FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 28, 2022
~Recreation area offers beach and bay access~
TALLAHASSEE, Florida. – The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced that the William J. “Billy Joe” Rish Recreation Area in Cape San Blas is now open for day use. Experiences currently include beach and bay access. More amenities, including an Olympic size swimming pool and overnight accommodations, will be available later this year.
“The DEP is proud of this opportunity to provide a barrier-free recreational experience to ensure that all visitors can experience the real florida“, said DEP Secretary Shawn Hamilton. “This park features incredible oceanfront and bayside settings that are ideal for a day trip. In the coming months, DEP looks forward to expanding the park’s amenities for people with disabilities, as well as their families, friends and caregivers..”
The 100-acre park, which provides access to the Gulf of Mexico and St. Joseph’s Bay, was originally established in the 1970s as an outdoor recreation area for people with disabilities, their families and caregivers, and it will continue to serve this purpose. under the Recreation and Parks Division of the DEP.
Stewardship of the park was transferred to the Agency for Persons with Disabilities DEP on December 1, 2021. The park has been closed since Hurricane Michael made landfall on the Florida Panhandle in October 2018.
Admission to the park is $6 per vehicle, up to eight people, payable in a VIP box.
“We are thrilled and honored to add the William J. ‘Billy Joe’ Rish Recreation Area to our award-winning state park system.” said Chuck Hatcher, acting superintendent of Florida State Parks. “Providing access to all is one of our core values, and we look forward to providing a safe and inclusive space where visitors can enjoy our state’s natural beauty.”
The only four-time National Gold Medal Winner for Excellence, Florida State Parks is committed to providing accommodations so all guests can enjoy the real Florida ℠. Bevery wheelchair is available at every coastal park, several parks offer wheelchair-accessible trams, and most recently the first wheelchair-accessible glass-bottom boat debuted at Silver Springs State Park.
Florida State Parks welcomes visitors with service animals and strives to design and construct accessible buildings and facilities that provide access for all visitors and comply with applicable laws, regulations and Americans standards. with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Learn more about the experiences and amenities available at William J. “Billy Joe” Rish Recreation Area.