Apalachicola Bay & The Forgotten Coast
The Forgotten Coast is one of Florida’s crown jewels, ranging (roughly) from Cape San Blas to Panacea. While it might seem hyperbolic to describe a Florida coast as forgotten, this stretch of coastal highway comes by its moniker honestly. A relatively sparse population in intermittently habitable lands makes the perfect recipe for an OBO experience. And as long as you like the outdoors, you can have a great trip to the Forgotten Coast 12 months a year.
If you’re also looking for a family friendly trip, look no further than the Forgotten Coast. It’s got everything you need for a long weekend or an extended hiatus, from quaint downtowns to sprawling beaches.
While we try to recommend a unique outdoor activity, watching the oyster boats and eating fresh oysters is just quintessential Apalachicola Bay. There’s just something special about seeing flat bottom skiffs glide across the shallows while oystermen harvest their catch with long rakes. And there’s just something right about eating those oysters in a hole-in-the-wall oyster shack a few hours later.
The Forgotten Coast gets an easy five stars on fishing. For the avid angler, there is no better place to hone in your inshore skills. The bays are teaming with redfish, trout, black drum, flounder and a host of other species. The Forgotten Coast’s shallow reaches also make it prime to fish with live bait, artificials, or on the fly, and with large swathes of the Forgotten Coast lying along public shorelines, it is the ideal location for wade fishing for inshore species (please check state and local regulations and make sure you are on public property). And with plenty of public put-ins and shoreline, the Forgotten Coast is a kayak fishing dream.
There is also plenty to do offshore, from billfish to mackerel!
Species: Redfish, Seatrout, Flounder, Black Drum, Tarpon, Tripletail, Snapper, Grouper, Pelagics, Billfish, King Mackerel.
There are plenty of opportunities to take wild game along the Forgotten Coast and in its myriad wetlands and forests. This stretch of Florida is home to the Eastern Wild Turkey, Wild Boar, and Deer (just to name a few). While there are plenty of animals to chase, we give the large game hunting three stars. You’re probably not wanting to head to this part of the state specifically for whitetail, and if you’re headed to Florida chasing wild turkey, we would sincerely recommend starting in a spot where you have a good chance at the Osceola subspecies.
The Forgotten Coast’s saving grace is its wingshooting. Most notable is the waterfowl hunting in the winter months, when thousands of beautiful redheads (the duck…) migrate into the salt and brackish bays, where they are joined by a litany of other diving and dabbling waterfowl. We give the waterfowl hunting a solid five stars (at least for the Atlantic Flyway!). You can read more on waterfowl hunting in this area in our blog post on hunting Gulf Coast divers.
Species: Whitetail Deer, Eastern Wild Turkey, Wild Boar, Waterfowl, Redhead, Bufflehead, Bluebill, Canvasback, Pintail, Gadwall.
With probably thousands of miles of backwaters, meandering rivers, protected bays, and surfable beaches the Forgotten Coast provides ample paddling opportunities. If you’re looking for a place to start, check out the Apalachicola River Paddling Trail System.
Straddled between the coastline and thousands of acres of protected forest, the Forgotten Coast is one of the last remote places to stargaze in the Southeast. We recommend heading out to Tate’s Hell State Forest for minimum light pollution. Check out the International Light Pollution Map here!
Hiking, Biking & Nature Trails ★★★
The hiking and Biking along the Forgotten Coast is lackluster because of the flat topography, which is typical of Florida. But, there are plenty of beautiful vistas and thousands of acres of protected public lands to explore in the area. A few of our favorites are St. George Island State Park, the Apalachicola National Forest and Tate’s Hell State Forest.
Tackle Shops & Outfitters:
- Forgotten Coast Fly Company (Apalachicola)
- Apalach Outfitters (Apalachicola)
- Survivor’s Island Bait and Tackle (St. George Island)
- Fisherman’s Choice (Eastpoint)
- C-Quarter’s Marina (Carabelle)
Tip! Most of the hardware stores along the forgotten coast also double as tackle shops.
Hunting and Fishing License Information: