To advocate on behalf of the South Walton Community 
for the preservation, protection and enhancement 
of the quality of life and the natural environment of 
South Walton County.
  

Outdoor Adventure Descriptions:

  

Sunrise Meditation. Greet the dawning day with a 30-minute meditation on the beach. Everyone is welcome, whether you meditate on a regular basis or are a beginner. Meet at 6:30 am on Saturday and Sunday on the beach, using beach access #30 (between Seaside and Watercolor).  A public parking lot is available just north of county road 30A. Bring your own chair or cushion. Meditation instruction for beginners will be given at 6:20 a.m. Others should prepare to be seated by 6:25 a.m. Dress for cool weather. Pre-registration is not required and there is no cost for this event. Just come and celebrate the beginning of a beautiful day. Event cancelled if it is raining. Nancy James leads this activity.

Saturday Registration OR Sunday Registration

Deer Lake Beach Eco Walk. Deer Lake is one of the rare gems of the Emerald Coast, with its undisturbed dunes, swaying sea oats, and shorebirds running along the sugar white beaches. On Sunday, from 9-11 am, join Ranger Patrick Hartsfield for an interpretive walk along the park’s quarter-mile boardwalk for a panoramic view of the beach dune system. We then go out on the beach for a closer viewing. On the walk you will not only observe shorebirds, seabirds, and other area birds but also learn about the beach dune eco-system and the unique coastal dune lakes. Parking is at Deer Lake State Park, between Eastern Lake and Watersound, on County road 30A. $10 per person. $5 park charge per carload of participants. 

Register Here

Grayton Beach State Park Interpretive Hike Join Ranger Patrick Hartsfield for a 2-3 hour nature hike through the 

forest of Grayton Beach State Park. Learn about the native flora and fauna and if we’re lucky, see some of the native wildlife that call the park home. Participants will meet on Saturday at 9 am at the park’s ranger station and will hike out across 30-A and into the forest. Hikers are encouraged to bring a hat, sunscreen, insect repellant, at least 32 oz. of water, a light snack, and camera. Clothing should be comfortable hiking attire with closed toe hiking boots or athletic shoes. Come and discover the “Real Florida”. $10 per person. Space is limited to the first 15 people.  There is an additional $5.00 per vehicle park entrance fee payable the day of the event at the park ranger station.

Register Here

Tracking the Wild Critters.  Ever wondered what animal made those tracks in the sand? Or what animals eat, and how they find each other? Take a guided hike on Saturday at 9 am at Topsail Hill State Park. Learn how to find animals in the wild and to identify tracks made by raccoons, mice, coyotes, fox, alligators, and other animals. Event leader Laura Sell is an environmental educator with the E.O. Wilson Biophelia Center. You’ll track the critters for two to three hours in the beautiful setting of Campbell Lake. Limit 20 people. $10 per person, in addition to the park entry fee. Enter the park from west 30A. Your event leader will meet you at the parking lot.

Register Here

Peach Creek Kayak Tour. Explore beautiful Peach Creek from your kayak or paddle board. Meet at the Point Washington boat ramp at 930 am on Saturday, launching about 10. The ramp is at the north end of county road 395. Keep going past Eden State Park to the end of the road. We will follow the Inter-coastal Waterway into the wetlands of Peach Creek and then the creek itself. Trip leader is Marlice Brown of Kayak Experience. You can bring your own kayak or rent one from Kayaks By Ross, 850-598-7333. The paddle is about two hours and is limited to 15 paddlers. $10 per person.

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Swamp Tromp. Join Forester Daniel Taylor and wildlife biologist Charlene Hopkins on an exploration
of a local swamp and wetlands. Ms. Hopkins is working on the Ephemeral Pond Sampling Project in the
Point Washington State Forest. The walk will introduce you to the local wetlands, the basic botany and
zoology, and how their interactions are valuable to mankind. We will meet at the State Forestry Office
on highway 98, in between the intersections for county road 395 and Camp Creek Road, on Saturday at
9 AM. The group will be limited to 20 participants.

Register Here

The Beaches Are Moving.  The beaches of the northwest Florida coast are forever in motion, ebbing and flowing with wind, waves, and tides. Join naturalist Christian Wagley for a fun beach walk to explore the natural forces that shape the shoreline, build and destroy dunes, bring sand ashore, and provide habitat for a fascinating variety of plants and animals. Learn about beach features like cusps, ridges and runnels, overwash fans, how seaweed and hurricanes benefit beaches, and the issues presented as buildings crowd the dynamic shoreline. The Sunday event starts at 11 am, from the parking area at Deer Lake State Park.  $10 per person. Limited to 15 people.  $5 Park charge per carload of participants.

