Explore The Outdoors Festival comes to Live Oak Landing Oct. 14, 2017

boywithfishA great day for outdoor family fun

Walton Outdoors will be hosting our eighth annual Explore The Outdoors Festival on Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017. The event will be held from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the beautiful waterfront location of Live Oak Landing Outdoor Destination, 229 Pitts Avenue in Freeport, Florida. ::MAP::

This fun-filled day will introduce children to the wonders of exploring nature and the outdoor experience. Hands on activities will include fishing, kayaking, wildlife, archery, interactive educational exhibits, giveaways and much more. The event is free. The water activities are geared for children six-years-old and up. Food will be available for purchase from Black Creek Café.

Activities and exhibits include:
• Learn to fish on Black Creek
• FISH FLORIDA fishing rod/reel giveaways
• Freshwater fishing education with Florida Fish and Wildlife
• Emerald Coast Hydrobike cruises
• Archery with Freeport Parks and Recreation
• Boating with Wounded Warrior Fishing
• Boating with Backwater Tours
• Birding with the Choctawhatchee Audubon Society
• Wildlife exhibit with Florida Fish and Wildlife
• Florida State Park exhibits
• Northwest Florida Astronomy Club
• Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance touch tank
• Smokey the Bear and his friends from Forestry
• Florida Sea Grant exhibit
• Freeport Town Planters Society crafts
• Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge exhibit
• Butterfly exhibit
• Beekeeping exhibit
• Walton County Master Gardeners activity
• Glendale Memorial Nature Preserve
• Navarre Beach Marine Science exhibit
• Nonie’s Ark Animal Encounters

About Walton Outdoors:
Walton Outdoors is the online source for outdoor adventure in Walton County and northwest Florida. Our mission is to share great spaces to explore the outdoors, and to educate our readers on the wonders of nature.

For more information, go to www.waltonoutdoors.com/explorefest or call (850) 267-2064.

Thank you sponsors:


• C.W. Roberts Contracting
• Freeport Town Planters Society


• Copeland’s Gun and Tackle • Ace Hardware DeFuniak Springs

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Walton County fishing report for Aug. 16

Fishing is good

Bay: Still small redfish and speckled trout. A few mangrove snapper.

River: Good reports of flathead and channel catfish. Snakes are on the move.

Click here for fishing forecast

Bay and river report brought to you by Copeland’s. “Where the locals shop and the tourists are welcome.”

Click here to find out more about Copeland’s.
Copeland’s Gun and Tackle Shop
17290 U.S. Hwy. 331 S
Freeport, Florida 32439
(850) 835-4277
Store hours:
Mon. – Fri.: 6 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Sat.: 6 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Sun.: Closed

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End of Summer Throw Down on South Walton’s North Beach Sept. 5

Date/time: Tues., Sept. 5, 12 – 10 p.m.

Say sa goodbye to summer with the ultimate throw down on the North Beach of South Walton. The Bay and Borago restaurants are coming together with 30A and YOLO Board to host a party and paddle board race after a long, hot summer. The party will begin at 12 Noon the day after Labor Day at The Bay with great food stations, live music on the sand, beach games, drink specials and fun in the water. At 4:30 the YOLO Board Bay2Borago Paddle will begin and go from The Bay to Borago where the party will continue. Borago will have live music on the beach, food stations, beach games and drink specials from 5:00 to 10:00 PM. It is an all-day beach bash that covers everything you could ever want in a beach party. You could win prizes from The Bay, Borago, 30A and YOLO Board.​​

The Bay is located at 24215 U.S. Hwy. 331, Santa Rosa Beach.

Live Music:
The Bay
12:00 – Mose and The Delta Twang
2:30 – The Graytones

5:00 Pickled Pickers
7:30 Dread Clampitt

For the paddle:
Just bring your board and you can sign up for free. The YOLO Board Bay2Borago paddle departs from The Bay’s beach at 4:30PM, goes under the 331 Bridge and finishes at Borago, where the party continues. As the racers come in, we will announce the winners of the prizes, like the YOLO Board, the 30A swag and gift cards from The Bay and Borago. Everyone completing the fun Bay2Borago paddle will receive an End of Summer Throw Down t-shirt. Those not paddling can easily walk across the street and keep the party going.

