Camp Helen State Park is a place where visitors can explore an environment rich in natural and cultural resources. The park is bordered by the Gulf of Mexico on three sides, and by Lake Powell, one of the largest coastal dune lakes in Florida. Prehistoric middens and mounds indicate that humans inhabited the area more than 4,000 years ago. From 1945 until 1987 Camp Helen was a company resort for the employees of an Alabama textile mill, known as Avondale Mills. Some of those buildings have now been restored. This 180-acre park is for day use only. Activities include swimming, beachcombing, nature study, hiking and both freshwater and saltwater fishing
Pine Log State Forest, purchased in 1936, is Florida’s first state forest. Using an ecosystem management approach, the Florida Forest Service provides for multiple uses of the forest resources. The forest is managed for timber, wildlife, outdoor recreation and ecological restoration.
Well-known for its sugar white sands and emerald green waters, this former military reservation has over one-and-a-half miles of beaches on the Gulf of Mexico and Grand Lagoon. Water sports enthusiasts can enjoy swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking and canoeing. Two fishing piers, a jetty, and a boat ramp provide ample fishing opportunities for anglers. Two nature trails wind through a rich diversity of coastal plant communities – a splendid opportunity for bird-watching. Those wanting to relax can sunbathe on the beach or enjoy a leisurely lunch under the shade of a picnic pavilion. A campground for RVers and tent campers, as well as a primitive group camping area, make this park a popular overnight destination. A concession offers snacks, souvenirs and fishing amenities. Shell Island Boat Tours are available during the spring, summer and some of the fall.