July is a time for celebration. The country is celebrating its Independence Day. The park is celebrating National Park and Recreation month. There are many recreational opportunities to enjoy within the 1643 acres that are Topsail Hill Preserve State Park. There are 15 miles of hiking and biking trails to enjoy. If you’re wanting a leisurely stroll try the Beach Tram path or No Name Lake trail. If you’re wanting to walk in the shade amongst tall Long Leaf pine trees try
Gopher Tortoise or Turpentine trails. If you’re wanting a long day of adventurous hiking then venture all the way through the park to Morris Lake Trail and enjoy the sandy trail that meanders through time. If you want to enjoy a breezy bike ride try either the Beach Tram path or the Campbell Lake Bike Path, both of which are paved. If you have mountain bike tires, you’ll enjoy the Old Growth, Turpentine and Gopher Tortoise trails. For those of you into running or are training for a 5k, 10k or Half Marathon, have you been on Campbell Lake Bike Path?
It is a beautiful 3.2 round trip paved trail from the Day Use Parking lot out to Campbell Lake and back. This provides the perfect 3.1 mile/5k distance along with a short warm up and cool down walk back to your car. Speaking of Campbell Lake, a rare Coastal Dune Lake, did you know you can go freshwater fishing there? If you have your freshwater fishing license you can fish in any of the ponds or Coastal Dune Lakes in the park. Be mindful to fish from the banks though as there are alligators. If you’d rather do some saltwater fishing you can easily shore fish anywhere along the 3.2 mile sandy white beach that is the park’s southern border.
Want to enjoy the beach? Whether you play in the sand, go for a swim or go snorkeling at the artificial reef you will be sure to have a wonderful time. Please remember to help the wildlife and leave the beach #CleanDarkFlat.
Need more time in the park? Want to hear the wildlife fall asleep and wake up with the sunrise? Then you’ll want to spend the night camping in the park. Whether you tent camp, rent a cabin or you have your own camper there are just over 200 sites in the campground. All reservations are made through Reserve America and you can reserve your site up to eleven months in advance so start planning!
Want to participate in a self-guided GPS based scavenger hunt/ nature hike through the park? Then try your hand at geocaching or photo scavenger hunt. The park’s geocache program has 13 waypoints and there is an easy, medium and hard section. You can pick up your coordinate packet at the ranger station. Educational opportunities more your speed? Kukoa Institute is coming for the Topsail Talks series on July 19th at 10am. They’ll be discussing the recreational opportunities for African Americans in the Florida Panhandle during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Don’t forget the regular Guided Bird Walk, Plant Stroll, Breakfast with a Ranger and the Sunday Funday Ranger programs. As we always say, there is definitely something for everyone at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park. That’s how we know we will see you soon!
For more information, visit www.floridastateparks.org/parks-and-trails/topsail-hill-preserve-state-park.