(Last Updated On: January 7, 2023)

View of the bay at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park on a cloudy day

Beautiful white sandy beaches that stretch for miles along emerald shores and a majestic 25 foot high dune awaits visitors at this state park located in Santa Rosa Beach just 14 miles east of Destin.

Topsail Hill Preserve State Park, named because of that majestic dune’s resemblance to a topsail, is a 1,640 acre public recreational area filled with wetlands, freshwater coastal dune lakes, and longleaf pine forests. Visitors enjoy swimming, kayaking, fishing, bird watching, picnicking, hiking, camping and glamping in this serene Florida state park.

sunset over the beach at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park

Activities

Topsail Hill Preserve State Park is a great location to spend a few days or more. They have everything you need to have a restful vacation. Their amenities include: a playground, picnic pavilions, outdoor showers, elevated boardwalks to the beach, tram service to the beach, nature hikes, educational programs, campsites, cabins, bungalows, and a clubhouse.

The park’s concessionaire, Fancy Camps, offers guests a different approach to a traditional camping experience with their glamping campsites. The campground store carries snacks, ice, firewood, apparel, ice cream, camping items, and rentals (bikes, canoes, kayaks, stand up paddleboards, beach carts, beach chairs and umbrellas). And the Kith & Kin Cafe offers up coffee, gourmet sandwiches, pastries, tea and smoothies for guests to purchase.

Here are some of the activities that you can do during your visit to Topsail Hill Preserve State Park:

Boating at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park

Paddle along the emerald waters during your visit to Topsail Hill Preserve State Park. Guests are not allowed to bring their own water craft into the park but rentals are available daily at the park store.

sand dunes at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park

Swimming at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park

Topsail Hill Preserve State Park’s 3.2 miles of gorgeous sandy beaches welcomes guests with opportunities to swim, relax and search for seashells. Guests may enter the beautiful green-blue waters of the gulf anywhere along the extensive beach area; a tram service is available to shuttle guests from the parking area.

Visitors are encouraged to pay close attention to the warning flag system. These flags represent swimming conditions and are posted at the welcome stations and on the beach.

Hiking at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park

Discover the peaceful environment inside Topsail Hill Preserve State Park, as you wander through longleaf pines, saw palmettos, ancient coastal dunes, and around the lakes. The park’s 15 miles of trails begin at the day use parking lot and trail maps are available at the ranger station.

Here are a couple of the trails at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park:

  • Morris Lake Trail – Easy 3.6 mile trail that winds past ancient coastal dunes and scrub and along Morris Lake. If you look closely you’ll notice remnants of a WWII JB-2 rocket development area.
  • Deer Track Trail – This easy 1.1 mile trail leads past Campbell Lake, carnivorous plants and rare coastal dunes.

bench overlooking the water on a foggy day at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park

Biking at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park

Ride along the paved trails that lead out to the beach area or Campbell Lake during your visit to Topsail Hill Preserve State Park. bring your own bicycle or rent one at the park store. Guests should be aware that all riders under the age of 16 are required by law to wear a helmet.

Fishing at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park

Pack up your fishing gear, pick up a Florida fishing license, and head over to Topsail Hill Preserve State Park for a chance to catch bass, catfish, red fish, pompano or mackerel. The park boasts of excellent opportunities for both freshwater and saltwater fishing – along its coastal dune lakes and a 3.2 mile stretch of secluded beach.

Birding at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park

Bring your binoculars and get a glimpse of an Eastern Bluebird, Snowy Plover, Piping Plover, Great Blue Heron, Barred Owl, Savannah Sparrow, Bald Eagle, Red-shouldered Hawk, cardinal, osprey, Orange-crowned Warbler or a Brown-headed Nuthatch. And since the park is along the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail, it’s a great spot to see both native and migratory birds.

Double Crested Cormorant standing on a pole at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park

Nature and Wildlife at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park

Guests delight in catching sight of some of the many wildlife species that live within Topsail Hill Preserve State Park. Wildlife that may be seen throughout the park – along the trails, in the beach area and around the lakes – include birds, dolphins, white-tailed deer, gray foxes, snakes, lizards, rabbits, turtles, Florida black bear, and possibly a bobcat. The rare Choctawhatchee beach mouse also resides here.

Pets at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park

Pets are welcome at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park as long as they are well behaved and restricted to a hand held leash no longer than 6 feet. Pets are not allowed in any park buildings (this includes cabins and bungalows), on the beach, tram or boardwalks.

Camping at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park

Pack your overnight bags and come spend a few days inside Topsail Hill Preserve State Park. The park features an RV campground, a tent only campground, cabins, bungalows and luxury glamping sites.

Here is a little bit of information on each of these options:

  • RV Campground – This area features 156 campsites; each site has water, electric, sewer and cable hookups plus access to bathhouses, laundry facilities, a swimming pool, shuffleboard and the beach. Pets are welcome.
  • Tent-only campsites – The park has 22 tent-only campsites; each site has an elevated tent pad, a fire ring and access to electricity and water. A bathhouse is located within walking distance.
  • Glamping – This luxury camping experience is provided by Fancy Camps and is ideal for guests who want to enjoy the great outdoors but still have many of the comforts of home. Glamping is available year round.
  • Bungalows – The park has 16 unique and fully furnished bungalows. Each one has one bedroom, bathroom, a kitchen, living room, dining area and a carport. Bungalows sleep up to 4 guests (a queen-sized bed and a sleeper sofa) and an initial set of linens are provided.
  • Cabins – Each of the 16 cabins have 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a kitchen and a combo living and dining area. An initial set of linens are provided and each cabin sleeps up to 6 people.

Park Location

Topsail Hill Preserve State Park
7525 W County Hwy 30A
Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459
Phone: 850.267.8330

Park Website
Reservations

Map

Video

Here is a short YouTube video showcasing several attractions at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park: