PANAMA CITY, Fla. — July is National Parks and Recreation month and in Bay County, residents and visitors are happy to be back at some of their favorite spots, reopened after Hurricane Michael.
“There’s no partying going on here. It’s all the woods,” said one visitor in St. Andrews State Park. “Great place to bring kids.”
The park, in Panama City Beach, is 1,200 acres with sand dunes, beaches, and nature trails, where there’s always a chance to see Florida wildlife.
“We heard some baby gators over there, saw some birds we haven’t seen up north,” said Timothy Gore, another visitor to the park. “It’s great you get to see animals that aren’t in a zoo.”
If you’re looking to get away from the beach for a bit, head over to Conservation Park. The area is tucked away off of Back Beach Road. It offers a large collection of quiet nature trails with many species of wildlife to see.
“There’s birds, there’s wild hogs, deer,” said a visitor at the park. “I like to bicycle around it.”
Head over the bridge into Panama City to see the historic Sentry Tree in Oaks by the Bay Park. It’s thought to be two hundred and fifty years old.
If you’re looking for somewhere that your four-legged family members can play, Al Helms Dog Park is just down the road.
“It’s been well taken care of, there’s a lot of room for the dogs to play,” said Daniel Snyder, at the park with his dog. “There’s a cool fire hydrant over there, most of the people that come here are real friendly as well.”