Friends of St. Josephs Bay

Welcome to Friends of St. Joseph Bay Preserves

Be Sure to Attend Bay Day on February 7, 2015!

Bay Day Flyer

Trip Descriptions

Schedule of Events

Bay Day in the Star

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Call 850-229-1787 (Press 1 or 0) for more information.

Bay Day February 2015 Trip Descriptions

Friends of St. Joseph Bay Preserves

Winter Bay Day

Presented by Friends of St. Joseph Bay Preserves, Inc.

and the St. JosephBayState Buffer Preserve.

Proceeds to benefit the Friends of St. Joseph Bay Preserves


LOCATION:  The Bay Day event is located at the St. Joseph Bay Preserves Center, 3915 State Road 30-A (C-30), Port St.Joe, Florida.  The Preserves Center is approximately 5 miles south of Port St. Joe; approximately one hour east of Panama City; and approximately two to two and a half hours south and west of Tallahassee.


REGISTRATION:  Reservations will be taken in advance for the all field trips that start before 10:00am. All times are EST. Call 850-229-1787, ext 1. Leave a message. We will return your call.


Signup sheets for all other trips will be available at the Preserves Center on Saturday, February 7 (the day of the event) at 9:00 a.m. (All times are EST). 


PLEASE, if you sign up for a trip, show up or let us know that you aren’t going to show up so that someone else can take your place.  Trips usually fill up quickly and we hate to turn people away and then have empty spots that go unfilled from no-shows. 


TOURS: All Buffer Preserve tours depart on time from the Preserves Center.  Check the schedule carefully for meeting locations of Aquatic Preserve tours and Birding tours.  
ALL TIMES ARE EASTERN.  Remember to bring water, insect repellent, sunscreen, and camera. All tours are free of charge, but donations are encouraged.




Gulf County Chamber of Commerce 1.800.239.9553

Gulf County Tourist Development Council 850.229.7800


Apalachicola Bay Chamber of Commerce 1.850.653.9419


QUESTIONS: For more information call 850.229.1787, ext 1, email or visit

For the Backwoods Tram Tours: Waiver/Release form must be signed by or on behalf of all participants.

For the Explore the Shore Trip: Waiver/Release form must be signed by or on behalf of all participants.

For the Birding Walk & Talk and Birding Drive & Walk: Waiver/Release form must be signed by or on behalf of all participants.


All forms available at Visitor Center – day of event.


The following tours depart from the Preserves Center and are free of charge.  Pre-registration (on signup sheet on the day of the event) is required, as space is limited.

Backwoods tours of the Buffer Preserve

(RIDING — tram)

Experience the back-country of the Buffer Preserve with an experienced guide, as you ride in a tram for a trip to remember. You will get a good view of recently-burned areas and see the dramatic post-fire flowering of grasses and wildflowers along with the butterflies and other life that is attracted to these areas. Learn about the history of this land and of the importance of fire to the resident plants and animals. Learn about research taking place in the Preserve that is uncovering information about fire and water over the past hundreds and thousands of years.

This is mostly a riding trip interspersed with short walks. It covers many areas within the heart of the Buffer Preserve. Riding in our new tram, you will enjoy seeing areas of the Buffer Preserve that the ordinary visitor misses. Your trip Leaders will talk about the history of the land and point out how controlled burn is beneficial to the Preserve. They know about the resident plants and the animals that call the Preserve home. They will show how controlled burns helps them. Research done on the Preserve is important, and your Leaders will enlighten you on how it works to improve the Buffer Preserve. You will get to stretch your legs as you go on short walks in between the enjoyable TRAM rides into the heart of the Buffer Preserve.


Pre-registration (on signup sheet on the day of the event) is required, as space is limited.  These tours are free of charge.

Birding at the Deal Tract – Ron Houser.  

Join Ron for a birding and plant identification tour of the Deal Tract. Ron will help you learn to identify birds by their calls and habits, as well as discuss local ecology. This is a fascinating and informative tour. You will be able to see a viewing tower built on the Deal Tract by former owner, Troy Deal, which offers an excellent view of the surrounding area and, on good flight days, an unparalleled view of migrating hawks. Tour meets at the Deal Tract located on Cape San Blas Road just past the Stump Hole (for locals) or the curve with the rock berm on Gulf side (for visitors). This will be approximately 10 miles from the Preserve Center. You may pick up printed directions at the Preserve Center.


Walking/Wading Tours

"Explore the Shore at St. Joe Bay"– Join Jason Garwood, a Research Specialist at the Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve, on this field trip. It will begin at Eagle Harbor and feature an introduction to coastal ecosystems at the St. Joseph Peninsula State Park, and wading in St. Joseph Bay. Hands-on activities in Eagle Harbor at the State Park will be included.  "The field trip will include walking, wading in water, and pulling nets. It may be hot, and could be raining. Be prepared to get a little wet and to have fun. Wear closed-toe shoes that can get wet. You may also want to bring insect repellent, sunscreen, drinking water, a change of dry clothes, towel, field glasses, hat, and camera.

In order to participate in these opportunities, one must have the ability to:

  • Follow visual and/or verbal instructions independently or with the assistance of a companion.
  • Withstand exposure to the outdoors for 1½ hours.
  • Traverse wet, sandy, and uneven terrain for 1½ miles.


For tours, appropriate dress and proper supplies are suggested:

  • Cap or hat
  • Closed-toe shoes
  • Bring insect repellent
  • Bring sunscreen
  • Drinking water
  • Bring camera