Blue Springs (near DeLand) to Henderson Beach (near Ft Walton Beach), Florida

Well, it’s time to head west again so we’ll keep lolly-gagging in Florida for a little bit longer. From Blue Springs State Park, we went north on hwy 17, then headed west on hwy 40. We took state road 326 to 27 north all the way to Chiefland, FL where Manatee Springs is. This is the state park.

All the Florida State Parks we’ve seen are nice and well cared for – very clean restrooms, free showers, no extra charge for the dump station. Rates from $16 to $30 for electric/water at the sites. The beach campgrounds have the higher rates. This next pic is at Manatee Springs. This spring run is deeper than Blue Springs so it’s harder to see the manatees. But there were none to see this day anyway. There is a great boardwalk along the run out to a large observation platform on the river.

A small herd of deer came through the woods behind our campsite in the morning.

The next day, we continued northwest on hwy 27. No views of the ocean on this route but it is a nice route, off the busy interstate, that takes you through some great horse ranches. We turned off hwy 27 around Perry, FL, continuing west on hwy 98 to Eastpoint, FL. It is the east point on the Apalachicola Bay. hhhmmm – I wonder if that smoke is anywhere near our campground? We crossed the bay to get to St George Island State Park. And, yep, they were burning the underbrush in the campground. It looked worse from here than in the campground, where we couldn’t tell it was going on.
The beach was too far of a walk from the campground. So we drove to the day use area the next morning. It is advertised as a good “shelling” beach and it didn’t disappoint. What I love about the beaches at the Florida State Parks are the long stretches without condos!

The dunes are protected. They have boardwalks for beach access to keep us off the dunes.

Here’s a sample of some of the shells. We wondered if this guy’s mustache was a small sea cucumber? We saw quite a few on the shore.

Look at this great shell! We

Again, we continued west on hwy 98. This part of the hwy follows the coast. The beautiful white sand makes the shallow water a gorgeous turquoise; not much in the way of waves though. Henderson Beach State Park is close to the town of Ft Walton Beach. I kept hoping that a “beach” campground was actually “on” the beach – but, NnOOOoooooo. There is a pretty walkway through the campground…

…to the boardwalk that goes over the dunes….
… and out to the beautiful sugar-white sand beach, with a long stretch of no condos! Actually, there weren’t even any shells on this beach.

Just me and the snowy plovers!

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