoon State Park has something for everyone. One of the park’s unique features is its role as a starting or ending point for the 1,515-mile Florida Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail.
This sea kayaking journey leads enthusiasts around the entirety of the Sunshine State. A half-buried kayak accompanied by a weathered logbook marks the launch site, waiting to be discovered by eager nature lovers.
The physical address of this park is 12301 Gulf Beach Highway, Big Lagoon State Park is just ten miles southwest of Pensacola. Its pristine shoreline, diverse wildlife, and stunning natural landscape make it a must-visit destination for outdoor enthusiasts and tourists alike.
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Whether you’re a seasoned adventurer or looking for a peaceful retreat, Big Lagoon State Park encompasses the wonders of Florida and its unique coastal ecosystems.
If you are looking for something specific, use this list and jump to that section. At the bottom of this article, I have placed additional links for fun things to do in this part of the Florida Panhandle.
Why You Should Put Big Lagoon State Park on Your Must-Visit List
Big Lagoon State Park is a nature lover’s paradise located in Pensacola, Florida. With over 700 acres of diverse ecosystems, the park offers visitors a combination of both land and water-based activities.
Nature enthusiasts can enjoy scenic views from the observation tower, watching various species of birds that inhabit the park. Fishing is also quite popular, as the surrounding water bodies, such as Long Pond, Grand Lagoon Lake, and the Intracoastal Waterway, provide ample opportunities to cast a line.
Outdoor adventurers who love to camp will be pleased to find comfortable campsites at Big Lagoon State Park. Whether it’s pitching a tent or parking an RV, there’s a spot for everyone to rest under the stars after a long day of exploring.
The park offers numerous nature trails that wind through marshes, pine forests, and along the Gulf of Mexico shoreline. With over 5.5 miles of trails to choose from, hikers of all levels can find a path suited to their skill and interest. As you explore, make sure to keep an eye out for the range of wildlife that call Big Lagoon State Park home.
For those looking to relax and unwind, Big Lagoon State Park features picnic pavilions perfect for friends and family gatherings. Enjoy lunch amidst lush vegetation while the kids enjoy the nearby playground.
The park also features a boardwalk that leads visitors through the park’s stunning environment, allowing for up-close views of wildlife and plantlife. This serves as a great way for travelers to experience the beauty of Florida’s coastal flora and fauna.
In addition to land-based activities, Big Lagoon State Park is surrounded by the stunning Gulf of Mexico waters, which are perfect for swimming or sunbathing on the shoreline. Those interested in a more adventurous aquatic experience can embark on the 1,515-mile Florida Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail, starting or ending their journey right within the park.
What Is Near Big Lagoon State Park? Closest Beaches?
Big Lagoon State Park, located in Pensacola, offers its visitors a beautiful natural setting that serves as a gateway for outdoor adventures. Nearby, there are plenty of picturesque beaches and attractions to explore. In this section, we’ll discuss some of the closest and most noteworthy beaches in the area.
Perdido Key Beach, part of the Gulf Islands National Seashore, is located across the mainland from Big Lagoon State Park. This pristine and protected stretch of shoreline stands out for its sugar-white sands and crystal-clear waters. Many visitors find this a perfect destination to enjoy the Florida sun, take a relaxing swim, or go for a beach picnic.
Just a short distance away, another beautiful beach awaits at Perdido Key State Park. This park offers more than 290 acres of unspoiled natural beauty, with picturesque dunes, seagrass, and maritime live oaks. Perdido Key State Park beach is ideal for sunbathing, swimming, and beachcombing. It’s a popular spot among locals and visitors looking for a more serene and less crowded beach experience.
Big Lagoon State Park itself has plenty to offer beach enthusiasts who don’t want to travel too far. The park boasts a 40-foot observation tower at the East Beach area, providing a panoramic view of Big Lagoon, Gulf Islands National Seashore, and the Intracoastal Waterway. Here, visitors can enjoy hiking, boating, swimming, fishing, and camping within the park’s 705 acres.
In addition to these beaches, there are other nearby attractions worth checking out. For instance, Orange Beach Dolphin Cruises and Orange Beach Parasail are just a short drive away in Orange Beach, Alabama. These activities offer a unique way to experience the coastal scenery while getting up close with local marine life or enjoying a thrilling aerial adventure.
