Thursday, April 28, 2016

The May Florida State Parks Monthly Newsletter

the real florida connection
A Newsletter of Florida State Parks  |  #FLStateParks

Purchase Your Tickets Now for the 

Florida Folk Festival

Folk Festival
Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park invites you to the 64th Annual Florida Folk Festival on the banks of the historic Suwannee River. The festival will be held on Memorial Day weekend, May 27 – 29.  
Since 1953, this event has payed tribute to Florida’s land, people and diverse cultural heritage. Named a “Top 20 Event” in the Southeast, this festival has activities for everyone. There will be over 300 performances on multiple stages. This year’s lineup features Arlo Guthrie, Jim Stafford, Billy Dean, John McEuen, Les Dudek, Frank Thomas, The Lee Boys, Ben Prestage, Mark Johnson & Emory Lester, Papaloko & Loray Mistik, The WillowWacks,Rebecca Zapen & Friends, Brother Brother and Chloe Channell. Visitors may also participate in a jam session, take a workshop or enjoy local eats and merchandise from various vendors. 
Advance tickets for the Florida Folk Festival are $25 per day or $50 for the weekend for adults and $30 per day or $60 for the weekend at the gate. Children under six years of age are admitted free. Ticket prices for children between the ages of six and 16 are $5 for the weekend.
Camping and lodging are available at Suwannee River State Park and O’Leno State Park,among other off-site options. Visit for more information. 

This month at State Parks, Trails and Historic Sites


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Kids to Parks Day

Kids to Parks Day is an annual nationwide day of play organized by the National Park Trust. 
Kids to Parks Dayencourages children across the country to go out and experience parks and their environment. The day offers children the opportunity to participate in environmental education and provides health and wellness through outdoor recreation. 
Visit any Florida State Parkto participate!

May is National Bike Month

National Bike Monthshowcases the many benefits of bicycling such as saving money, preserving your health and explore the outdoors. Visit our activities page to find state parks and trails where bicycling is popular.
Bike enthusiasts can see just why Florida was voted "Best Trails State" in 2008 by American Trails. Click here to find a trail near you!

May is National

Photography Month

Now, more than ever, pictures connect us to moments we have experienced and allow us to relive them again in our memory. 
Congratulations to March's ‪#‎PhotoContest‬ winner, Janneke Case. Her photo, "Wood Storks in Reflection" was taken at Little Manatee River State Park in Wimauma, Florida.
Submit your photos and votefor the winner of the April contest. You could be next month's winner!
mothers day

May 8th is 

Mother's Day

"Youth fades; love droops, the leaves of friendship fall; A mother's secret hope outlives them all." - Oliver Wendell Holmes
Mother's Day is a great time to honor and show appreciation to the mothers in our lives. What better way to share this day than to visit a Florida State Parkwith the greatest mother of all time, Mother Nature. 
Share your visits, photos and historic moments with us on FacebookTwitter,Pinterest and Instagram by using #FLStateParks. We’d love to see your photos! 

Military Appreciation Month

Florida's State Parks join with others to honor our current and former members of the U.S. Armed Forces. 
Learn about free and discounted Annual Entrance passes here.
When you visit a State Park in May, remember to share your photos with us onFacebookTwitter,Pinterest and Instagram by using #FLStateParks. We'd love to see your photos!

Events in May



The Barnacle Historic State Park, Coconut Grove
Sunday, May 1, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Barnacle hosts this special event, which will include dogs with pet tricks, a pet/owner look-alike contest, K-9 officer demonstration, animal blessing, adoptions and more. There will be live music by Lenny Batista from noon to 3 p.m. All dogs must be well-behaved and on a hand-held leash that does not exceed six feet in length. Admission is free for kids and $2 for adults. For parking and eligibility criteria, clickhere.

  >> View Event  

nature fest

Lake Louisa Nature Fest

Lake Louisa State Park, Clermont
Saturday, May 7, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Nature Fest is sponsored by the Friends of Lake Louisa State Park, Inc. and features wildlife exhibits, living history exhibits, children's activities, guided hikes, tram tours and more. So be sure to come out and enjoy all that Nature Fest has to offer. The event is free with regular admission fee of $5 per vehicle, up to eight people. 

  >> View Event  


22nd Annual Tour of Gardens

Alfred B Maclay Gardens State Park, Tallahassee
Saturday, May 14 (all day)

You are invited to attend the 22nd Annual Tour of Gardens. This tour is a fundraising event that begins with a breakfast at 9 a.m. along with a silent auction. Participants will be given maps and directions for a self-paced tour of private home gardens in Tallahassee. The event will display diverse garden styles and solutions to common landscape design challenges. Admission is $25 per person in advance or $30 the day of the event.

  >> View Event  

kids fishing

Annual Free Kids Fishing Clinic

Fort Clinch State Park, Fernandina Beach
Saturday, May 21, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Join us for the Annual Free Kids Fishing Clinic. Kids learn how to be responsible anglers, tie knots, practice casting and more.  Participants receive a free rod and reel and get to go fishing on the Fort Clinch Pier. Bait is provided, however, all parents/guardians must attend.

  >> View Event  


Stargazing in the Garden

Eden Gardens State Park, Santa Rosa Beach
Friday, May 28, 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Volunteers from the Northwest Florida Astronomy Association will set up several telescopes for public viewing of star clusters, planets and galaxies. They will also answer questions about the night sky. All ages are invited to enjoy an evening of star gazing. The park will close at 7:41 p.m. All those attending the event should arrive prior to this time. Bring a picnic basket, blankets and chairs to enjoy the Dark Sky with us. Admission is free with park entry. $4 per vehicle, up to eight people **This event is weather permitting**

  >> View Event  


Other Important News

Get Your Annual Pass Today

Shop our online store at for annual passes, passports, shirts, water bottles, backpacks and more.
Annual Passes

Gift Cards Are Now Available

Give the gift of sleeping under the stars in Florida State Parks! Florida State Parks offers Gift Cards which can be used to make reservations for camping and cabins at participating Florida State Parks.

What's Available This Weekend?

Are you looking for a cool place to camp this weekend? and click on our new camping this weekend feature to find state park campgrounds with open campsites for the weekend!

Mobile App for Smartphones

Plan your state park adventures using the Pocket Ranger® app for your smartphone. The FREE Florida State Parks Pocket Ranger® mobile app is available now on iTunes, Android Market and

The Real Florida Passport

The Real Florida Passport is your perfect companion while visiting Florida State Parks! The Pioneer Edition contains 56 pages of fun facts, space to make notes and so much more.Order your Passport today and visit a park near you!

Limited Edition FSP Tumbler

Tumblers keep your drinks hot or cold on the go, and with the Florida State Parks Limited Edition design you can take a little of your favorite state parks wherever your adventure leads.