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4 Fabulous Fall Outdoor Adventures on Florida’s Forgotten Coast

By Forgotten Coast Web Team | October 3, 2023

Hiking at Bald Point State Park

Fall is finally here! Tis the season for perfectly pleasant weather on Florida’s Forgotten Coast. It’s still plenty warm here in Franklin County, but not nearly as hot as the summer months. As humidity levels drop, the air feels crisper, the temps are just right and (most days) the sun shines brightly in a cloudless, deep blue sky.

In other words, it’s the best time of year to visit the Forgotten Coast! From Apalachicola and St. George Island to Carrabelle, Alligator Point and Eastpoint, our coastal communities offer some of the greatest outdoor activities year-round. But in our humble opinion, fall is the ideal time of year for nature lovers, anglers and other outdoorsy types to come on down for some Franklin County fresh air.

Here are a handful of our favorite open-air autumn adventures:

#1: Paddling

As our local temps drop, it’s time for picture-perfect paddling weather on the Forgotten Coast. Franklin County is home to hundreds of miles of unspoiled rivers, creeks and coastal shallows just waiting to be explored by paddlers. In fact, 80 percent of the county’s 545 square miles are publicly owned, preserved wilderness areas. These areas are criss-crossed with calm, sparkling waterways.

Whether you choose to travel via kayak, canoe or paddleboard, autumn is the best time of year to explore our local waters—from the Apalachicola River and Crooked River to the Carrabelle River and the Gulf of Mexico. No matter what “floats your boat,” the Forgotten Coast is every paddler’s paradise!

#2: Hiking

Florida’s Forgotten Coast is home to hundreds of thousands of beautiful, protected acres teeming with regional wildlife. There are loads of hiking opportunities for nature lovers here, particularly in the cooler fall months. Whether you choose to explore Tate’s Hell State Forest, St. Vincent National Wildlife Refuge, St. George Island State Park or Bald Point State Park, you’re certain to have an incredible journey. Happy trails!

#3: Fishing

Ready to get hooked on Florida’s Forgotten Coast? You’re in luck because angling adventures abound here in Franklin County. Our fertile waters boast some of the best fishing in the Sunshine State. Thanks to the unique topography of the Apalachicola River and Bay systems, combined with our prime location on the Gulf coast, our area is home to diverse, highly productive marine habitats.

Whether you decide to go at it alone or hire an experienced local fishing guide, fall is a terrific time of year to plan a Franklin County fishing trip. With cooler temps upon us, fishing by boat, shore, kayak or pier is a wonderful way to spend a sunny autumn day.

#4: Birding

Calling all bird-watchers: Now is the time to grab your binoculars and flock to the Forgotten Coast! As cooler temps drive feathered friends south, there are bountiful birding opportunities across our area. You can spot an array of spectacular species throughout Franklin County this time of year, from ducks, loons and other striking water birds to more exotic guests, such as the Buff-bellied Hummingbird and Tropical Kingbird.

These droves of migrating birds are followed by a massive gathering of raptors preying on them. It’s quite a sight to behold! The annual fall migration typically peaks after the first cold front of September and continues through mid-November. Throughout autumn, birders in our area often observe warblers, Peregrine Falcons, hawks, Bald Eagles and more.

Of course, these are just a few of our favorite Franklin County fall activities. From biking and boating to shelling and swimming, there are countless other outdoor adventures to enjoy here on the Forgotten Coast. But don’t take our word for it. Come on down and see for yourself! Book your autumn getaway today.