Thomas Pilcher Park along Clyde B. Wells Bridge now open

April 7, 2017

Boating on the Bay just got easier as the new Thomas Pilcher Park is now open. Lori Ceier/Walton Outdoors

The Thomas Pilcher Park along the Clyde B. Wells Bridge (U.S. Hwy. 331) is now open. Amenities of the park include:
• 380 ft. fishing pier
• Four boat ramps
• Five 55 ft. docks along the boat ramps
• Two 24’ x 24’ picnic shelters
• Restrooms
• Fishing platforms
• Scenic overlooks
• Western scenic walkway/bike path
• Parking for 21 boat trailers and 69 spaces for other vehicles
• ADA access

John Hanley of Santa Rosa Beach reeled in the first fish at the new park. Lori Ceier/Walton Outdoors

The park is named after Thomas Pilcher, a lifelong Walton county resident. Pilcher spent many years of his life working along the bay for the Florida Dept. of Conservation as boating safety officer, working search and rescue, and enforcing fishing regulations back in the 60s and 70s. He passed away in 2007. Pilcher enjoyed working and spending time on the Choctawhatchee Bay and was a major influence in creating a deep boat ramp for vessels to launch along the causeway.

“It was quite a moving moment when I heard the news,” said Pilchers’ son Patrick. “My father was outspoken when it came to having good public access along the bay.”

To access the park from the south, stay in the right lane as you approach the bridge. The access road is on the right and continues underneath the bridge. Coming from the north, stay in the left lane. At Chat Holley Road, make a U-turn. Caution, as this may present a challenge for larger trailers.
The exit from the park accesses southbound traffic. The official address is 21987 U.S. Hwy. 331, Santa Rosa Beach. The park is open 24 hours a day.