Register Here

Wildflowers and Butterflies. Take a walk on the wild side of nature. Enjoy an interpretive hiking tour where you have the opportunity to explore natural habitats, meet local flora and fauna face to face and experience the hidden wonders of Walton County. Learn about native plants, wildflowers, migrating and local butterflies with Joe Wyatt, master naturalist, in this tour of Topsail Hill State Park. Meet on Saturday, 11 am at the parking area just inside the Topsail Park entrance, near the west end of County Road 30A. Limit 15 participants.  $10 per person in addition to the park entry fee, $6 per car. 

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Choctawhatchee River Day Safari. Explore the waterways of the Choctawhatchee River and Bay on a boat with expert Capt. Kent Mundy. Expect to see alligators, turtles, birds of prey, and other fascinating wildlife.  Kent knows the river! Meet on Saturday at the Point Washington boat ramp at the north end of county road 395. Maximum of 6 participants per tour. $39 per person. Special note. As this event is so limited, we will keep a waiting list once the slots are filled for the 930 am tour. If there are enough people, we will arrange a second safari.

Register Here

Choctawhatchee River Night Safari. Experience the ultimate adventure of exploring the Choctawhatchee River and Bay at night with Captain Mundy. The boat leaves Saturday night at 6 pm for a two hour cruise from the Point Washington boat ramp at the north end of Highway 395. Be sure to bring a jacket as it can get cool once the sun goes down. Maximum of 6 participants. $39 per person.

Register Here

Night Hike.  Hiking through the woods during the day is a pleasant stroll, but most of the wildlife find it easy to hide.  Try the night hike at Topsail Hill State Park with Ranger Jeff Talbert, and find out how lively the woods are as darkness sets in. Meet at the tram stop at 6 pm on Saturday, just inside the entrance to Topsail Park. Wear hiking, walking, or running shoes. Bring some water, a light jacket, and a small flashlight. Limited to 15 hikers. $10 per person plus the park entry fee of $6 per car.

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Trail Bike Cruise. This year, riders will visit the State Forest.  Meet ride leader Bill Kern at the trail kiosk on the north side of Highway 30A, .45 miles east of 30A’s intersection with county road 283. There is a parking area on the north side of the highway, across from the Old Miller Place road, and 150 yards west of the entrance to Grayton Beach State Park. The trail is flat, and combines single track and double track. This is a good way to view the variety of forests in south Walton. Ride starts at 9:30 am on Sunday. Limit of 12 participants. $10 per person, plus $1 per bike for the park entry fee.

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Hogtown Bayou Sunset Paddle. Wrap-up the weekend with a wonderful sunset paddle! Begin paddling at late afternoon and wind your way along Hogtown Bayou and into Churchill Bayou as the sun drops in the west. Enjoy the afternoon sun, views of the marsh, the open bayou, and wildlife. We will sit in the bayou and watch the sunset before paddling back to the park. You can either bring your own kayak, or rent one from Kayaks by Ross, 850-598-7333. Meet at Charles Cessna Landing on county road 393 North on Sunday at 430 pm. Maximum 15 people. Beginner to moderate skill levels are suitable. The paddle lasts about two hours. $10 a person. Trip leader is Marlice Brown of Kayak Experience. 

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Build an Oyster Reef.  Create a Living Shoreline at Eden Gardens State Park. Help the Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance (CBA) build oyster habitat in Tucker Bayou on Saturday, 19 Oct., from 10 am to 1:30 pm. Learn about living shorelines as an alternative to seawalls and hard structure for the protection of coastal property. Living shorelines incorporate oyster shell and shoreline grasses to restore intertidal habitat which supports life in the Bay while protecting coastal property against wave energy and storm effects. Participants will move bagged oyster shell weighing 20 to 25 pounds each. Expect to wade in water up to 3 feet deep. Wear sunscreen and close-toed shoes. The finished site will be a focal point for education and outreach on Choctawhatchee Bay, including interpretive programs, educational signage, and programs for schoolchildren. Contact: Alison McDowell at mcdowel2@nwfsc.edu   

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South Walton Community Council; P O Box 1661; Santa Rosa Beach FL  32459

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