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Admission & Park Rules


How much is it to enter the park?

Visitors pay at the honor box at the front entrance to the park: $4 per vehicle, $2 pedestrians or bicyclists. The money goes in the blue envelope and the stub is torn off and hung from the rear-view mirror of your vehicle. If you entered without a vehicle, keep the stub in your possession for proof of payment.


What hours is the park open?

The park is open 8 a.m. to sunset every day of the year.

Does the park have overnight camping?

No, Camp Helen is what’s called a day use park and closes each day at sunset.

Are pets permitted in the park?

Yes, pets are allowed in most areas of the park provided they are on a hand-held leash, no longer than six feet in length and well behaved at all times. Pets are not allowed on the beach. Service animals are welcome in all areas of the park. Camp Helen State Park is a great park to walk your pets as there are 3.2 miles of marked trails. There is a sign as you approach the beach where your pet will not be allowed past.

Can I consume alcoholic beverages at the park/on the beach?

No, alcoholic beverage consumption is not allowed in Florida State Parks.

Am I allowed to collect sea shells at the park?

Shell collecting is only permitted on the beach from the water line to the toe of the dunes. All other items such as plants, animals, and park property are protected. The collection, destruction or disturbance of plants, animals or park property is prohibited.


Is there a place to launch a canoe, kayak and/or standup paddle board?

Yes, at the north end of the parking lot is easy access to the shore of Lake Powell where non-powered watercraft may be launched. During the months of May through September, the Friends of Camp Helen (FOCH) also have watercraft for rent. The rental area is at the lakeshore in front of the Lodge.

Is fishing allowed at the park?

Yes, fishing is allowed both in Lake Powell and the Gulf of Mexico. Check with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission for license requirements. Lake Powell is a fresh water lake that may also have saltwater species of fish in it so depending on what you catch, you may need a fresh or a saltwater license.

Is there water access from Lake Powell to the Gulf of Mexico to navigate a boat through?

In general, no. Lake Powell is a coastal dune lake and has a naturally occurring outfall to the Gulf of Mexico periodically throughout the year. This is a random occurrence depending on many factors including rain, tides, winds, storms, etc. The depth of the outfall can vary greatly from day to day.

Does the park have trails for biking?

The park has roughly 3.2 miles of trails. Some of these are suitable for biking. Only one mile of the trail system is paved. Approximately one-half mile of the trail system is a white sugary sand that is difficult to bike on unless you have the correct style of tire.

Can I enter any of the historical buildings?

On the first Saturday of every month, the Rangers host a history tour of the park at 10 am. The tour will go into the Lodge and Rec Hall if they have not been rented for the day. These are the only times any of the historical buildings can be accessed unless you have the Lodge or Rec Hall rented.