Camp Helen State Park

Panama City Beach, Florida

Let's find your adventure!
Jun 23 ~ Jun 29
Surrounded by the glistening Gulf of Mexico, and the largest coastal dune lake in Florida, Camp Helen State Park is a nature-lovers paradise. This 180-acre park is the perfect place to go swimming, hiking, wildlife viewing, fishing, and to make vacation memories that will last a lifetime!

Camp Helen State Park Visitors Guide

Camp Helen State Park is a breathtakingly beautiful park along Panama City Beach’s pristine emerald waters, and it’s as historic as it is enchanting. In fact, from 1945 until 1987, Camp Helen was a company resort for the employees of an Alabama textile mill, but its past dates back even farther. Prehistoric middens and mounds indicate that humans inhabited this amazing area more than 4,000 years ago!

Aside from its historical relevance, Camp Helen State Park is environmentally significant, as well, as it is home to the largest coastal dune lake in Florida! Coastal dune lakes are rare bodies of water that are found in dune areas close to the shore, with fluctuating water levels that create a unique and scenic ecosystem. These lakes are only found in Madagascar, Australia, New Zealand, Oregon, and in Walton County, FL!

This spectacular state park is also a dazzling destination to simply enjoy the great outdoors! From hiking through a canopy of maritime hammocks, to swimming in the sparkling waters of the Gulf of Mexico, the options are practically endless. Other popular activities here include birding, fishing, paddling, picnicking, and more!

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is Camp Helen State Park accessible?

Camp Helen State Park offers a variety of accessible amenities to its guests! There is a paved path which provides access to a nature trail, accessible picnic facilities with grills and tables, and a beach wheelchair available for use. For more information about beach wheelchairs, please call 850-233-5059. Service animals are welcome, as well.

2. Can we book a wedding at Camp Helen State Park?

Absolutely, this scenic and spectacular state park is a wonderful place to tie the knot! The historic lodge located on site is available to rent for weddings, as well. For pricing, reservations, and more information, please contact the park office at 850-233-5059.

3. Are there lifeguards on duty?

Swimming is allowed at Camp Helen State Park in the Gulf of Mexico and Lake Powell, but lifeguards are not provided. Please pay close attention to the beach safety flags before making a splash, as they indicate the swimming conditions at that time.

4. What type of fishing is available at Camp Helen?

Shore fishing in the Gulf of Mexico is popular at Camp Helen State Park, and this is a great way to reel in pompano, whitings, redfish, and more! Lake Powell is another popular fishing spot, as its brackish water yields both freshwater and saltwater species. A fishing license is required, and for more information, click here.

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