Fort Pickens

Fort Pickens set to reopen

Fort Pickens set to reopen

Fort Pickens is reopening Thursday under normal operating hours. Gulf Islands National Seashore has also announced it is reopening the Perdido Key Area and Santa Rosa Area during the COVID-19 pandemic. Also, restrooms will open at The Okaloosa Area. However, they remain closed at Naval Live Oaks. The Pensacola Bay Cruises are starting back up. […]

No shortage of outdoor escape opportunities during COVID-19 outbreak

No shortage of outdoor escape opportunities during COVID-19 outbreak

Looking for a way to escape the concerns over COVID-19 and put your mind in a happier place? Florida has options for you because of the wealth of outdoor opportunities. From beaches and a national seashore to hiking trails and historic forts, there are no shortage of options. Gulf Islands National Seashore is rated among […]

Minor changes made to compendium for Gulf Islands

Minor changes made to compendium for Gulf Islands

Gulf Islands National Seashore has released its Superintendent’s Compendium for 2020. The compendium is a list of how federal regulations and policies are implemented at the national seashore. The compendium is reviewed each year by park management and changes are made based on conditions, operations, comments from the community and visitors as well as resource […]

Exhibit at Fort Pickens tells story of the 25th USCT regiment

Exhibit at Fort Pickens tells story of the 25th USCT regiment

Along the walls inside the discovery center at historic Fort Pickens are life-sized portraits of 17 members of the 25th United States Colored Troops that served in the Pensacola Bay area during the Civil War. Inside a glass case there are artifacts from the regiment including the fragment of a harmonica, a book owned by […]

Restoration project on historic building underway at Fort Pickens

Restoration project on historic building underway at Fort Pickens

Work is underway to restore the historic Mine Loading Building at Fort Pickens. It will eventually be open for public use. The project is the first of three phases to stabilize and restore the building so that it can be used as an interpretive exhibit space for visitors to learn about the history of Fort […]

Fort Barrancas offers interesting glimpse of history

Fort Barrancas offers interesting glimpse of history

This is the latest in a series of articles on outdoor opportunities worth checking out both in Florida and, every so often, out of state. This story puts the spotlight on Fort Barrancas in Pensacola. On the bluffs overlooking the glistening water of Pensacola Bay on a sun-splashed fall afternoon is an historic site that […]

Importance of campfire safety can’t be emphasized enough

Importance of campfire safety can’t be emphasized enough

Camping is pretty much a year-round activity in Florida. And that means campfires are part of the equation. Handled properly, they bring added fun to a weekend trip. Mishandled and it can lead to big-time problems.   Read the full article in the July 11 issue of Navarre Press. Visit navarrepress.com/subscribe to view subscription options […]

Naval Live Oaks offers more history than expected

Naval Live Oaks offers more history than expected

This is the second in a series of articles that will appear occasionally throughout the year on outdoor opportunities worth checking out, both in Florida and, every so often, outside the state. The latest centers around a trip to Naval Live Oaks.  Fort Pickens is the first thing that comes to mind in this area […]

Exhibit provides glimpse of Civil War camp

Exhibit provides glimpse of Civil War camp

William Lees wasn’t sure what to expect when he went searching in 2016 for the location of Camp Brown, a union camp outside of Fort Pickens during the Civil War. Lees, the executive director of the University of West Florida’s Public Archaeology Network Department, headed up a training expedition at the believed site of the […]

Concessioner selected for Pensacola Bay Ferry Service

Concessioner selected for Pensacola Bay Ferry Service

The National Park Service and Hornblower Maritime Services (HMS) have signed a 10-year concessions contract for operation of Pensacola Bay Cruises. A startup date, schedule, prices and other details will be announced as soon as they are available. Read the full article in the March 14 issue of Navarre Press. Visit www.navarrepress.com/subscribe to view subscription […]

Normalcy returns to Gulf Islands for now

Normalcy returns to Gulf Islands for now

Gulf Islands National Seashore remained closed for more than a month. The 35-day partial shutdown of the federal government – the longest in history — created the closure. Last Monday, normalcy returned for national parks. Read the full article in the Feb. 7 issue of Navarre Press. Visit www.navarrepress.com/subscribe to view subscription options – or […]

Shutdown taking toll on national parks

Shutdown taking toll on national parks

The barricade at the entrance to Gulf Islands National Seashore says it all. On a beautiful sun-splashed, 70-degree January afternoon, when visitors would normally be out enjoying all that Gulf Islands National Seashore has to offer, there is silence instead, save for the sound of a bird chirping or the waves washing on shore. Read […]

Outdoors group stresses the importance of leaving no trace

Outdoors group stresses the importance of leaving no trace

It’s a phrase that is repeated often. Take only photographs. Leave only footprints. The Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers did their best to drive that point home at an event at Fort Pickens along Gulf Islands National Seashore earlier this month. Read the full article in the Nov. 29 issue of Navarre Press. Visit www.navarrepress.com/subscribe […]

Leave No Trace event coming to Fort Pickens

Leave No Trace event coming to Fort Pickens

The Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers and Ocean Hour are hosting a special day of learning at Gulf Islands National Seashore on Saturday. The event is scheduled from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the Fort Pickens Discovery Center. Read the full article in the Nov. 15 issue of Navarre Press. Visit www.navarrepress.com/subscribe to view […]

Fort Pickens a stopover on 5,000-mile kayak trip

Fort Pickens a stopover on 5,000-mile kayak trip

Steve Chard is late setting up his tent at the Fort Pickens campground on a Sunday evening. After arriving in Florida by kayak earlier in the day, he got caught up in watching the Blue Angels fly. Read the full article in the Nov. 1 issue of Navarre Press. Visit www.navarrepress.com/subscribe to view subscription options. […]

