November 5, 2012

GUIS Perdido Key Area Blueway

Officially dedicated Nov. 17, 2012, the Perdido Key Blueway offers many wonderful opportunities to the public.  There are several historical points of interest, an extensive seagrass nursery, and many different species of wildlife to be observed.  Developed by the National Park Service, National Park Foundation, and Heritage Trails Partnership and made possible in part by a grant from the National Park Foundation through the generous support of the Coca-Cola Foundation, this particular blueway comprises the first portion of the Florida Circumnavicational Saltwater Paddling Trail.  The Perdido Key Area offers campsites as well as day access depending on your needs and is located off Florida Route 292, southwest from Pensacola; then east on Johnson Beach Road.

You may download a copy of the Perdido Key Blueway Brochure, which includes a map of the trail here: PKBW Brochure

This park does charge a fee for entrance.  Visit the GUIS website for current fee information: http://www.nps.gov/guis/planyourvisit/feesandreservations.htm

Visit the GUIS website for more information about this park: http://www.nps.gov/guis/planyourvisit/perdido-key.htm or use their OnCelAudio System by dialing (850)677-1089.  Press 5  for the Perdido Key Area – 1 to rewind, 2 to pause/play, 3 to fast forward, and *0 to provide feedback.  Press 16 for current surf warning flags and 17 for closures.

Of Interest:

Animal Life on GUIS:

Birds – More than 280 species of birds have been identified within the boundaries of Gulf Islands National Seashore, since its establishment in January 1971. Pick up a bird checklist at any of the visitor centers in the Park. The bird check list will help you identify the birds you see and also lists the seasons and the abundance of each of the 280 species. Please report unusual or new sightings to the Interpretation Division, 1801 Gulf Breeze Parkway, Gulf Breeze, Florida 32563, phone 850-934-2600.
Bird nesting areas may be closed during nesting seasons.
– reprinted with permission from the GUIS website, Bird Watching page

Other Animals – Opossum, Fiddler Crab, Diamondback Terrapin, Southern Flounder, Shrimp, Eastern Oyster, Lined Hermit Crab, Blue Crab, Raccoon, Five-Lined Skink, Loggerhead Sea Turtle, Red Drum, Florida Pompano, Whiting, Sting Rays.

The following animals are dangerous and should not be approached if at all possible:
Jellyfish (poisonous), Portuguese Man-Of-War (poisonous).

Please Remember:
– Offering food to wildlife is unhealthy for the animals and potentially unsafe for YOU.
– An unrestrained pet can upset wild animals ans destroy their habitat while endangering the pet itself.
– All wild animals and plants within the park are protected by Federal Law.  Please help by not molesting, feeding, killing, or injuring any of the wildlife or disturbing the plant life.

Historical Attractions – Fort McRee, Battery 233, Slemmer Battery, Center Battery  Use caution when exploring forts and batteries.  Carry a flashlight for dimly lit passageways.  For safety, some fortifications are closed; all are closed at sunset to 8am.

Safety Tips:

In Case of Emergency – Dial 911
Swimming:  The Perdido Key Area does offer swimming beaches.  Do not swim in shipping channels.  Never swim alone.  Beware of sharks, jellyfish, Portugese Man-of-War, rip currents, sting rays, and barnacle covered rocks.
Boating: Boaters should know and obey the “Rules of the Road”.
Weather:  Watch for sudden storms.  Get off piers, beaches, and fortifications during thunderstorms.
Trash: Glass containers are prohibited on beaches.  Leave No Trace – remove all trash as you leave.
Pets: Pets must be leashed at all times.  They are not allowed on beaches in Florida.
General: Motor vehicles must stay on the roadways.  Metal detectors are prohibited.

Excerpts, unless otherwise noted, have been reprinted with permission from the Gulf Islands National Seashore Wildlife Guide, Exploring Gulf Islands, and Beachcomber’s Guide to the Barrier Islands brochures.  Pick up a copy of each at the gate when you visit!

For more information, please contact:
Florida District

1801 Gulf Breeze Parkway
Gulf Breeze, FL 32563
(850) 932-9654
www.nps.gov/guis

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