Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Gulf Islands National Seashore: Fort Pickens

We drove into the campground at Fort Picken after dark last night, so this morning I was really excited to see what our temporary home for the next day looked like.
I started with a quick walk on the trail that led out of our campsite
trail to beach
and to the beach. It is a nice spot with a view overlooking Santa Rosa Sound.
I even found a few interesting seashells.
We ate breakfast at our campsite and then headed over to Fort Pickens to explore.
Fort Pickens
walking under arches
walking outside of fort
coming out of fort
The fort is old and parts of it are a bit creepy.
walking in fort
I found it to be really interesting with lots of secret passageways leading into the dark unknown.
silhouette in tunnel
going down tunnel
Amongst the highlights was the big gun mounted on top.
big gun

While touring the fort, because we happened to be visiting on a Tuesday, we got to see the famous Navy Blue Angles in action.
blue angels
I'm not the biggest fan of airplanes, but I have to admit seeing the tricks they performed and seeing them fly so close to each other in formation was impressive. After a morning at Fort Pickens we headed back to our campsite for lunch.

Post lunch it was time to head to the beach! We walked the short nature trail through the dunes to the impressive white sand beach. The water had a tropical turquoise color.
at waters edge
It was much different than the cloudy gray liquid I grew up swimming in off the coast of New Jersey. We dipped our piggies in the Gulf of Mexico and got splashed a little bit by the waves, but it felt too cold to go all the way in. Sierra's favorite pastime at the beach was playing in the sand.
cute Sierra
Sierra in the sand
We helped her build a small sand castle, but she really like climbing up and down
sandy Sierra
Sierra in sand
(and sometimes sliding down on her belly)
sliding down sand
a little hill that had formed at the high tide line. She also enjoyed rolling in the sand. As far as wildlife, we saw some pelicans that flew right in front of us.

After spending a good portion of our afternoon at the beach we headed back to the campsite for dinner. After dinner we headed back down the trail from our campsite to the Santa Rosa Sound beach.
walking to beach
We looked for shells
Noelle and Sierra walking beach
and were treated to a view of a heron fishing in the shallow water.   
heron at sunset


luksky said...

Now you are in my old stomping grounds. Makes me miss it just a tad after looking at your great pictures. Looks like y'all are having a wonderful family vacation!

Andrea Wilkins said...

That seems like a nice place to camp out! And I really like that it’s close to the beach. Anyway, it was nice that you got to explore Fort Pickens, and even saw Navy planes in action. Thanks for sharing us that wonderful location. Cheers!

Andrea Wilkins @ Getaway Outdoors