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walkway and pavilion at Big Lagoon State Park

Big Lagoon State Park lies along the Intracoastal Waterway in Escambia County, Florida, 16 miles east of Pensacola. Saltwater marshes, sand dunes, pine flatwoods, beaches and the sea greet guests eager for a restful break or some outdoor adventures. Guests enjoy swimming, kayaking, fishing, hiking, camping and a close up view of nature and wildlife at this Florida state park.

Big Lagoon is also the access point to the 1,515 mile sea kayaking trail, the Florida Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail, that circles the entire state.


Visit for a day or bring your RV or tent and spend a peaceful night inside Big Lagoon State Park. The park also features an observation tower where guests can take in the gorgeous views of the park from above.

Picnic pavilions and picnic areas are scattered throughout the park, each with tables and grills. And an amphitheater, playground, restrooms and outdoor showers are also available for guests and to make your stay more comfortable.

Ranger led programs include star stargazing, nature walks, campfire circles and more. For more information check out the park’s event section on their website or stop into the ranger station during your visit. Maps, bird lists, guides and other information is also available.

Here are some of the many activities that you can do during your visit to Big Lagoon State Park:

Boating at Big Lagoon State Park

Bring your own kayak, canoe or paddle board and paddle along the Intracoastal Waterway and the gulf of Mexico. Guests are able to access the water by the hand kayak launch, boat ramp and dock along the Intracoastal Waterway.

Swimming at Big Lagoon State Park

Bring your swimsuit, beach towel and a picnic and enjoy a restful day at Big Lagoon State Park. Several small beach areas along the Intracoastal Waterway are designated for guests to swim or rest along the shoreline. There are no lifeguards, swimming is at your own risk.

Hiking at Big Lagoon State Park

Big Lagoon State Park has 5 miles of nature trails for guests to explore the open woodlands, along the bay, beach and marshland. An observation tower, located along East Beach, offers breathtaking views from above of the Gulf Islands National Seashore and Perdido Key.

Here are a couple of the trails at Big Lagoon State Park:

  • Sand Pine Loop and Big Lagoon Observation Tower – This easy 5.6 mile trail winds along wooden boardwalks and a sandy path as it leads up to the observation tower.
  • Sand Pine Trail – Easy 4 mile loop along a sandy trail and past dunes and scrub areas. This popular trail is a great one for viewing wildlife within the park.

Fishing at Big Lagoon State Park

Fish for sea trout, flounder, bluefish, redfish and more in the lagoon at Big Lagoon State Park. Cast netting for mullet and crabbing are also popular here. Pack your fishing pole, bait and tackle, and a valid Florida fishing license. Discover what you may catch during your visit to this peaceful spot.

Birding at Big Lagoon State Park

Discover Great Blue Herons, sandpipers, Black-bellied Plovers, warblers, ducks, cardinals, towhees, nuthatches and brown thrashes during your visit to Big Lagoon State Park. The park is along the Great Florida Birding Trail and many birds, both native and migratory, may be seen here throughout the year.

Don’t forget your binoculars! The observation tower overlooks the park and is an ideal spot to see nesting shorebirds, marsh birds, waterfowl and wintering ducks.

Nature and Wildlife at Big Lagoon State Park

As you walk along the park’s beaches, salt marshes, scrub, dunes and slash pine flats you’ll see deer, raccoons, opossums, foxes, birds, turtles, snakes and alligators.

Pets at Big Lagoon State Park

Pets are permitted in designated areas at Big Lagoon State Park but must be kept on a hand held leash no longer than 6 feet. Pets are not allowed in any park buildings or in the beach area.

Camping at Big Lagoon State Park

Spend the night in one of the 75 campsites nestled among the serene pine flats inside the park. Each site has electric and water hookups, a picnic table and a fire ring. Restrooms are a short walk away.

The park also has a primitive group camping area for groups of 11 to 40 with picnic tables and a fire ring.

Park Location

Big Lagoon State Park
12301 Gulf Beach Hwy
Pensacola, FL 32507
Phone: 850.492.1595




Here is a short YouTube video showcasing several attractions at Big Lagoon State Park: