TL;DR: Do I have a right to walk on the beach at Eglin Air Force Base if I don't stray from the water's edge?
I've been walking along the beach in Florida for years. Part of my route used to take me onto Eglin AFB where I would pick up trash as I got some exercise.
I was eventually stopped by a park ranger and told to stay by the waterline, that I'm not allowed to be even near the dunes as it was Air Force property.
There are "No Trespassing" signs at the edge of the AF Base property that go perpendicular to the water but the tide rarely goes high enough to reach them. I presumed, because of what I was told by the park ranger, that if the tide WAS up to the signs, that would be my indicator that I could no longer walk down that part of the beach.
A couple of weeks ago I was walking on the waters edge as usual and a Security Forces member in uniform called me up to the dunes where he wrote me a ticket for trespassing. I told him what I had been told and he said that that was a fallacy and that those rangers are volunteers.
He mentioned something in passing about the 100 year low tide line and it being OK to then walk out there. He assured me that the exact laws would be referenced on my ticket but they were not.
I know Florida has public access laws for beaches and private property but do they not also apply for federal land?