Monday, November 22, 2021

11/20 Henderson Beach State Park, Destin, FL

Henderson Beach State Park is only about 20 miles west of Grayton Beach,  but the atmosphere is very different, mainly because this state park is along a very busy commercial district in Destin, FL.  There are some positives, such as the fact that I can ride a bike out of the main entrance and cross the highway where the Walmart is located.  Within just a mile in both east and west, there are tons of chain stores, touristy things, and big hotels.  Negatives are some road noise and the constant irritating noise of helicopter tours that fly directly over this campground.   Grrrrrr.

Anyway, sites are spacious with nice, clean gravel, and lots of shrubbery providing good privacy.  It will get even more private as trees and shrubs get a little bigger, though these types of pines will never get huge. 

 As you look down the campground road, you can hardly see other campers.
This is the restroom and shower facility. 

One very nice thing about Florida state parks is that they all have washers and dryers in campgrounds.  Also, having them outside means you do not have to stand in a small room with people who might be sick with COVID. 

 I had been looking forward to staying here because I knew the beach was just a short walk via the boardwalk that goes over the dunes.  (In Florida, you are not allowed to walk on dunes, so no cutting through the woods here.  Dunes are protected because they provide protection during hurricanes.)  
The current boardwalk is being replaced because of damage, so to get to the beach, you have to walk or drive to the nearby day use area.  Darn!!
I took a short walk to see what was happening, but other than a few tools left by workmen, this was it.  



While I was out walking, I decided to take this path to the other half of the campground.  Very pleasant walk. 



I was impressed by the many nature signs along the way.  This one referred to the huge magnolia in the next photo. 


I did ride my bike over to the day use area, so here are some photos of the boardwalk and the beach there.

There are some big hotels down the beach in either direction, but staying at a state park like this one usually means a relatively uncrowded beach.

Not very many birds on the beach, but this guy did not fly away so I was able to get a good photo of him watching me.

Tomorrow, I am going to drive down to Fort Pickens at Gulf Islands National Seashore.  I stayed there several years ago, but it is such a beautiful stretch of beach, I want to go back there and walk on the beach.  It's only a few miles away, so I am looking forward to seeing it again.