How to Get to Big Lagoon State Park
Big Lagoon State Park is a beautiful destination located in Pensacola, Florida. It is part of the Florida State Parks system and offers a variety of recreational opportunities such as swimming, boating, fishing, camping, hiking, and paddling. To help you plan your visit, we’ve provided some information on how to get to this wonderful park.
Big Lagoon State Park can be found at 12301 Gulf Beach Highway, Pensacola, FL 32507. The park is situated around 10 miles southwest of Pensacola on County Road 292A. If you’re driving, make sure to follow the signs for Big Lagoon State Park, ensuring a hassle-free journey to the park.
For those traveling with an RV, you’ll be happy to know that Big Lagoon State Park is RV-friendly and offers a campground with well-maintained facilities. The park is rated 8.0 out of 10 at RV LIFE Campground Reviews, making it a popular choice among RV enthusiasts. Prior to your trip, be sure to reserve a spot in advance.
Once you’ve arrived at Big Lagoon State Park, take advantage of the park’s many exciting activities and attractions. Be sure to check out the 5.5 miles of hiking trails or the boat launch for easy access to the stunning waters of Big Lagoon. The park also offers fishing opportunities at Long Pond, Grand Lagoon Lake, and along the Intracoastal Waterway.
What Is Big Lagoon Known for
Big Lagoon State Park is a 705-acre park located on the northwestern Florida coast, approximately 10 miles southwest of Pensacola on Gulf Beach Highway. The park is known for its diverse range of recreational activities and natural beauty, making it a popular destination for locals and tourists alike.
One of the main attractions at Big Lagoon is its expansive waterways. The park encompasses the northern boundary of Big Lagoon as it snakes toward Pensacola Bay to the east, as well as Wild Grande Lagoon and its minor tributaries.
These waterways offer a wealth of opportunities for swimming, boating, fishing, and paddling. In fact, Big Lagoon serves as a launch site for the 1,515-mile Florida Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail, which allows sea kayakers to traverse the entire state.
In addition to water-based activities, Big Lagoon also features various picturesque woodlands and trails for hiking, birdwatching, or simply exploring the diverse ecosystems. With a mixture of pine flatwoods, salt marshes, and live oak hammocks, the park provides a habitat for a diverse array of flora and fauna, making it a wonderful location for nature enthusiasts.
Another unique feature of Big Lagoon State Park is the presence of a tower that allows visitors to take in stunning aerial views of the park’s surroundings. The tower is accessible via a short walk and provides an excellent vantage point to observe the park’s lush landscapes and sparkling waterways.
Can You Swim in Big Lagoon State Park? Is It Salt Water?
Big Lagoon State Park, located in Pensacola, Florida, is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy various activities such as swimming, boating, hiking, and more. Visitors can take a dip in the designated swimming areas along the Intracoastal Waterway at the park.
While the water here is not exactly salt water like the ocean, it is brackish, which means it’s a mix of fresh and salt water. This unique combination provides a refreshing experience for swimmers while also being home to diverse marine life.
Boating is another popular activity at Big Lagoon State Park. With access to the Intracoastal Waterway, guests can engage in sea kayaking, canoeing, or other watercraft activities. In fact, the park is even considered a gateway for those looking to embark on the 1,515-mile Florida Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail, which is an epic sea kayaking journey that circles the entire state.
For visitors who prefer land-based activities, Big Lagoon State Park has plenty to offer as well. The park features several hiking trails that meander through diverse ecosystems such as saltwater marshes, sand dunes, and pine flatwoods. These trails provide an excellent opportunity for birdwatching, wildlife viewing, and simply appreciating the beauty of nature.
Can You See the Blue Angels from the Park?
Big Lagoon State Park in Pensacola, Florida is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts. The park offers various recreational activities such as swimming, boating, fishing, camping, hiking, and paddling.
The beautiful natural setting of the park makes it an ideal place to relax and connect with nature. But an added attraction that interests many park visitors is the chance to see the Blue Angels, the United States Navy’s flight demonstration squadron.
The Blue Angels perform thrilling aerial acrobatic shows for the public, and they occasionally practice in the vicinity of Pensacola. Big Lagoon State Park has been mentioned as a location where one can catch a glimpse of the Blue Angels’ practice sessions.
