Panoramic views of ancient sandunes await at Deer Lake State Park

October 5, 2011

A view of the dunes at Deer Lake State Park. Lori Ceier/
A view of the dunes at Deer Lake State Park. Lori Ceier/

A beautiful walk awaits you in South Walton

NOTE: Effective Aug. 2021: Deer Lake State Park is closed as the park service makes improvements to park amenities, including the addition of a paved park access road, parking, picnic shelters, restroom facilities and connections to utilities. The park will remain closed 12 months.

Tucked away along Scenic Highway 30A, just west of WaterSound, Deer Lake State Park offers park goers a look at one of Northwest Florida’s diverse ecosystems. Walk along ancient sand dunes, a rare coastal dune lake, the Gulf of Mexico and take a hike in a maritime forest.

Going towards the beach, an elevated walkway guides you through a small wooded area, to the rolling dunes, then down to the Gulf. Once on the beach, you can take a walk to the west, and discover the park’s namesake, a rare coastal dune lake that empties into the Gulf.

The dune ecosystem is vast with flora, providing scenic views of magnolias, scrub oaks, and grasses. Coastal flowers that may be seen blooming are coastal blue lupine, spoon flower, aster and goldenrod.

The entire park is approximately 2,000 acres, the majority of which is on the north side of the park across Scenic Hwy. 30A. Click here for trail map: DeerLakeTrail

Two easily accessible hiking trails are carved through the woods in the northern portion of the park. The orange trail is approximately one mile long and the blue lake trail is 1/2 mile; offering views of Deer Lake at the 1/4 mile turnaround point. The trails are relatively flat and easily accessible.

A view of Deer Lake from the hiking trail. Lori Ceier/Walton Outdoors

Pets are not allowed on the beach but are allowed at the picnic area and on the nature trail. Pets must be kept on no more than a six-foot hand held leash while in the park.

Deer Lake State Park is a day-use only park. Camping is not available.

Hours of Operation
Florida State parks are open from 8 a.m. until sundown 365 days a year. ADA accessible.

Driving Directions
The park is located on Scenic Highway 30A in Santa Rosa Beach, just west of the WaterSound development. Click here for map

Park Fees

Admission Fee:
$3.00 per vehicle, $2.00 bicycles or pedestrians. Please use the honor box to pay fees. Correct change is required. Limit 8 people per vehicle.

Deer Lake State Park
6721 East County Road 30A
Santa Rosa Beach, Florida 32459
Phone: 850-267-8300
For more information go to the park’s website by clicking here.