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Camp Helen State Park

23937 Panama City Beach Parkway
Panama City Beach, FL 32413

850-233-5059

The park is bordered by the Gulf of Mexico and by Lake Powell, the largest coastal dune lake in Florida. This 180-acre park is for day use only. Activities include swimming, beachcombing, nature study, hiking and both freshwater and saltwater fishing.

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.

Experiences

Birding
Camp Helen offers wonderful opportunities for bird-watching. Various species can be observed including Bald Eagle, Osprey, Kingfisher, Cooper's Hawk and many migratory species. The park is home to numerous shorebirds including least terns, piping and snowy plovers. Binoculars are available in the Visitor Center for the avid bird watchers.

Paddling
Kayak Rentals are offered at the park daily from 8am to 5pm (weather & season permitting). Please call 850-890-6981 for current status and further information.

Fishing
Camp Helen is surrounded by water on three sides, the peninsula has provided access to the Gulf of Mexico and Lake Powell. Saltwater fishing is popular in the surf, while both freshwater and saltwater fish can be caught in Lake Powell's brackish water. The shoreline has many areas to cast a line along Lake Powell.

All fishing within the park must conform to regulations concerning size, number, method of capture and season.  A fishing license may be required.  More information is available at the Florida Wildlife Commission’s Fishing in Florida.
Hiking
Camp Helen is the perfect spot for hiking. Oak Canopy Trail winds through a dense canopy of maritime hammock overlooking a salt marsh. Hiking enthusiast can pick up a complimentary trail guide in the Visitor Center.

Meetings and Retreats
Camp Helen's Historic Lodge and Recreation Hall are available to rent for meetings. Contact the park office for more information.

Picnicking
Picnic tables are available throughout the park. One small covered picnic pavilion is also available. Alcoholic beverages are prohibited.

Swimming
Swimming is available in the Gulf of Mexico and Lake Powell. Visitors to coastal parks are reminded to pay close attention to the colored flags posted at welcome stations and on the beaches. These flags indicate the swimming conditions at the beach. Please use caution as lifeguards are not provided.

Wildlife Viewing
Wildlife viewing is possible at Camp Helen. The park is home to white tail deer, squirrels, opossums and the occasional black bear.

Amenities

Historic Site
Camp Helen is home to a historical district. This includes a water tower, lodge, rainbow cottages, recreation hall and duplexes. This historical district is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Visitor Center
Come to our visitor center for park information. The visitor center has educational exhibits for you to enjoy as well.

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