A review on Tripadvisor mentioned that visitors staying at the Big Lagoon State Park Campground were able to witness the Blue Angels in action. Similarly, an RV LIFE Campground Review of the park recommended it as a great spot to see the Blue Angels.
It’s important to note that the Blue Angels practice sessions are not daily occurrences, and visitors to the park should not expect to see them every time they visit.
The Blue Angels’ practice shows are more frequently seen on specific dates, such as during the Red, White & Blues Pensacola Beach Air Show. It’s recommended to check the Blue Angels’ practice schedule online to know the best time to visit the park for a chance to witness their mesmerizing performance.
While there is no guarantee that visitors to Big Lagoon State Park will see the Blue Angels every time, they can increase their chances by visiting during specific events and practice days.
The combination of the park’s natural beauty and the awe-inspiring sight of the Blue Angels soaring through the sky definitely adds to the unforgettable experience of a visit to Big Lagoon State Park.
Other Things to Know
How Much Does It Cost to Get into the Park
When visiting Big Lagoon State Park, keep in mind that there is a $6.00 entry fee per vehicle, and the park is open daily from 8:00 am to sunset. The park is also handicap accessible, ensuring a fun and enjoyable experience for all visitors.
Other Things to Do in the Park
Big Lagoon State Park offers a wide array of activities for guests to enjoy. Among the options you’ll find in the park are:
- Campsites: Big Lagoon features a family campground with restrooms and shower facilities. There are both primitive and RV campsites available, offering a place to stay overnight for those looking to spend more time exploring the park.
- Boat ramp: The park has a boat ramp that makes it easy for visitors to launch their boats and explore the waters of the lagoon.
- Birding: For nature enthusiasts and bird watchers, Big Lagoon State Park offers exceptional birding opportunities. The park supports a diverse bird population, including migratory species that stop by during their seasonal travels.
- Pine flatwoods: Another notable feature of the park is the beautiful pine flatwoods, which are home to a variety of plant and wildlife species.
- Paddling: The park offers canoeing and kayaking adventures, with both rentals and launch facilities available for those wishing to explore the lagoon waters.
- Ranger station: The ranger station can provide valuable information about the park and surrounding areas, as well as assistance in case of emergencies.
- Amphitheater: If you’re visiting during a special event, you may have the opportunity to enjoy a performance at the park’s amphitheater.
- Unique park inhabitants: While exploring the park, be on the lookout for some of its more notable residents, like alligators and various species of ants. Be respectful of the wildlife and remember to observe from a safe distance.
- Art: Occasionally, the park may feature artistic displays or events, providing another layer of entertainment and enrichment for visitors.
Planning for Your Visit
Big Lagoon State Park, located in Pensacola, Florida, is an excellent destination for outdoor enthusiasts. The park offers numerous activities, from exploring nature trails and observing wildlife to enjoying water activities like swimming and boating.
Visitors to the park can expect to find diverse ecosystems ranging from beaches along the Gulf of Mexico to the expansive woodlands. Big Lagoon State Park is effortlessly accessible for RV owners, with ample camping spaces that cater to recreational vehicles. Camping is a popular option for those who wish to completely enjoy the park’s natural beauty overnight.
Nature trails woven throughout the park provide an exceptional opportunity for hikers to observe the unique wildlife that calls the diverse habitat home. The park features an observation tower that allows visitors to take in panoramic views of the surrounding area, including the Gulf Coast and Perdido Key.
For those who love water activities, Big Lagoon State Park offers plenty of options. The park’s beaches are perfect for swimming and sunbathing, while the Gulf of Mexico offers boating and fishing opportunities.
Paddlers can enjoy the calm waters or take on the challenge of the Florida Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail, which spans an impressive 1,515-mile journey around the state.
Besides the natural offerings, Big Lagoon State Park is also equipped with picnic pavilions and a boardwalk that make for a pleasant day outdoors. Restaurants and other amenities are close by in Pensacola, ensuring that visitors have access to everything they need for a comfortable visit.
Big Lagoon State Park in Pensacola, Florida, is definitely a must-visit destination for anyone seeking a diverse range of outdoor activities amidst beautiful scenery. Plan your trip today and experience the best of Florida’s Gulf Coast.
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Denise Sanger lives a life split between her love for fitness and her passion for travel particularly to the BEACH. Denise also has a love of marketing and lives in beautiful Suwannee County, Florida. You can find out more about Denise here: About Denise