Parks/Beaches

Parks of Walton County and surrounding area

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Beach parks with easy access, parking, lifeguards and restroom facilities

inletlifeguard21Walton County’s beaches in Miramar Beach and along Scenic Highway 30A offer many public beach accesses. However, lifeguards patrol only eight locations. These eight locations offer adequate parking, restroom facilities and three offer handicap access with wheelchairs available: Ed Walline at the corner of Scenic Hwy. 30A and CR 393, and Bramble Grove/Santa Clara Street in Seagrove and Miramar, near Pompano Joe’s on Scenic Gulf Drive.

Lifeguards are on duty from 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., seven days a week from the second Saturday in March until the last Sunday in September.

Here is a list of beach access locations with lifeguards from west to east:

Miramar Beach Access - click here for map
Located on Scenic Gulf Drive off of U.S. 98 in western Walton County
• Lifeguards  • Restrooms • Parking • ADA access with wheelchair available

Dune Allen Accessclick here for map
Located west of County Road 393 on Scenic Hwy. 30A
• Lifeguards  • Restrooms • Parking • Handicap access

Ed Walline has parking, restrooms and lifeguards during the summer season.

Ed Walline has parking, restrooms and lifeguards.

Ed Walline Accessclick here for map
Located at the intersection of 393 and Scenic Hwy. 30A
• Lifeguards  • Restrooms • Parking • ADA access with wheelchair available

Gulfview Heights Access- click here for map
Located 1/2 mile east of intersection County Roads 393 and Scenic Hwy. 30A, turn south on Gulfview Heights Street
• Lifeguards  • Restrooms • Parking

Blue Mountain Beach Access – click here for map Located at the south end of CR 83  • Lifeguards  • Restrooms • Limited Parking

Vann Ness access has ample parking and restrooms on the north of CR30A.

Vann Ness Butler access has ample parking and restrooms on the north of Scenic Hwy. 30A between WaterColor and Seaside.

Van Ness Butler, Jr. Accessclick here for map
Located between Seaside and WaterColor on Scenic Hwy. 30A
• Lifeguards  • Restrooms • Ample parking lot on the north side of Scenic Hwy. 30A

Grove Road/Santa Clara Streetclick here for map
Seagrove on Scenic Hwy. 30A
• Lifeguards  • Restrooms • Parking • ADA access with wheelchair available

Inlet Beach Accessclick here for map
Located 3/4 mile east of the intersection of U.S. Highway 98 and Scenic Hwy. 30A, turn south on Orange Street
• Lifeguards  • Portable restrooms • Parking

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Local state parks

Topsail Hill Preserve dunes. Lori Ceier/Walton Outdoors

Topsail Hill Preserve State Park

Entrance located at the western end of Scenic Road 30A
• Ranger station • Parking • Restroom • Handicap access • Nature trails • Picnic areas
A tram will take visitors to the beach, which has a boardwalk, showers and a surf chair for handicap beach accessibility

Click here for story and video on Topsail Hill Preserve

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Eden Gardens State park

Eden Gardens State park

Eden Gardens State Park

This historic park hosts the majestic 110-year-old Wesley House. Completely decorated with period furniture and accessories, Eden Gardens State Park is located in Point Washington, off U.S. Highway 98 on C.R. 395.
• Picnic area, restrooms, pavilions, nature trails, gardens, historic home tours of Antebelum mansion

Click here for story and video on Eden Gardens State Park

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scubsGrayton Beach State Park

Located just west of WaterColor and east of CR 283 on Scenic Road 30A
• Restrooms • Parking • Handicap access
• Nature trails • Picnic areas • Camping

Click here for story and video on Grayton Beach State Park

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Deer Lake State Park

 Tucked away along Scenic Highway 30A, just west of WaterSound, this spectacular gem of a State Park offers park goers a look at intact ancient sand dune ecosystems.

An elevated walkway guides you through a small wooded area, to the rolling dunes, then down to the Gulf of Mexico. Once on the beach, you can take a walk to the west, and discover the park’s namesake, a rare coastal dune lake that empties into the Gulf.

Located on Scenic Road 30A just east of Camp Creek Lake
• Restrooms • Parking • Nature trails • Picnic areas

Click here for story and video on Deer Lake State Park

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Camp Helen State Park 

A trail to the beach at Camp Helen. Lori Ceier/Walton Outdoors

A trail to the beach at Camp Helen. Lori Ceier/Walton Outdoors

Surrounded by water on three sides, Lake Powell on the east, a salt marsh on the west, and the Gulf of Mexico on the south, this gem of a park is unique in many ways.

