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Overview

Cradling vast, shallow saltwater lagoons within sight and sound of the surf of the Gulf of Mexico, Big Lagoon State Park near Pensacola is a wilderness of sand, with ridges of dune communities stepping back from the shoreline in a rising crescendo to the highest elevations near the park gate. The sand is soft and white like fallen snow, with a network of trails extending throughout the park from its popular campground. Some walks lead to quiet observation decks along the placid lagoons, where birders will delight in seeing migratory species pass through in winter. Others lead to sweeping views, or deep into the heart of the sand ridges. The ...

Cradling vast, shallow saltwater lagoons within sight and sound of the surf of the Gulf of Mexico, Big Lagoon State Park near Pensacola is a wilderness of sand, with ridges of dune communities stepping back from the shoreline in a rising crescendo to the highest elevations near the park gate. The sand is soft and white like fallen snow, with a network of trails extending throughout the park from its popular campground. Some walks lead to quiet observation decks along the placid lagoons, where birders will delight in seeing migratory species pass through in winter. Others lead to sweeping views, or deep into the heart of the sand ridges. The waterfront along the namesake Big Lagoon is dotted with picnic pavilions and access for splashing in the shallows or fishing the flats. As a gateway for the Great Florida Birding Trail, it’s a place where osprey sightings are always in season, with permanent nests in many of the larger trees near the shore. A four-story observation tower provides the best perspective on the immensity of the lagoon itself, as well as a view of the ocean.

Sandra Friend
About the Expert

Sandra Friend has written 12 books about Florida, including the Explorer's Guide (Countryman Press) series to Florida.

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Facts at a Glance

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