Dog Island, unique to Florida, is one of the best examples of an environmentally sound beachfront development. Located 3.5 miles off-shore from Carrabelle in the northwestern Gulf Coast, it is approximately 75 miles east of Panama City or 50 miles south of Tallahassee. Dog Island’s two neighboring islands are St. Vincent Island which is a Federal wildlife refuge and St. George Island which has a causeway and an airport and is a seaside vacation community.
Real Estate for Sale in Dog Island
History of Dog Island
Dog Island was discovered in 1536 by the French. It was named Dog Island either because wild dogs were found there, and it resembles a crouched dog or because early ships dropped off their sailors prior to docking at the mainland so that they couldn’t jump ship, depending on the legend you believe.
No matter the history of the name Dog Island has a rich history of human activity in this area dating back 8,000 years. It was at one time a haven for piracy and smuggling. The Indians used the island as a fishing camp. There were shipwrecks off the island, these are now used for fishing and diving, and as shipping increased in the major ports in this area, Dog Island’s resources of lumber, turpentine and pitch products were stripped by both sailing and steam ships. Dog Island was used during the Civil War by the Union Navy and during World War II it was used for amphibious landings and airdrops in preparation of the D-Day landings. Dog Island was purchased for $12,000.00 after World War II by a Florida businessman who saw the island’s potential.
Today’s Dog Island is known for its pristine white sand beaches, shelling, crabbing and shore fishing. There is plenty to enjoy for the outdoor lover and/or beach lover. Endless birdwatching, hiking, kayaking, photography of wildlife and natural habitats and beauty for any artist to sketch.
Dog Island is approximately 6 ½ miles long and up to ¾ mile wide. Most of the island is owned by the Nature Conservancy and the remainder is privately owned residential property. Accessible by boat, ferry or airplane only. Dog Island’s untowered, private use airport is 2700 feet long by 120 feet wide. The island is lightly developed with about 100 homes, some of which are vacation homes, and approximately 30 full-time residents. There is also a remote B&B. This is not a typical tourist destination as there are no public amenities. Most beachfront lots range from 100 feet wide to 500 feet deep. Most residents use native vegetation for landscaping. There is a forest of slash and longleaf pines and grasses grow profusely on the dunes.
The farthest points of either end of the island are favored by locals for picnicking and camping. The west end is best for day trips, shore fishing and crabbing. The east end is best for shelling and beach bumming.
Dog Island is a pristine environment with rare bird colonies, wooded paths and pristine waters. Sea turtles lay eggs and hatch on Dog Island. There are enough clams, blue crabs and coquinas for everyone.