There are two paths to the beach from the main park area. You can choose to walk along the lake, or a path through the woods, with a dense canopy of  maritime hammock.

Located just east of Walton County line on U.S. Hwy. 98. • Restrooms • Parking • Nature trails • Picnic areas

Click here for story and video on Camp Helen State Park

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poncespring1Ponce de Leon Springs State Park

Just outside the Walton County line is one of the coolest places to take a dip in a spring, Ponce de Leon Springs State Park. As the water stays a constant 68 degrees Fahrenheit year-round, both locals and visitors enjoy this nature-made swimming pool, which is a convergence of two underground water flows, producing 14 million gallons of water daily.

Click here story and video on Ponce deLeon Springs

 

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 Rocky Bayou State Park

A view of Rocky Bayou from picnic area.

A view of Rocky Bayou from picnic area.

Fred Gannon Rocky Bayou State Park, known by most as Rocky Bayou State Park sets nestled along State Road 20 in Niceville along Rocky Bayou. The park boasts 357 acres of wooded walking trails of sand pine scrub, longleaf pine, sand hill forests, pine flat woods and wetlands.

More than 100 different species of birds may be spotted in the diverse area, including kingfishers, ospreys, warblers and woodpeckers. Along one of the walking/biking trails, you will find an interpretive kiosk, which visually describes some of the many birds that can be found in the park. Click here for story on Rocky Bayou

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Beautiful Walton County Parks
Less Ventured

Cypress trees surround Morrison Springs.

Cypress trees surround Morrison Springs.

A variety of parks await the explorer in Walton County

Anyone living in Walton County, or the Florida Panhandle for that matter, share something in common. We all live in a place that hosts the most beautiful beaches to be found anywhere. The shimmering Gulf of Mexico, the soft white sand, the rolling dunes… this area is a location that is hard to beat.

With many beach accesses and several state parks in the area, the beaches can be enjoyed easily.

Walton County offers much more to experience, however, with an abundance of local parks north of the beach offering a touch of nature and beauty all their own.

From the cool, clear water of Morrison Springs in the northeast end of the county, to Lost Lake near Bruce, there is a wide variety of flora and fauna can be experienced in the many parks Walton County has to offer.

Many of the parks have playgrounds and sports facilities, along with walking trails, swimming holes and boat ramps.

So, pack a lunch, or put on your hiking boots, here is a list of a great 28 that are right here in Walton County:

1. Lake Jackson
From U.S. Highway 90 in DeFuniak Springs go north on U.S. Highway 331 for 18 miles. Turn left onto Lake Road and follow until park comes into view. This park has no facilities, only a boat ramp. Click here for map
• Boat ramp

2. Lakewood Park – Florida’s Highest Point
Take U.S. Highway 331 north through DeFuniak Springs. Once past DeFuniak, go 18 miles and turn right on County Road 285. Park will be on left side of road.• Picnic area, restrooms, scenic view Click here for map

Cat Island.

3. Cat Island
Take U.S. Highway 331 north through DeFuniak Springs to U.S. Highway 90 and turn right. Turn left on N. 9th Street (SR 83) and travel 3.3 miles. Turn left onto Cat Island Road. Follow this road to its end, approximately 1 mile.
•    Picnic area, restrooms, boat ramp
Click here for map

4. Juniper Lake
Take U.S. Highway 331 north through DeFuniak Springs to U.S. Highway 90 and turn right. Turn left on N. 9th Street (SR 83) and travel 2.6 miles.  Turn left onto Juniper Lake Road, traveling for approximately 0.8 miles. The county lands sit along both sides of the earthen dam. •  Picnic area, restrooms, boat ramp Click here for map

5. Wee Care Playground
Take U.S. Highway 331 north through DeFuniak Springs to U.S. Highway 90 and turn right. Turn left on N. 9th Street (SR 83) and travel 1.5 miles. Turn left onto Walton Road and proceed for approximately 0.4 miles. The children’s park is located on the right, across from Walton High School. • Playground, restrooms, picnic area Click here for map

6. Recreation Complex- DeFuniak Springs
Located at 965 Gene Hurley Road, west of DeFuniak Springs, off of U.S.  Highway 90, just west of U.S. Hwy. 331. Turn south on Gene Hurley Road, around the landing pad of airport, park is on the left.
•  Playground, picnic area, restrooms, ball fields, skating and rollerblading ramps, nature trail Click here for map

