Florida Roundups / Parks & Forests

All state parks open for Labor Day; Two campgrounds remain closed, 1 reopens


Updated: Friday, 8/31

Flooding at St. Joseph Peninsula State Park - Tropical Storm Isaac

Flooding at St. Joseph Peninsula State Park

Damaged beach ramps at St. George Island State Park from Tropical Storm Isaac

Damaged beach ramps at St. George Island State Park

’Beach erosion at John U. Lloyd State Park

’Beach erosion at John U. Lloyd State Park

Turtle under board at St. Lucie Inlet State Park

Turtle struggles at St. Lucie Inlet Preserve State Park

Florida State Parks officials reported this morning that all state parks will be open for day use over the Labor Day Weekend, and only three state park campgrounds are closed — St. Andrews in Panama City, Hillsborough River State Park in Thonotosassa and Myakka River State Park in Sarasota.

“All state parks will be operating under their normal opening/closing schedules over Labor Day weekend,” says Jennifer Diaz, Florida State Parks spokesperson.

Remaining problems are mostly related to flooding and erosion, according to alerts posted by individual parks, and some facilities may not be operating.

Among the state parks still affected by Tropical Storm Isaac:

  • Campgrounds and cabins at Myakka River State Park near Sarasota remain closed until further notice. The park will be open for day use over Labor Day Weekend, although some bike trails may still be closed with trees down. For current conditions, call the park office at (941) 361-6511 or visit their web site.
  • Officials at Panama City’s St. Andrews State Park said Thursday that the campground will re-open on Friday, Aug. 31, just in time for the Labor Day Weekend. For the latest, visit their web site.
  • The campground at Hillsborough River State Park remains closed due to flooding and is not expected to reopen for Labor Day Weekend. The park is open for day use, although the Florida Trail, Baynard Trail and Canoe Rentals are closed due to flooding. For more information, visit their web site. For information about other campgrounds in the Tampa Bay area, read this Florida Rambler article: 9 Choice Campgrounds Near Tampa Bay
  • Crystal River State Park on the Gulf Coast has shut down the Heritage Eco-Boat Tours until further notice.
  • O’Leno State Park near High Springs says the Upper Santa Fe River is flooding due to recent heavy rains, closing many trails. However, the campground is on high ground and is open. For the current conditions at the park, call the Ranger Station at 386-454-1853 or visit their web site.
  • All interior trails at River Rise Preserve State Park are closed due to flooding. River Rise shares its trail system with O’Leno and is subject to the same flooding conditions from the Upper Santa Fe.
Erosion from Tropical Storm Isaac at St. Lucie Inlet Preserve State Park

Erosion at St. Lucie Inlet Preserve State Park

For more information on other parks, visit the “Park Alerts” page on the official web site of Florida State Parks, floridastateparks.org

Big Cypress Preserve

The National Park Service, meanwhile, has reopened the Big Cypress Preserve after determining that the storm did little damage. All visitor facilities and backcountry trails were open as of Wednesday morning.

If you have information on specific parks, please add your comments below.

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