Floridian Nature

Learn about Florida's beautiful and unique nature.





Florida Nature: Dog Island
Dog Island Florida a great florida beach siteDog Island is located in the northwestern Florida Gulf coast just 3.5 miles off-shore from Carrabelle, Florida in Franklin County, Florida. The island is partly sheltering St. George Sound and Apalachicola Bay. It's the eastern-most part of a chain of barrier islands located off the northern panhandle of Florida just offshore from where the Crooked River merges into the Carrabelle River and then into St. George Sound. Other barrier islands in this chain include St. Vincent Island, Cape St. George Island, and St. George Island.  Dog Island is small at 6.8 miles in length, accessible only by boat, ferry or airplane. The Nature Conservancy owns most of the island, while some parts are privately owned residential property.

The Nature Conservancy owns the bulk of this eastern panhandle island, giving you an idea of just how untouched Dog Island is. For unspoiled beaches that you can enjoy largely by your lonesome year-round, few Florida islands can compare. There's only one hotel on the roughly 7-mile-long island, accessed by passenger ferry from Carabelle in the Florida panhandle. You can't bring a car to the 'island that time forgot,' as the roughly 100 locals who live here call their sanctuary, but you're guaranteed quiet beaches with powdered-sugar sand, shells galore and aquamarine waters. The only place to stay on the island is the loaded-with-character if lovably ramshackle Pelican Inn where you can snag one of eight oceanfront studios for your own private retreat.   

The island’s location, its beauty, its uncrowded white sandy beaches, surf fishing, and several protected anchorages make Dog Island an appealing location for small boat sailors. Supplies should be purchased before leaving Carrabelle. Motoring or sailing on the Carrabelle River heading for Apalachicola Bay is very scenic. During certain times of the year, shrimp may be purchased directly off the shrimp boats.

A good quality chart should be consulted when sailing in Apalachicola Bay and near Dog Island. Although the average water depth is 12 – 18 feet in most areas, there are many shallow spots and shoals that need to be avoided. About a mile off the north shore of Dog Island, the water is 20 to 25 feet and affords great sailing. A circumnavigation of the Dog Island in good weather is possible, however, it can be treacherous in small boats especially if the wind is coming out of the south.



Dog Island, a small Island in FLoridaThe west end of Dog Island offers two spectacular gunk holes ideal for swimming, picnics, strolling the beach, fishing, or just reading a book. Most of the property on the west end of the island is privately owned but very accessible. The beaches on this end of the island are much wider than on the east end.

Dog Island has some evidence of human presence dating back as early as 8,000 years ago. The island also has a rich maritime history. The discovery of a 9th century canoe is a testament to prehistoric mariners on the island. During the 17th century and 18th century the barrier islands became a haven of piracy and smuggling.

The island and its two neighbors were discovered by the French in 1536 and named the Dog Islands, because 1) wild dogs were found on them; 2) the islands resemble a crouched dog, or 3) the early ships put their common sailors - known as dogs - on the islands before docking on the mainland so they could not jump ship. Later, the two neighbors were renamed: St. Vincent, which is a Federal wildlife refuge, and St. George, which has a causeway and is, naturally, a booming resort community. Indians used Dog Island as a fishing camp, and the 1985 hurricanes uncovered pot shards found on the west end. After World War II, Jeff Lewis, a Florida businessman, saw its potential as a vacation area and paid $12,000 for the island.

As part of the United States, economic shipping greatly increased as St. Marks, St. Joseph, and Apalachicola became major ports on the Gulf Coast. Both sail and steam ships traveled to Dog Island to exploit its resources of lumber and naval stores such as turpentine and pitch products. In 1838, Dog Island Light, was built on the western tip of the island. In 1899, the 2nd hurricane of the season struck the area almost destroying the town of Carrabelle leaving just nine homes. Roughly 6 miles inland at McIntyre only two mill boilers were left. The summer resort of Lanark Inn was said to be "blown in to the Gulf". The Carrabelle, Tallahassee and Georgia Railroad was destroyed for a distance of 30 miles and a locomotive on the track was displaced some 100 yards off the track.

Follow us on Facebook    Follow us on Twitter
Advertise | Privacy Statement | Bookstore | Video |Contact | Alaska NatureMichael Arnold Art|  Cat Encyclopedia|
Dog Encyclopedia | American Presidents| Black History| Reflections | Holiday Crafts
|Our Blog|

Dog Island is located in the northwestern Florida Gulf coast just 3.5 miles off-shore from Carrabelle, Florida. Floridian nature abounds with white sandy beaches, surf fishing, and several protected anchorages. The west end of Dog Island offers two spectacular gunk holes ideal for swimming, picnics, strolling the beach, or fishing.
Dog Island Florida is the perfect vacation spot for those who appreciate Floridian nature. The island’s location, its beauty, its uncrowded white sandy beaches, surf fishing, and several protected anchorages make Dog Island an appealing location for small boat sailors. Supplies should be purchased before leaving Carrabelle. Motoring or sailing on the Carrabelle River heading for Apalachicola Bay is very scenic. During certain times of the year, shrimp may be purchased directly off the shrimp boats. For unspoiled beaches that you can enjoy largely by your lonesome year-round, few Florida islands can compare. There's only one hotel on the roughly 7-mile-long island, accessed by passenger ferry from Carabelle in the Florida panhandle. You can't bring a car to the 'island that time forgot,' as the roughly 100 locals who live here call their sanctuary, but you're guaranteed quiet beaches with powdered-sugar sand, shells galore and aquamarine waters.
Dog Island
Date published: 10/22/2013
5 / 5 stars