The Friends of Emerald Coast State Parks is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, that functions to provide educational, interpretive, and financial assistance to Fred Gannon Rocky Bayou State Park and Henderson Beach State Park.


The Friends of Emerald Coast State Parks is dedicated to maintaining the beauty and enjoyment of Fred Gannon Rocky Bayou State Park and Henderson Beach State Park through interpretive programs, clean ups, and restoration to the facilities. We’re committed to keeping these parks as enjoyable destinations for the community and visitors alike.

A former WWII gunnery and bombing practice range has been transformed into a stunning natural landscape shaded by longleaf pines, and breathtaking views of the bayou.

Enjoy a majestic shoreline anchored by 30-foot, snow-white sand dunes while basking in the Florida sun.


The Friends of the Emerald Coast State Parks is an official Citizen Support Organization that works on behalf of Fred Gannon Rocky Bayou State Park & Henderson Beach State Park.

Our organization is made up of park volunteers and people who have a love of our state parks and a desire to support their recreational, environmental and economic value to the community. Members of our organization promote the mission of the Florida Park Service to preserve and protect our parks’ natural,  and cultural resources while providing recreational opportunities to area visitors and residents. All membership dues and other funds raised by this organization are put to service for improvements of these state parks.


Interested in having a beach wedding or vow renewal?

Reserve an area on the beach with private event signage, beach ceremony permit, state park entry fees, map event cards & parking (Limited availability Memorial Day-Labor Day). Starting at $395!

Six event pavilions are available for rent at Henderson, with three of those being adjacent to restrooms. There are two available at Rocky Bayou.

Both parks feature barbecue grills near beach boardwalks at Henderson or along the shoreline at Rocky Bayou where there are two pavilions. They provide the perfect place to enjoy lunch with family and friends.

Outdoor showers are available at Henderson Beach State Park.

Pavilion Rentals

At Fred Gannon Rocky Bayou State Park, pavilions are available year round. Henderson Beach State Park pavilions may be reserved during the day from 8:00am-Sunset daily in the off season and 4:00pm-Sunset or 3:00-10:00pm during peak season (Limited availability during Memorial Day-Labor Day).

After-Hours events at Henderson occur from 12:00pm-10:00pm, and include bistro lights, grill covers, and ten (10) tables with seating for up to 80, event staff and security since the park is closed to the general public.

Pets Policy

Pets are permitted in campgrounds, parking lots, nature trails, and on the sidewalk in the day use areas.

Pets are not permitted on the beach, in playgrounds, or in any park buildings. They must be kept on a hand-held leash that is no longer than six-feet and be well-behaved at all times.


Help to support the natural beauty of Fred Gannon Rocky Bayou State Park and Henderson Beach State Park. We exist to champion our region’s state parks, and we need friends like you.