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Press Office
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 29, 2010
CONTACT: Marguerite Jordan, (850) 245-3029, (850) 251-7282 (cell)

DEP’S Florida State Parks Win Multiple Outdoor Recreation Awards

~23 state parks recognized as America’s ‘Top Spots’ by ReserveAmerica~

TALLAHASSEE –The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Florida Park Service was recently honored by ReserveAmerica in the 2010 Outdoor Awards: America’s Top Campgrounds. ReserveAmerica, one of the largest providers of campground reservation services, honored Florida State Parks in 17 categories for outdoor recreation, including 14 parks named to the Top 100 Family Campgrounds. Florida’s state parks were also honored in multiple other categories including canoeing, biking and hiking.

“The Florida Park Service is honored to be recognized in a total of 17 categories on America’s Top 100 Campgrounds list,” said Florida Park Service Director Mike Bullock. “Providing clean, affordable and enjoyable places for Florida residents and visitors to recreate while continuing to restore our natural and cultural resources is our mission.”

Select Florida State Parks were recognized in the categories below.

Top 100 Family Campgrounds
(6) Anastasia State Park, St. Augustine
(15) Hillsborough River State Park, Thonotosassa
(21) Fort Clinch State Park, Fernandina Beach
(22) Oscar Scherer State Park, Osprey
(28) St. George Island State Park, St. George Island
(47) O'Leno State Park , High Springs
(48) Talbot Island State Park, Jacksonville
(53) Collier-Seminole State Park, Naples
(56) Koreshan State Historic Site, Estero
(61) Highlands Hammock State Park, Sebring
(66) Blackwater River State Park, Holt
(83) Ochlockonee River State Park, Sopchoppy
(86) Alafia River State Park, Lithia
(90) Little Manatee River State Park, Wimauma 

Top 25 Amazing Locations
(2) Topsail Hill Preserve State Park, Santa Rosa Beach
(4) John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, Key Largo
(10) Myakka River State Park, Sarasota

Top 25 Biking Trails
(4) Myakka River State Park, Sarasota
(10) Highlands Hammock State Park, Sebring
(14) Alafia River State Park, Lithia
(17) Oleta River State Park, North Miami

Top 25 Bird-Watching Spots
(3) Oscar Scherer State Park, Osprey
(5) St. George Island State Park, St. George Island
(9) Myakka River State Park, Sarasota
(12) Collier-Seminole State Park, Naples
(22) Ochlocknee River State Park, Sopchoppy

Top 25 Canoeing Spots
(1) Hillsborough River State Park, Thonotosassa
(2) Oscar Scherer State Park, Osprey
(6) Myakka River State Park, Sarasota
(13) Koreshan State Historic Site, Estero
(17) Blackwater River State Park, Holt

Top 25 Educational & Historical Facilities
(2) St. Andrews State Park, Panama City
(7) Oscar Scherer State Park, Osprey
(11) Myakka River State Park, Sarasota
(16) Koreshan State Historic Site, Estero
(19) Highlands Hammock State Park, Sebring

Top 50 Fishing Spots
(3) Topsail Hill Preserve State Park, Santa Rosa Beach
(12) Oscar Scherer State Park, Osprey
(13) St. George Island State Park. St. George Island
(17) Myakka River State Park, Sarasota
(25) Koreshan State Historic Site, Estero
(35) Lake Manatee State Park, Bradenton
(37) Cayo Costa State Park, Bokeelia
(42) Oleta River State Park, North Miami

Top 50 Hiking Trails
(3) Topsail Hill Preserve State Park, Santa Rosa Beach
(7) Oscar Scherer State Park, Osprey
(15) Myakka River State Park, Sarasota
(20) Koreshan State Historic Site
(22) Highlands Hammock State Park, Sebring
(32) Torreya State Park, Bristol

Top 20 Horse-Friendly Parks
(11) Little Manatee River State Park, Wimauma

Top 25 Kid-Friendly Parks
(8) Oscar Scherer State Park, Osprey
(17) Myakka River State Park, Sarasota
(20) Koreshan State Historic Site, Estero

Top 25 Park Beaches
(4) Topsail Hill Preserve State Park, Santa Rosa Beach
(11) St. George Island State Park, St. George Island
(17) Blackwater River State Park, Holt
(19) Cayo Costa State Park, Bookeelia
(21) Oleta River State Park, North Miami

Top 25 Picnic Areas
(8) Collier-Seminole State Park, Naples
(10) Koreshan State Historic Site, Estero
(15) Lake Manatee State Park, Bradenton
(17) Little Manatee River State Park, Wimauma
(20) Oleta River State Park, North Miami

Top 25 Romantic Spots
(17) Oleta River State Park, North Miami
(22) Caladesi Island State Park, Dunedin

Top 50 Scenic Views
(3) Hillsborough River State Park, Thonotosassa
(9) Myakka River State Park, Sarasota
(17) Collier-Seminole State Park, Naples
(19) Highlands Hammock State Park, Sebring
(24) Lake Manatee State Park, Bradenton
(27) Alafia River State Park, Lithia
(28) Little Manatee River State Park, Wimauma
(32) Torreya State Park, Bristol
(34) Oleta River State Park, North Miami
(40) Caladesi Island State Park, Dunedin

Top 25 Tours & Events
(2) Topsail Hill Preserve State Park, Santa Rosa Beach
(5) Hillsborough River State Park, Thonotosassa
(7) Myakka River State Park, Sarasota

Top 25 Unique Cabins
(2) Topsail Hill Preserve State Park, Santa Rosa Beach
(9) Myakka River State Park, Sarasota
(18) Cayo Costa State Park, Bokeelia
(20) Oleta River State Park, North Miami

Top 25 Water Recreation Parks
(1) Hillsborough River State Park, Thonotosassa
(8) Collier-Seminole State Park, Naples

For more information on the list of honorees, visit http://www.active.com/outdoors/Articles/2010-Outdoor-Awards-Americas-Top-Campgrounds.htm.

Created in 1935 by the Florida Legislature, the Florida State Park system has grown from eight to 160 parks in the last 75 years. Today, the Florida Park Service manages more than 700,000 acres of Florida’s natural environment, including 100 miles of beaches, eight National Historic Landmarks and 39 sites on the National Register of Historic Places. Florida State Parks has been recognized by the National Recreation and Park Association as the nation’s first and only two-time Gold Medal winner for the nation’s best park service.

To learn more about the 75th Anniversary and the history of Florida State Parks, visit www.floridastateparks.org/history. To follow Florida State Parks on Twitter, visit www.Twitter.com/FLStateParks.

To make a camping reservation at a Florida State Park, visit www.ReserveAmerica.com

canoes at Hillsborough River State Park, Thonotosassa

"The Florida Park Service is honored to be recognized in a total of 17 categories on America’s Top 100 Campgrounds list."

Mike Bullock
Florida Park Service Director

–30–

10–107

Last updated: January 24, 2011

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