See St. George Island’s Wildlife

See St. George Island’s Wildlife

Twenty yards from shore, a school of baitfish moves through the shallows. Not far behind, spotted sea trout swirl as they pick off stray fingerlings one by one. Then, without warning, the water explodes as an osprey pounces on an unsuspecting trout. As this raptor flies off with the fish firmly grasped in its talons, a second bird of prey, an eagle, swoops in from above and tries to steal the osprey’s catch.

The eagle and osprey dance above the water for a minute. Then, a second osprey arrives and chases off the eagle. The birds fly off. Down below, the trout kept feeding. And I sit back in my beach chair and feel for a moment like the luckiest man on earth.

But that is the beauty of this state park, officially called the Dr. Julian G. Bruce St. George Island State Park. It is located at the east end of an island that many folks know only as a quiet weekend retreat on the Gulf of Mexico. The 2,023 acres of undeveloped land offer nine miles of deserted beaches just waiting to be explored. It is nature so special that it attracts wildlife watchers from all across the country, and abroad.

 

See St. George Island’s Natural Side

Sunset

Located off the coast of Apalachicola, nature lovers must go see St. George Island, a northwest Florida refuge. Enjoy the secluded beaches, protected wildlife and stunning views of nature’s wonders.
Sitting on the beach at Gap Point, overlooking Apalachicola Bay, I watch as the sun sinks low on the horizon. Off in the distance, a motor boat drones; above me, the autumn wind whistles through the pine trees.

Time seems to stand still here in this little piece of paradise. When you see St. George Island, you’ll understand.

 

St. George Island, Florida

Beach Moon

Located just off North Florida’s Gulf Coast, the 28-mile St. George Island is one of the last inhabited yet unspoiled barrier islands in Florida – and it is a serene and pet-friendly vacation paradise. St. George Island consistently rates as one of the top beaches in the U.S., with miles of uncrowded expanses for sunning and shelling, clear Gulf waters for swimming and fishing, and pristine marshes for wildlife viewing. St. George Island is protected by low-density zoning and strict building codes. This makes St. George Island a tranquil beach community with no high rises or chain stores. Visitors can rent a quaint beach cottage, a multi-story luxury beach home, or lodge at one of the two island hotels or inns. The state park in St. George is pet-friendly. Pets are allowed in the campground, the nature trails, and on the paved surfaces throughout the park, but must be on a six-foot leash and under control of the owner. Pets are not allowed on the park beach but are allowed on the public beaches outside the parks boundaries.

 

Florida Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail

Canoe Fishing

 

Florida Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail SEGMENT 05: CROOKED RIVER

Paddlers heading east can observe major geologic changes that have taken place over millennia. St. George and Dog islands mark the end of a chain of barrier islands that have been formed by sediments deposited by the Apalachicola and Ochlockonee rivers while islands to the east are sections of land isolated by rising sea levels. Paddling east on the Crooked River through Tate’s Hell State Forest you’ll have a good chance of spotting a Florida black bear. The second half of the segment spans the entire length of the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge. Here, you’ll find unspoiled marshy vistas, tree islands, and an historic lighthouse.

Trail Map

See where this trail will take you, start to finish. Length of Trail (in miles): 103

 

Apalachicola, Florida

Apalachicola, Florida

fresh oysters

Just a few miles away from St. George Island is…….

Apalachicola-Florida’s Quiet Side

Explore Apalachicola, the fishing village with a mind of its own and good times to share.

Apalachicola Oysters: What’s So Special?
In 2006 noted food writer John T. Edge administered an oral history study about Apalachicola oysters and oyster fishermen with the Southern Foodways Alliance, out of The University of Mississippi. “The oysters there are among the best in the nation,” he said. “They are fat, abundant, rich, and lusty. The oysters are both sweet and salty, and it’s the interplay of the freshwater of the river and the salt water from the Gulf, forming an estuary, that makes the difference and sustains these vibrant oysters. It’s about the confluence of that river and the Gulf of Mexico. The uniqueness of that combination, along with the timeless appeal of the fishing village of Apalachicola, is hard to match anywhere in the country. There are a number of restaurants across the country that only serve Apalachicola oysters.”