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5K and 1 Mile Fun Run in Alys Beach Sept. 3

Runners and families gather in Alys Beach for their Sixth Annual 5K and 1 Mile Fun Run on the Sunday before Labor Day, September 3, 2017. The certified 5K starts at the Alys Beach Amphitheatre and winds through the Gulf-side community and nature trail. Following the 5K, the 1 Mile Fun Run for children ages 12 and younger kicks off. 5K starts at 7 a.m. followed by the 1 Mile at 8:15 a.m. at Alys Amphitheatre at Alys Beach, E. County Hwy 30A and Somerset Street, Alys Beach, Florida 32413. Cost before Sunday, Aug. 27: 5K $35, 1 Mile Fun Run $15.

After the races, runners can gather in the Amphitheatre for the awards presentation at 9 a.m., followed by music from DJ Shane of Rock The House, a giant bounce house, and beverages available for purchase. Proceeds benefit Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center (ECCAC), a non-profit organization that provides services to treat and support children in abusive situations. For more information and to register, please visit alysbeach.com/5K.

Any remaining registrations will be sold on Saturday, Sept. 2, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., at Fonville Press during packet pick-up. Runners can receive a complimentary t-shirt at registration; limited quantity. Register online here.

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Stargazing at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park Aug. 25

Date/time: Fri., Aug. 25, 4:45 – 9:30 p.m.

Enjoy viewing the sun, moon, stars and other celestial objects through telescopes with the Northwest Florida Astronomy Association.  The program is weather dependent and a decision is made by 3:30pm the day of the program.  Call the ranger station before heading out for the program.  Participants need to be in the park before the gate closes at sunset.

Participation Requirements

Free entry to the park through Sept. 4. Otherwise $6.00 per vehicle, allowing admission for 2-8 people per vehicle; over 8 people requires additional per person fees. $4.00 per single-occupant vehicle or motorcycle, including motorcycles with one or more riders and vehicles with one occupant. $2.00 pedestrians, bicyclists, per passenger over 8 per vehicle, per passenger in vehicles with holder of Annual Individual Entrance Pass.

Topsail Hill Preserve State Park is located at 7525 W. Scenic Highway 30A, Santa Rosa Beach 32459. For more information, call (850) 267-8330 ::MAP::

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Volunteers needed for Lake Powell clean up Sept. 16

The Lake Powell Community Alliance (LPCA) together with the St. Andrew Bay Watch (St. Andrew Bay Resource Management Association), Friends of Camp Helen State Park, Bay County Audubon and local neighborhoods invite you to participate in a community effort to cleanup Lake Powell on Sept. 16, 2017.  Sign-in will begin promptly at 8 a.m. on Saturday, September 16th at the Lake Powell Park [boat ramp behind Publix] or at Camp Helen State Park. The cleanup will last until noon. After the cleanup, learn about the LPCA’s conservation efforts and smile for a group photo. Free t-shirts and pizza will be given to the first 75 volunteers to register! Participate in a ‘chance drawing’ to win some very nice prizes.

“This event is part of the Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup. This is our fifth year participating and to date we have removed over 10,000 pounds of trash from Lake Powell and her watershed. Every year we fill two dumpsters provided to us by Bay County. We are proud to be part of this global effort. It is a fun event for people of all ages who want to help maintain the health of the lake,” said Emily Ellis, LPCA Chairperson.

“In our little corner of the earth, we have a very unique and precious resource. LAKE POWELL was designated an Outstanding Florida Waterway in 1991. It is among the largest of the rare Coastal Dune Lakes which occur in only a few places around the world. Lake Powell is known for its beauty and biodiversity, as well as its exceptional recreational and educational opportunities. The Lake Powell Community Alliance (LPCA) is dedicated to protecting this natural resource.”

This is a great opportunity to bring our community together for a common cause. Individuals and teams are welcome. Participants will be given a choice of areas to clean up with access by walking, wading, boating, or paddling. So, JOIN the TEAM / KEEP it CLEAN!

What to bring: closed-toed shoes, hat, sunscreen, ‘grabber’, work gloves, water, and snacks.

Please consider bringing your boat, canoe, kayak or paddleboard and join the armada of cleanup crews! If you do bring your watercraft, please bring required life jackets, whistle, and safety devices.

Vinyl gloves, garbage bags, data cards, coffee and donuts, water, and snacks will be provided.

8 – 9 a.m. – Sign-in and Orientation
9 a.m. – 12:00 noon – Lake Clean-up
12 Noon – Group Photo
12:15 p.m. – Chance Drawing

LAKE POWELL COMMUNITY ALLIANCE Mission: A community initiative dedicated to preserving the water quality and biodiversity of the globally rare and imperiled Lake Powell ecosystem through education, habitat restoration, watershed-based planning and community partnerships.

If you have questions or ideas for ways in which you can help contact: [email protected] 

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