Ducks on Lake DeFuniak

Ducks on Lake DeFuniak

7. Chipley Park (Lake DeFuniak)
Located in downtown DeFuniak Springs on Circle Drive. • Playground, boat ramp Click here for map

8. Douglass Crossroad Ball Park
Head east on U.S. Highway 90 in DeFuniak Springs for 4.1 miles. Turn right on CR183S for 2.8 miles. Immediately after crossing over I-10, turn left on Douglass Crossroad and go approximately 1.5 miles. The park is on the right.
• Playground, restrooms, ball fields Click here for map

9. Berrian Lake
From the Walton County Courthouse, Berrian Lake can be accessed most easily by following U.S. Highway 90 into Holmes County and reentering Walton County from CR 181A. Head east on U.S. 90 for 10.5 miles. Turn right onto CR 181A and go for 1.1 miles until reaching Old Mt. Zion Road. Turn left and follow for 2.1 miles until road forks. Follow the right fork for 1.9 miles to CR 181. Bear left and go for 0.6 miles, then turn onto Berrian Lake Road. Continue on this road, following the signs to the landing.
• Boat ramp Click here for map

10. Cedar Log
Take U.S. Highway 331 north to State Road 20 in Freeport. Turn right and go to State Road 81. Turn left and go right on CR 181 for 2.1 miles then right on Cedar Log Road (dirt) for 1.3 miles to ramp.
•  Boat ramp

 

Nothing better than a rope swing into 68 degree clear water on a hot summer's day.

11. Morrison Springs
Take U.S. Highway 331 north to State Road 20 in Freeport. Turn right and go to State Road 81. Turn left and go past Red Bay to County Road 181C.  Turn right and continue for 1.6 miles. Then, turn right onto Morrison Springs Road and follow to its end.
• Picnic area, restrooms, swimming, diving, boat ramp click here for map

Click here for story and video on Morrison Springs

12. Comander’s Landing

Take U.S. Highway 331 north to State Road 20 in Freeport. Turn right and go to State Road 81. Turn left and go past Red Bay to River Road, proceed to the end of the road.
• Picnic area, boat ramp Click here for map

Comander's Landing.

Comander’s Landing

13. Bruce Creek Park
Take U.S. Highway 331 north to State Road 20 in Freeport. Turn right and go to State Road 81. Turn left and go past Red Bay to Camp House Landing/Louis Miller Road and turn right.
• Boat ramp Click here for map

Dead River park

Dead River park

14. Dead River Park
Take U.S. Highway 331 north to State Road 20 in Freeport. Turn right and go to State Road 81 follow Dead River Road. Turn left beside the Dead River Cemetery and follow the clay road to the road’s end.
• Picnic area, boat ramp, portable toilet

Click here for map

15. Seven Runs Park

Seven Runs park

Seven Runs park

Take U.S. Highway 331 north to State Road 20 in Freeport. Turn right and go to State Road 81. The park is on the left (west) side of the road at the foot of the Seven Runs Creek Bridge. The newly opened Florida Trail at Nokuse is just south of Seven Runs Park.
• Picnic area, Boat ramp, Portable toilet Click here for map

Lost Lake at Tilley Landing

Lost Lake at Tilley Landing

16. Tilley Landing/Lost Lake
Take U.S. Highway 331 north to State Road 20 in Freeport. Turn right and go to State Road 81. Turn left and take State Road 81 until you see the sign on right.
• Primitive camping, portable toilet, boat ramp, picnic area Click here for map

For more information on Lost Lake Click here for story on Lost Lake at Tilley Landing
17. H. A. Laird Park

Lard Park in Freeport.

Laird Park in Freeport.

Located on SR 20 West about 1.5 miles west of the intersection of U.S. Highway 331 and State Road 20 West.
• Playground, picnic pavilions, restrooms, short trail
Click here for map

18. Alaqua Creek Park
From Freeport: Head west on SR 20 for approximately 2 miles. Park is on the north side of State Road 20.
• Picnic area, boat ramp, , restroom, swimming, portable toilet Click here for map

Alaqua Creek park.

Alaqua Creek park.

