Top Five Accessible State Parks in Florida
Since the Florida state park system was created in 1935, there are now 175 state parks across the state, as well as nine state trails that sprawl nearly 800,000 acres. While this means there are a lot of great outdoor recreation opportunities for the general population, this does not necessarily equate to the same amount of facilities for Floridians with disabilities.
There are however many state parks that are known for being the best in regards to accessibility. From fully-accessible campsites that have bathrooms with roll-in showers to the state parks with miles of paved trails, 25 state parks are worth a visit. Read on to discover the five best Florida state parks for people with disabilities.
5) Lake Louisa State Park
People who enjoy camping will love Lake Louise State Park located in Clermont, Florida, which is near Orlando and spans 4500 acres. People who use wheelchairs report that their campsites are large, flat, have raised grills, as well as accessible picnic tables. The campsites here also offer paving around the water and electrical hookups, as well as close fully accessible bathrooms and showers. While this park isn’t near the ocean, it has three lakes and 7 miles of paved trails which offer a variety of recreational opportunities.
4) Fort Clinch State Park
If you enjoy history, you'll certainly enjoy Fort Clint State Park. Located in Fernandina Beach near the Florida/Georgia border, this state park is 1400 acres and the fort was used during the Civil War. Accessible boardwalks are near the beach and they offer all-terrain wheelchairs. They also offer two fully accessible campsites, as well as a fully accessible bathroom. Parts of the fort are not accessible, but the lower level of the fort can be reached by a wheelchair.
Learn more: https://www.floridastateparks.org/fortclinch
3) Tarkiln Bayou Preserve State Park
If you're interested in seeing the bayou up close and personal, the Tarkiln Bayou Preserve State Park located in Pensacola is a great park experience if you're looking for accessible trails. The preserve located here empties into Perdido Bay, which makes it a stunningly beautiful state park to hike. Fortunately, they offer an accessible trail with an elevated boardwalk that meanders through a prairie, cypress trees, and titi forests. There's also an observation area at the end of the trail where you can get a beautiful view of the bayou and hang out for as long as you desire.
2) Ochlockonee River State Park
If you love to fish, you will love Ochlockonee River, State Park. This state park is located in Sopchoppy, which is located in the panhandle east of Panama City. The state park is known for its fantastic fishing opportunities, brackish waters and canoe, and kayaking. This state park offers an accessible fishing area, accessible campsites, an accessible dock, an accessible kayak and canoe launch, a beach wheelchair and accessible outdoor shower.
1) St. George Island State Park
This 1962 acre barrier island state park is located in St. George Island, which is an island off the pan-handle. A serene state park known for its sparse crowds and natural beaches, St. George Island State Park offers several impressive accessibility features. They offer three beach wheelchairs, two power beach chairs, and a floating beach chair. Mats on the beaches are also available. As for camping, there are six accessible sites, as well as elevated trails.
Amazing accessibility can be found at several other state parks. If you want to cool off in natural spring-fed water, De Leon Springs State Park offers both a lift chair and beach chairs to access the springs. Wekiwa Springs State Parks offers a swimming area fed by spring-water that has a lift chair as well.
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