Deer Lake State Park is located between the coastal communities of Seagrove Beach and Seacrest and it includes the magnificent inlet dune lake with the same name. In fact, Deer Lake State Park includes more than ten different ecosystems within its boundaries. These include the beach dunes themselves, flatwoods, sandhills, scrub foliage, basin swamp, marshes, dome swamp, coastal lakes, streams, tidal creeks and a marine substrate that contains both freshwater and saltwater aquatic species. Along with its sister parks at Grayton Beach, Topsail Hill and Camp Helen, Deer Lake State Park is just one of the many natural attractions found within South Walton County.
Explore the Dunes!
If you enter off of County Highway 30A near the community of Watersound, the sandy trail through the coastal foliage leads to a wonderfully constructed boardwalk that stretches to the Gulf of Mexico. On this (south) side of County Highway 30A, the inlet dunes and the white sands are the main attraction. The lake itself is filled primarily with fresh water, however when the sand berm breaks, saltwater from the Gulf can enter and fresh water can outflow into the Gulf as well. The constant flux creates a brackish, rusty brown water which is a result of decaying, organic foliage in the park. The inlet lakes in South Walton County are extremely rare; in fact, they only occur naturally in a handful of locations around the world—places such as Madagascar, New Zealand and Australia.
North of 30A
Visitors who wish to see more than white sand beaches should definitely trek through the backwoods of Deer Lake State Park. The orange trail is only one mile long; however, it gives adventurers a glimpse of coastal pines and varied wildlife. The blue trail is even shorter, but along the way it provides magnificent views of Deer Lake. Nonetheless, both trails are excellent for hiking and wildlife viewing.
Deer Lake State Park Details
The park is open 365 days a year from 8am until sunset and parking is $3 per vehicle. There is also an interpretive exhibit, picnic pavilion and restroom facilities. Pets are not allowed on the beach. However, you can bring them on a walk through the trails as long as they remain on a leash. Needless to say, in Florida most travelers visit the beaches known for their soft sand, warm waters and emerald beauty, yet there always comes a time to step away from the beach and explore elsewhere, that is when Deer Lake State Park becomes an exceptional choice.
Book your stay with Paradise 30A today and explore the coastal dune lakes of the Emerald Coast!