19. Alaqua Park
From Freeport, head west on SR 20 for approximately 3.6 miles. Turn left onto Portland Park Road.  Follow this clay road to its end.
• Picnic area, boat ramp Click here for map

20. Choctaw Beach Park
More than a boat ramp, the Choctaw Beach Park offers spectacular sunsets and many public amenities on the north side of the Choctawhatchee Bay.  From Freeport, head west on SR 20 for approximately 12 miles. The park is on the left, fronting the bay. • Picnic area, restrooms, pavilion, playground Click here for map

21. Freeport pool
Managed by the YMCA
Located behind Freeport City Hall on SR 20 in Freeport.
• Open Mid May – Labor Day, $1 for 3 hours of swim time. For more information call (850) 835-1223 Click here for map

22. Casey Kids Park
Casey Kid’s Park is located next to city hall on State Road 20 in Freeport
• Playground, picnic area Click here for map

23. Wheeler Point Park
This easy-to-find park sits at the north foot of the Clyde B. Wells Bridge on U.S. Highway 331.
• Picnic area, restrooms, boat ramp
Click here for map

25. Cessna Landing
Take County Road 393 north from U.S. Highway 98 approximately 3 miles. Cessna Landing is on the left.
• Picnic areas, restrooms, playground with ball courts, boat ramp
Click here for map

26. Helen McCall Park
Helen McCall Park is off U.S. Highway 98 in Santa Rosa Beach west of County Road 393. Turn south onto Moll Drive and follow to the park.
• Playground, ball fields, restrooms Click here for map

27. Legion Park
Legion Park is located in Miramar Beach approximately 1 mile west of Sandestin off U.S. Highway 98. Going west turn left on Ponce deLeon Drive.  Park is located at the end of the street.
• Playground, picnic area, restrooms, basketball court, shuffleboard court, boat ramp
Click here for map

28. Freeport Regional Sports Complex
Freeport Regional Sports Complex is located off State Road 20 in Freeport, on CR 83A.
Baseball/softball fields, football/soccer fields, tennis courts, sand volleyball court, basketball courts, shuffleboard courts, playground, barbecue/picnic areas, playground, restroom, walking trail. Click here for map

29. The Point

Know by the locals as The Point, the park now boasts more than 20 parking spaces and several boat slips. In addition, there are restroom facilities and walkways that wrap around the waterfront.
Directions
:
Take State Road 20 and turn south on CR83A across from City Hall. Turn left on Four Mile Road (Shipyard Road). Follow the road past Freeport Shipyard. The park is at the end on “The Point.”  Click here for map

30. Fishing Pier on Lake Powell

The fishing pier is located at the eastern end of South Walton County of U.S. Hwy. 98 on Lake Shore Drive off of Orange Street, north of Inlet Beach. It is is approximately 50 feet in length with a 10×15 ft. deck at the end with a bench overlooking the lake. Click here for map

CLICK HERE FOR MAP OF WALTON PARKS

Vortex Spring dive resort expanding facility

New ATV/motor cross track is one of the new features at Vortex. Lori Ceier/Walton Outdoors

Enhancements to include racetrack, airstrip, new lodging

Lowell Kelly, owner of Vortex Spring, has big plans for the popular diving and swimming facility located in Ponce de Leon. New enhancements to the park include an ATV/motor cross racetrack, paintball course and a 3,000 ft. airstrip located on newly acquired acreage adjacent to the facility.

“People will be able to fly in, take scuba lessons and stay at Vortex,” Kelly said.

Future plans to the park include upgraded lodging and expansion of the educational facilities.

Vortex Spring has been a popular dive spot and recreational spot since the mid 1970s. The spring is popular with cave divers offering clear dives into the spring’s limestone rock cavern. The spring produces 28 million gallons of water daily at a year-round temperature of 68 degrees.

Diver training is offered at Vortex Spring. Lori Ceier/Walton Outdoors

Vortex offers scuba dive training, rentals and a complete dive shop supplying dive suits, masks, gauges and accessories. Click here to continue

6 Responses to Parks/Beaches

  1. Joe Martin says:

    I was wondering if Morrison Spring in Defuniak is open to the public now? If so, what are the hours and are divers still permitted to dive?

  2. Walton Outdoors says:

    Morrison Springs is slated to open in the next month. Keep checking Walton Outdoors. We will be posting a story as soon as it is open. Yes, divers are still permitted to dive. One of the reasons for the new boat ramp (facility that is open now) was to separate the divers and boaters to provide a safer environment.

  3. Pingback: ramps to beach - SoWal Beaches Forum

  4. Pingback: Beach areas and ramps to the beach - SoWal Beaches Forum

  5. hannah vanderecken says:

    hello my name is hannah and i go to the springs and if you want if you give me your email i can send you pictures

  6. CDC says:

    How far is the bike path on 83A in Freeport?

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