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DeSantis opens state parks

May 1, 2020
Nathan Mayberg ( , Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

Governor Ron DeSantis announced that he will be opening up state parks for limited uses beginning Monday including access to trails, some day use areas. Visitors will be asked to practice proper social distancing and to limit group size to 10 or less and to stay six feet apart.

The announcement by DeSantis will limit access at Lovers Key State Park strictly to boat ramp access. The Estero Bay Preserve State Park will not have any restrictions.

Dee Ann Miller, a spokesperson for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection explained the limited access.

Article Photos

Lovers Key State Park in March

"This first re-opening phase focuses on trails (multi-use paved trails) and remote access park entry points where social distancing can be practiced and risk to staff and visitors can be managed. It includes beaches and boat and kayak/canoe launches outside of and not requiring access through main parks, with reduced parking and reduced hours," Miller said.

Again, DEP is actively working to develop the next phase of additional openings that can be expected over the coming days. As always, we will continue to keep our communities informed through social media and our website.

"I applaud the Re-Open Florida Task Force on their hard work to inform a safe, smart and step-by-step approach to re-opening Florida," said Governor DeSantis. "Recreational activity provides important physical and mental health benefits, particularly during these uncertain times. This Phase One plan will allow for the thoughtful, measured re-opening of some of our state's incredible natural resources for public recreation."

The selected reopened state parks will have limited facilities. Reopened beach areas allow visitors access to active recreation only. This includes walking, jogging, swimming and fishing. No sunbathing, chairs, canopies or coolers are allowed in beach areas at this time.

Reopened parks will resume normal operation hours of 8 a.m. to sunset, with the exception of beach areas. Access to beach areas will have reduced daily hours that may vary locally along with reductions in visitor capacity to ensure social distancing. Visitors should check the Department's website at for the latest information.

Compliance with social distancing requirements and approved activities will be enforced and failure to comply with proper social distancing or approved activities may result in law enforcement action or park closure.

The parts that will be open are as follows:

Addison Blockhouse Historic State Park

Allen David Broussard Catfish Creek Preserve State Park

Amelia Island State Park

Anclote Key Preserve State Park

Atlantic Ridge Preserve State Park

Avalon State Park

Bald Point State Park

Big Shoals State Recreation Area

Big Talbot Island State Park

Blackwater Heritage State Trail

Bulow Creek State Park

Bulow Plantation Ruins Historic State Park

Camp Helen State Park

Cayo Costa State Park (beachside boat access only)

Cedar Key Scrub State Reserve

Charlotte Harbor Preserve State Park

Cockroach Bay Preserve State Park

Crystal River Archaeological State Park

Crystal River Preserve State Park

Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammocks Preserve State Park

Deer Lake State Park

Don Pedro State Park (island only)

Dunns Creek State Park

Econfina River State Park

Egmont Key State Park

Estero Bay Preserve State Park

Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park

Faver-Dykes State Park

Fernandina Plaza Historic State Park

Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail

Fort Cooper State Park

Fort George Island Cultural State Park

Ft. Pierce Inlet State Park (Jack Island access only)

Gainesville to Hawthorne State Trail

Gasparilla Island State Park (roadside day use parking only)

General James A. Van Fleet State Trail

Grayton Beach State Park (access north of 30a only)

Haw Creek Preserve State Park

Honeymoon Island State Park

Hontoon Island State Park

Indian River Lagoon Preserve State Park

Lake Jackson Mounds Archaeological State Park

Lake June-in-Winter Scrub Preserve State Park

Lake Talquin State Park

Letchworth-Love Mounds Archaeological State Park

Lover's Key State Park (boat ramp only)

Lower Wekiva River Preserve State Park

Madira Bickel Mound State Archaeological Site

Marjorie Harris Carr Cross Florida Greenway

Mound Key Archaeological State Park

Natural Bridge Battlefield Historic State Park

Nature Coast State Trail

North Peninsula State Park

Okeechobee Battlefield Historic State Park

Olustee Battlefield Historic State Park

Palatka to Lake Butler State Trail

Palatka to St. Augustine State Trail

Perdido Key State Park

Price's Scrub State Park

River Rise Preserve State Park

San Felasco Hammock Preserve State Park

San Marcos de Apalache Historic State Park

San Pedro Underwater Archaeological Preserve State Park

Seabranch Preserve State Park

Sebastian Inlet State Park (AIA day use parking only)

St. Lucie Inlet Preserve State Park

St. Marks River Preserve State Park

St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park

Suwannee River Wilderness Trail

Tallahassee-St. Marks Historic Railroad State Trail

Tarkiln Bayou Preserve State Park

Terra Ceia Preserve State Park

Torreya State Park

Waccasassa Bay Preserve State Park

Washington Oaks Garden State Park (beach side only)

Wes Skiles Peacock Springs State Park

Withlacoochee State Trail

Yellow Bluff Fort Historic State Park

Yellow River Marsh Preserve State Park

Yulee Sugar Mill Ruins Historic State Park



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