Morning comes gently to Apalachicola. Oyster boats and shrimpboats begin their daily pilgrimages into the seafood-rich bay as the sun rises on the Northwest Florida coast. The lights twinkle on in this fishing village, its residents ready for another day in unspoiled paradise. If you ever wondered if such a place still exists, yes, old Florida lives here. A lone blinking yellow light directs the downtown traffic. Come and stay awhile in this wonderful, walkable, watery hamlet. Try the pace on for size.

Bay or Beach
When you arrive in Apalachicola, options both old and new offer a lovely stay. The grande dame in town–the Gibson Inn, built in 1907–lures you with her welcoming Victorian-style porches, rocking chairs, and 30 comfortable rooms. Rates start at $95. Ask for Room 101 if you want a quiet, private spot. It’s located away from the well-known restaurant on one end of the building. But do take advantage of the first-rate dining on the premises. Avenue Sea boasts chef David Carrier, who hails from The French Laundry, a famed establishment in Napa Valley. Be sure to make reservations; he’s that popular and that good.

#river

 

 

Created by Tim

 

Apalachicola Oyster Cook-Off

Oyster Cook-Off

SGI Chile Cook-Off

Apalachicola Oyster Cook-Off

January 12, 2018 @ 6:00 pmJanuary 13, 2018 @ 5:00 pm

The event is held every year on the Friday and Saturday before Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in downtown Historic Apalachicola at Riverfront Park. All proceeds goes directly towards paying for the brand new fire truck they were able to purchase a few years ago, due to this sole fundraising event! This year’s 8th Annual Oyster Cook-Off will be held January 12th and 13th, 2018 The event features a silent auction, oysters galore, shrimp, smoked mullet, hot dogs, hamburgers, local beer, live music, kids’ activities, dancing performances and a 5K run! Enter your best recipe and be a contestant in the oyster cook-off or just come out and enjoy a day of wonderful food, refreshments and music.

 

Created by Tim

 

Traditional Foods You Can Find on St. George Island, Florida

Pizza

BJ’s Pizza and The Island Sushi Company is located on St. George Island, Florida between Tallahassee and Panama City Beach. St. George Island prides itself on a natural environment and is well known for its unspoiled and uncrowded beaches, sport fishing, shelling, kayaking, swimming and world famous “Apalachicola” oysters that are harvested from the bay side.

The island is home to a beautiful state park that was voted one of the top ten beaches in the country several years ago as well as a newly reconstructed light house and park featuring a basketball court and children’s playground. A short ride away is Apalachicola to the west (selected by the National Trust For Historic Preservation to be one of America’s Dozen Distinctive Destinations for 2008 and is loaded with old homes, history and quaint shops) and Carrabelle to the east (home of another light house and park as well as a large marina). Beyond Carrabelle to the east is St. James Bay, an Audubon sanctioned golf course that is truly a work of natural beauty and conservation. We sincerely hope you will visit our area and see what is so special about “The Forgotten Coast”. There really is something here for everyone!

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Created by Tim

 

Dog Friendly Activities in Saint George Island, Florida

St. George Island public beach is pet friendly, easy to find and includes bath house facilities, covered pavilions for picnics, a playground and basket ball court. The Cape St. George Lighthouse and lighthouse Keeper’s House are also located in nearby Lighthouse Park. Dogs of all sizes welcome. Must be on-leash OR under direct voice control. Clean-up required.

 

Apalachicola Dog  Park: Apalachicola Dog Park is a free, 2 acre fenced site where dogs can play off-leash. The parks includes large dog and small dog sections, plus an additional area for use by dogs or people with special needs. Water and seating in each section, shade structures, and safety gates.
Hours: Dawn til Dusk Cost: Free. Avenue L and 17 Street

Restaurants: There are a variety of restaurants throughout the county that welcome well behaved pets.

Created by Tim