Yellow River Marsh Preserve State Park is located in Santa Rosa County, Florida directly off of CR 191, just north of CR 281 and along both sides of the highway on Blackwater Bay. A small Parking area is located is located along Dickerson City Road. The marsh serves to keep water quality good for East Bay and wildlife happy along this popular recreation area.
While this state park is little more than a simple preserve with no actual amenities other than a parking are with a gazebo, it is home to some of the most unique and rare plants in the entire state of Florida.
Yellow River Marsh Preserve State Park is also one of Florida’s last remaining wetland prairies. This community of wetland prairies, flatwoods and dome swamps are a special part of north Florida’s panhandle.
Nearly 20 different species of the rare and endangered plants and animals call this Florida Park home. The 835-acre preserve along Garcon Point that separates Escambia Bay from Blackwater Bay is a photographer’s paradise, especially in spring and fall when many of the parks flowers go into full bloom.
Some of the rarer flowers in Yellow River Marsh Preserve State Park are hatpins, juncos and the gorgeous purple pitcher plant. Of course the most interesting of these is the pitcher plants. This state park is home to Florida’s largest collection.
Pitcher plants, otherwise known as sarracenia can be found all along the edges of the wetland prairies as they attract insects into their elongated tubes. The insects smell the nectar and are attracted deeper into the tubes, until at last, they fall inside the liquid filled bottoms and drown where they are then absorbed into the plant.
Unfortunately, no hiking trails exist in the park as of yet and traversing the wetland can be difficult at best. Make sure to bring plenty of sunscreen, water and insect repellent, but most importantly you’ll need to bring long pants and rubber boots. Keeping out of the mud is the biggest challenge of all. You can learn more about this fantastic state park at their website here.