Ferry service set to begin this week

Ferry service set to begin this week

The long wait is almost over. Ferry Service in Pensacola Bay is scheduled to begin Friday after the National Park Service and Gulf Coast Maritime Services Inc. signed a contract for the operation of Pensacola Bay Cruises. “We’re excited to start working with Gulf Coast Maritime Services Inc. and begin the Pensacola Bay Cruises service,” […]

Docked once again

Docked once again

Pelican Perch and Turtle Runner, the two boats that will be used to anchor Gulf Island National Seashore’s ferry service in Pensacola Bay, are unwrapped and out of dry dock. But the boats won’t be leaving the dock just yet. Read the full article in the May 17 issue of Navarre Press. Visit www.navarrepress.com/subscribe to […]

West Navarre Intermediate students sweet talk to success

West Navarre Intermediate students sweet talk to success

West Navarre Intermediate School fourth and fifth grade students polished up their public speaking skills Friday as they competed in the 4-H Tropicana Public Speaking Contest.  The school saw 28 students deliver speeches on a variety of topics to a gathering of classmates and a panel of local judges. Read the full article in the April […]

Youth Corps gets the ax for this summer

Youth Corps gets the ax for this summer

A popular summer job program is on the chopping block. Money set aside for the Youth Conservation Corps won’t be available in the Southeast region this year, the government choosing instead to use that money to make repairs at national parks damaged by hurricanes that rolled through last year. Read the full article in the […]

Ferry service close to its starting point

Ferry service close to its starting point

Large piles of dirt rest where a future dock facility will one day sit in downtown Pensacola. The two ferry boats, Pelican Perch and Turtle Runner, are still wrapped and dry docked. Gulf Islands National Seashore will soon have its ferry service in Pensacola Bay in operation, and it will be the culmination of what […]

Government shutdown forces Gulf Islands to temporarily close

Government shutdown forces Gulf Islands to temporarily close

As cars streamed down Fort Pickens Road late Saturday morning, they were greeted by a couple of park rangers who politely told them enjoying Gulf Islands National Seashore wasn’t an option on this mild January day. With the United States Government in shutdown mode, Gulf Islands wasn’t open for business either. It’s the first closure […]

Gulf Islands National Seashore in USA Today’s 10 Best

Gulf Islands National Seashore in USA Today’s 10 Best

USA Today has named Gulf Islands National Seashore the 10Best Readers’ Choice 2018 Best Florida Attraction. This top spot was determined by a period of public voting on destinations nominated by an expert panel. The top 10 were published to 10Best.com, where Gulf Islands took the top spot over contenders including Disney World and the […]

Politics mire Gulf drilling discussion 8 years after oil spill

Politics mire Gulf drilling discussion 8 years after oil spill

When equipment failures on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico went from leaks to a full-blown explosion, many living along the coastline felt the impact. Navarre Beach was no exception. Steve Herring owned several rental properties along Navarre Beach, and he said the cancellations started rolling in even before the oil […]

Fort Pickens area back in business

Fort Pickens area back in business

Hurricane Nate closed the Fort Pickens area for more than a month. It reopened Nov. 30, and it didn’t take long for visitors to return and activities to resume as normal. “The second the gate went up, we had visitors in Fort Pickens,” said Brent Everitt, who handles public affairs for Gulf Islands National Seashore. […]

Reptiles drawn back to pier despite multiple run-ins with fishing hooks

Reptiles drawn back to pier despite multiple run-ins with fishing hooks

Okra, a juvenile green sea turtle, has had a rough year. After sustaining serious head trauma that exposed part of her skull, Okra ended up on the end of a fisherman’s line on the Navarre Beach Fishing Pier. The hook was caught in her right shoulder. Fortunately, she was rescued and sent to the Gulfarium […]

Visiting Gulf Islands will cost a little more in 2018

Visiting Gulf Islands will cost a little more in 2018

Two years after its first price increase in more than a decade, the entrance fee for vehicles into Fort Pickens will increase by $5 starting in January. The rise in price is a result of the nationwide entrance fee structure that was established three years ago by the National Park Service. The rate for vehicles […]

Gulf Islands National Seashore closing all areas ahead of storm

Gulf Islands National Seashore closing all areas ahead of storm

Due to the threat of a Tropical Storm Nate becoming a hurricane this weekend, Gulf Islands National Seashore will close all areas of the park, including Fort Pickens and all of the Mississippi Islands. The national seashore areas will close tonight. All campers at Fort Pickens and the Davis Bayou Campgrounds must evacuate by noon […]

Arcadia shares Santa Rosa’s Civil War heritage

Arcadia shares Santa Rosa’s Civil War heritage

Visitors to Arcadia Mill, a historical site in Milton, got a lesson in Santa Rosa’s Civil War heritage Saturday during the annual Sawmills and Skirmishes Tour. Tour guides dressed in period attire led groups along the raised boardwalk that twists its way through the Arcadia Mill archeological site. The site still bears some of the […]

Sea turtles rescued in Navarre make full recovery

Sea turtles rescued in Navarre make full recovery

Eight sea turtles made their scuttle to freedom Tuesday on beaches at Fort Pickens as the Gulfarium C.A.R.E. Center released the rehabilitated reptiles back into the Gulf of Mexico. These turtles had sustained a variety of injuries, largely from fishing hooks. Five of the eight were rescued off the Navarre Beach Fishing Pier. Three others […]

Large-scale project clearing way for cleaner national seashore

Large-scale project clearing way for cleaner national seashore

It’s hard to find a silver lining in something as disastrous as an oil spill. Gulf Islands National Seashore Ecologist Kelly Irick will tell you she has found one in the fact that BP money is funding a nearly $11 million Beach Enhancement and Asphalt Removal Project in the Santa Rosa area of the national […]