Hopscotching the state parks along 30A

What could be better than combining a bike ride with a trip to the beach? That’s a good way to see the beaches and state parks along 30A in Florida’s Panhandle.

Starting at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park, we biked through the park to the secluded beach located just beyond a wall of dunes that extend over 25 feet high; but not only does Topsail provide access to the beach, it also includes freshwater lakes for a completely different experience.

From there we rode the Timpoochee Trail which parallels Scenic Highway 30A for 18 miles. We were only up to riding the first five miles (ten mile round trip) after riding through Topsail. Occasionally we could catch a glimpse of the Gulf from the trail, but after crossing the covered bridge on Draper Lake decided we better head back.

We finished the afternoon driving the route and stopped at three state parks: Henderson Beach Grayton Beach and Deer Lake…ideal places for enjoying the white sand beaches for swimming, fishing, or sunbathing, but also great places for canoeing, picnicking, and even camping at Henderson Beach.

The crystal clear water of the Gulf looked magical with the varying shades of blue sparkling in the October sunlight. Each beach had its own personality, some more quiet, secluded, and wild than others; but all beautiful just the same.

We have another 13 miles to ride and thoroughly explore as well as a camping trip to plan so we can enjoy the 30A Life.