Camping and Biking on the Florida Panhandle
Updated: Mar 7, 2022
The Big Bend Scenic Byway stretches along the eastern edge of the Florida panhandle about an hour south of Tallahassee.The two lane highway links a vast wildlife refuge, three state parks, several small fishing towns and a magnificent beach island. If you visit Florida for the beauty of the gulf shoreline, pine forests and outdoor activities, you will love this area.
Ho Hum RV Resort
The Ho Hum is anything but . . . The Ho Hum is a great little campground right on St George Sound near Carrabelle. The sites are gravel, level, and large enough. All are full hook-ups. There is a very nice bathhouse and laundry on the property, and a propane fill station. Our campsite was one tier back facing the water. When we weren't bike riding or exploring, we sat under the trailer awning gulping in the salty breezes blowing in from the Sound. Because of the southerly breeze the air temperature was comfortable even though it was summer.
Low key doesn't even describe the atmosphere at the campground. Many of the guests were fishing off the pier or from kayaks they could launch from the small beach area. Others had their boats anchored in nearby marinas and spent their days off-shore. Families who camped there loaded up in the morning and drove the 20 miles to St. George Island where there are some very nice public beaches, a lovely state park, restaurants and small shops. The campground is near Apalachicola and Eastpoint which both have several small stores, restaurants, and a brewery apiece.
This is a great place to camp if you don't need to be entertained.
Tallahassee-St Marks Historic Rail Trail
This trail was the first rail trail developed in Florida and is exceptionally well maintained and shady. From St. Marks the trail passes through pine and oak forests for 16 miles until reaching the northern trailhead just south of Tallahassee. There are benches and a few restroom facilities along the trail. On our way back we stopped just north of St. Marks at a place called The Shack. The restaurant sold sandwiches and flatbreads, beer and soda. The margherita flatbread was delicious.
Ochlockonee Bay Trail
The Ochlockonee Bay Trail starts at the Mashes Sands Beach area and heads towards the town of Sopchoppy. Most of the trail borders the St. Marks Wildlife Refuge. We spotted eagles and deer in the Refuge. The ride is really great and very scenic, although better suited to cooler days as there is no shade. Mashes Sands Beach is a fun little area. It's a spit of sand that juts out into the Ochlockonee Bay and is absolutely perfect for wading, beach combing and sunning. There are restroom facilities at the parking area.
Things to do and places to eat in the area
St. George Island - great Island with plenty of public beaches, a state park and places to eat and drink. Check out Paddy's Raw Bar, Weber's Little Doughnut shop, and The Blue Parrot. If you are looking to rent kayaks or paddle board, Journeys on the bayside can help you out.
Apalachicola - oyster and fishing village that through the years has developed while still maintaining that old Florida charm. We like the Oyster City Brewing Company, The Taproom, The Owl, and Tamara's. There are several small stores, an ice cream parlor and a book store. It is well worth a visit.
Places to Eat and Drink Near(er) to the Ho Hum
Taste of Korea food stand in Carrabelle. This was a find! Delicious Korean food served up by the friendliest people you would ever want to meet. We had rice bowls and egg rolls.
Eastpoint Brewery. Down the road towards St. George Island and Apalachicola is Eastpoint. The view of Apachicola Bay from the Eastpoint Brewery is one of the best around. The beer is good and cold, and they also serve pizza.
Hamaknocker's BBQ in Crawfordville. So, so good!