Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Campground Review: Rocky Bayou State Park, Niceville, FL

Preparatory to leaving the beautiful weather in Florida I spent 3 nights in Rocky Bayou State Park north of Destin and just outside of  Niceville, FL.  Rocky Bayou is a smaller state park within the Florida state park system with 42 RV camping sites that come with full hookups.

Right off Florida Highway 20.
Here's the Rocky Bayou data sheet:

Hookups:                                 20, 30 50 amp.  Water.
Fire ring:                                  Yes
Water Access:                         Yes
Dump station:                          Yes
WiFi:                                       No
Level sites:                               Yes
Laundry:                                  Yes
Store:                                       Just park memorabilia
Pool:                                        No
Shade:                                     Yes
Verizon reception:                    4g, 2 out of 4
Millenicom reception:               3 out of 4 bars
Cost:                                       $16 / night

Rocky Bayou State Park is located on the north shore of the beautiful Choctawhatchee Bay with 14 of the campsites having access or limited access directly to the water.  If you go try to reserve sites 29 - 37 for best water access.

Choctawhatchee Bay from the shore of the state park.
The campsites are shaded by large sand pines which are the predominant tree within the park.  I originally only signed up for two days but enjoyed my stay so much I extended my stay for a third night, although it involved moving to another site which turned out to be one of the sites with water access so no complaining here.

View through the sand pines from my "improved" third day site.
There are three separate hiking trails within Rocky Bayou, Red Cedar, and Rocky Bayou trails are smaller 6/10ths of a mile walks and the Sand Pine trail is a little over a mile in length.  All trails offer lots of opportunities to view Egrets, Great Blue Herons, Osprey, Hawks and Bald Eagles.  Binoculars and field guides are available from the ranger station at the entrance to the park.

The Red Cedar Trail.

Needless to say I stayed dry during my stay.
If you aren't able to bring watercraft with you on your stay at Rocky Bayou there are canoes and kayaks available for hourly rental.

Plenty of rental kayaks available.
 My stay at Rocky Bayou was extremely quiet and relaxing with simply perfect weather all three days.  Some of the more widely known parks in the area (like those on the Gulf) are tough to get into due to campsites being 100% reserved months in advance but Rocky Bayou State Park is somewhat of a "secret" and often will suffice as a fail safe if you need to camp in the area around Destin.  You won't regret camping there and I know I'll be back.

Thanks for reading!

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