Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Guided tours
No
Backcountry camping
No
Lodging
No
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

This Florida state park is named for U.S. Air Force Colonel Fred Gannon, who was instrumental in protecting the land and its old-growth longleaf pine stands. The property borders Rocky Bayou, a designated aquatic preserve connected to the Choctawhatchee Bay, which eventually flows into the Gulf of Mexico.

Rocky Bayou State Park offers multiple outdoor activities for its visitors, and it would take a full day to fully explore the park. Three nature trails take hikers past beautiful trees, including an impressive red cedar. Blue-green deer moss carpets the ground in some places, creating a unique forest floor that looks a bit like colorful snow or a fairy land. Birding is popular along the trails, and more than 100 species have been spotted in the area bordering the restored Puddin' Head creek system.

For those interested in exploring Rocky Bayou itself, the park offers a double-land boat ramp as well as kayak and canoe rentals. The bayou is known for its fishing opportunities, and anglers can hope for saltwater species because of the brackish water. For those seeking to stay closer to shore, small sand beaches allow relaxed swimming for children and adults alike. Wooden staircases lead to the gentle lapping waves of the bayou.

Covered picnic pavilions and open picnic tables dot the property, some with a lovely view of the water. A playground is open for kids, and there are multiple bathroom and shower stations. For the workout-inclined, the park even includes fitness stations along a unique trail. If one day is not enough time to fully enjoy the natural resources of Rocky Bayou State Park, visitors can take advantage of 42 shaded campsites.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

State Park Fee

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Multiple activities. Great wildlife viewing.

Cons

Campground can be full.

Features

Campgrounds + Campsites
Showers
Flushing toilets
Boat ramp(s)
Bicycling
Potable water
Picnic tables
Covered picnic areas
Old-growth forest
Fishing
Playground
Bird watching
Wildlife
Family friendly
ADA accessible

Site type

Full hookups

Location

Field Guide

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