Explore the Preserves

St Joseph Bay State Buffer Preserve lands provide the opportunity for natural resource-based recreation. Multi-use trails are available for hiking, biking, horseback riding, bird watching, photography and nature study. Access to Deal Tract and a kayak launch may be found on Cape San Blas.   More Maps

Make sure to bring plenty of water, and remember cell phone reception is spotty. Some roads may be seasonally flooded, and biting insects may be numerous in the warmer months. Preserve lands are open to the public from sunrise until sunset daily.

Visit the Preserve’s Visitor Center for printed trail maps of the Buffer Preserve, great educational exhibits about the plants and animals of the Preserves, and information about all kinds of outdoor activities in this area.

Main Tract Trails

Main Tract Trails

Main Gate: Cattle Dip and North Spur Trails start about .25 miles from the gate. The Main gate is “across the street” from the visitor center and provides parking and an information kiosk with trail maps.
South Gate: Sandridge Loop Trail is about 2 miles round trip. Sandridge Loop traverses an ancient dune remnant so be prepared to walk on soft sand!
Island Gate: Island Loop Trail is about 0.9 miles round trip.

Deal Tract Trails and Kayak Launch

Deal Tract Trails and Kayak Launch

Old Pine Bay Trail:  A 0.5 mile trail along an old dune ridge takes you to the bay waterfront.
Hammock Spur: This 0.1 mile spur off Old Pine Bay Trail leads to an oak hammock.

The Deal Tract is a destination on:
    The Great Florida Birding Trail
    The Florida Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail

  Please follow these guidelines while visiting
  St. Joseph Bay State Buffer Preserve:

  • Visitors are welcome to explore the Preserve from sunrise to sunset daily.
  • Trails are available for hiking, biking, horseback riding, bird watching, photography, and nature studies.
  • Dogs must be kept on a leash and cleaned up after.
  • Do not remove cultural artifacts, plants or animals.
  • No alcoholic beverages are welcome in the Preserve.
  • Primitive camping by permit only. For more information, please call the Preserve Office: 850-229-1787.

A Citizen Support Organization established to protect and preserve one of the most ecologically significant areas in the Southeastern United States