Big Lagoon State Park (Gateway)

12301 Gulf Beach Hwy., Pensacola, 32507
(850) 492-1595
Daily, 8:00am to sunset
Trail map

Big Lagoon State Park has fully reopened! Please adhere to all posted signage and avoid closed habitat restoration areas. Reopened areas include East Beach Day-use area including the observation tower, hand kayak launch, West Beach Day-use area, Governor’s Pavilion, Boardwalks and trails, Amphitheater, and picnic pavilions. The park is currently accepting reservations of up to 11 months in advance for both the Governor’s Pavilion and the Amphitheater, these reservations can be made by calling the Ranger Station at 850-492-1595, all other pavilions are first-come, first-serve. Also, please note that there is currently no playground at the West Beach area.

Great Blue Heron (2)

This site nicely represents the diversity of Panhandle habitats, all in the boundaries of a single park. The bay front offers sandy expanses for wintering Black-bellied Plovers, Dunlin and Least Sandpipers, and winter ducks like Lesser Scaup, Redhead, Bufflehead and Red-breasted Mergansers can be seen diving in the bay from the East Beach tower. Common Loons call on foggy mornings in early spring, and a diversity of gulls and terns feed in area waters. 23 species of wood-warbler have been recorded in the park during spring and fall migration. They can be found feeding on insects in hammocks in the campground and along the Long Pond Trail which skirts some freshwater wetlands, then stretches into the Sand Pine Trail leading along the north edge of the lagoon onto a scrubby point, peppered with pines favored by Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers, Northern Flickers and Brown-headed Nuthatches. Check with park staff for information on birding events going on in the Panhandle; binoculars are also available for loan from the ranger station.

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