Get Outdoors: Florida’s most visited state parks and trails

Fishing and cycling on the bridge to Pigeon Key (credit: FL DEP)

Fishing and cycling on the bridge to Pigeon Key (credit: FL DEP)

Florida News: Figures released for the most popular state parks

Wondering which park to choose for one of your outdoor activities? Try the most popular from 2011 attendance figures just released by Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). Among the top 10 state parks visited by approximately 21.1 million visitors, a majority were in the Florida Keys.

Top Trail

More than 1.7 million people visited the Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail last year. The multi-use pathway follows US Highway 1 for 106 miles from Key Largo to Key West (right now about 70 miles of it are paved). One of the focal points of the trail are the 23 the crossing of historic Flagler Railroad bridges and the variety of access points, from national parks such as the Everglades National Park, Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and the Great White Heron National Wildlife Refuge to 10 state parks including John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park and Bahia Honda State Park which are in the Top 10 list below.

Top Park

Dunedin’s Honeymoon Island State Park is in the Number One spot with more than one million visitors for 2011. Of the other parks (in the list of Top 10 parks below), each had annual visitors above 500,000.

Top 10 state parks

The most visited state parks in order are:
  • Honeymoon Island State Park, Dunedin
  • Gasparilla Island State Park, Boca Grande
  • St. Andrews State Park, Panama City Beach
  • Lovers Key State Park, Fort Myers Beach
  • John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, Key Largo
  • Anastasia State Park, St. Augustine
  • Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park, Key Biscayne
  • Sebastian Inlet State Park, Melbourne Beach
  • Stump Pass Beach State Park, Englewood
  • Bahia Honda State Park, Big Pine Key

Tell us…

What’s your favorite state park?