Upcoming Events

:: Ongoing ::

Saturday and Sunday Farmers markets

tomatoesSeaside Amphitheater – Saturday, Market Shops Sandestin Sunday
Time: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. – Come and reap the benefits of purchasing locally grown food as local farmers and vendors offer their wares. Fresh eggs, vegetables and fruit, honey, breads, cookies, cheeses, milk, organic chickens and broth, handmade jewelry, soaps and more. Buying locally grown food benefits you and our community. ::MAP::

WaterColor Coastal Farmers Market
The WaterColor Community Association is hosting the WaterColor Coastal Farmers Market at Cerulean Park on Sundays from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. The market is open to the public. The market has an array of items to choose from with more than 30 participating vendors. Items such as local farm-fresh produce, eggs, and dairy products will be available. There will also be a large variety of organic and homemade items and artwork.

Rosemary Beach Barrett Square – Sunday 
Reap fresh produce and more from local farmers on Thursdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. in Rosemary Beach. Market located on N. Barrett Square.

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Kids Club at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park every Tuesday and Thursday

kidsclubKids Club will take place every Tuesday and Thursday from 10 -11:30 am in the clubhouse. There will be crafts, face painting, and kids will have an opportunity to learn about the park. For more info call the park at 850-267-8330.

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

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Wednesdays in July: Explore Western Lake on a guided paddle tour

westernlakeDates/Time: Each Wednesday in July from  9 – 11:30 a.m.

The Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance (CBA), in partnership with Northwest Florida State College, announces the summer season of its popular eco-tourism initiative, Eco Adventures of Walton County.

Explore a coastal dune lake of South Walton County. This kayak tour will take you around Western Lake; one of the larger lakes of the coastal dune lake systems. Experience the diversity of wildlife and habitats that define these unique lake systems. This tour is led by the local and avid eco-tour guide Dave Posey.

Moderate to high exertion level, depending on wind conditions. Participants are asked to bring plenty of water, forecast compatible clothing and personal comfort items (i.e. sunscreen, bug spray, etc.). Kayak rental included in the cost of the tour.

There is a Bring Your Own Boat option for this tour. See discounted rate under “Fee”

Space is limited to 8 participants. Minimum of 3.

Location: Meet at the South Walton campus of Northwest Florida State College 109 South Greenway Trail, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459. Guide will lead a caravan to Grayton Beach State Park to launch boats.

Fee: $60 per person/$45 per person bring your own boat

Discover Roads Less Traveled offers visitors and local residents extraordinary opportunities to explore, discover, and learn about the pristine natural resources that make Walton County unique. Descriptions of the tours being offered are available online at www.basinalliance.org by clicking the Eco Tours information box. Registration is available by phone at 850-200-4160.

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Bayside fishing clinics at Kellogg Park in July and August

ErniemartinDates/time: July 2, 16, 30, Aug. 6 – 3 – 5 p.m.

The Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance (CBA), in partnership with Northwest Florida State College, announces the summer season of its popular eco-tourism initiative, Eco Adventures of Walton County.

This educational eco-adventure takes you to Kellogg Park, a newly established park, off Chat Holley Road to learn fishing techniques about fishing on the Choctawhatchee Bay. You will fish from the park and in the water to get a real feel for the techniques necessary to catch a fish in the Bay. The guide is well versed in fishing in the area and will share his diverse knowledge about the area and the fish that live there! Beginner or proficient fisherman/fisherwoman you will enjoy this class and definitely learn something new. You are encouraged to bring your own rod to further your own knowledge of your equipment, however there will be rods provided, as well as fishing lures. Please bring sunscreen, water, snacks, weather appropriate clothing, bug spray, and other amenities needed for your fishing style.

Space is limited to 12 participants. Minimum of 6.

Location: Meet at Kellogg Park. From South Walton Campus of Northwest Florida State College go north on 331, make a left on Chat Holley Road, drive about 2.25 miles and make a right on Nellie Drive, follow Nellie Drive to the Bay and you will see the park straight ahead.

Fee: $35

Discover Roads Less Traveled offers visitors and local residents extraordinary opportunities to explore, discover, and learn about the pristine natural resources that make Walton County unique. Descriptions of the tours being offered are available online at www.basinalliance.org by clicking the Eco Tours information box. Registration is available by phone at 850-200-4160. Click here to download reference # info: Summer 2015 ECOTOUR DESCRIPTIONS

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Stand up paddleboard sunset tours offered on Western Lake every Wednesday

greategretwesternlakeDates/time: Wednesdays, 4:30 – 7:30 p.m .

The Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge has partnered with Sunny Days Sports to offer stand up paddleboard eco-tours on one of South Walton’s coastal dune lakes. Western Lake in South Walton is a stunning backdrop for an eco tour adventure led by master naturalist, Jeff Ragland.

The paddleboard eco-tours will be offered each Wednesday from 4:30 – 7:30 p.m., beginning June 24. Tours are intended for groups of 2-8 guests and cost $89 per person. Reservations are required and include board rental, paddles, a guided tour of Western Lake, and snacks. Contact the ECWR at 850-650-1880 for more information, or call Sunny Days Sports at 850-231-1974 to sign up.

The Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that is supported by private contributions and donations since 1994. The ECWR receives no government funding, and depends on the generosity of donors, sponsorships, grants, and revenue of special events. For more information on the ECWR, or to learn of the many ways you can help support your local wildlife, please visit our website at www.ecwildliferefuge.com.

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Americana under the Stars every Thursday
at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park

luckymudTime: 7 – 8:30 p.m.
Starting with an open mic at 6:30 p.m. in the amphitheater/clubhouse Topsail presents an evening of music. Free admission into park and a suggested donation of $5 goes to the Friends of Topsail Hill. Bring a chair, your favorite beverage and enjoy some music in the park. This is family/ pet friendly and fun for all ages.
July 2nd– Tom Kimmel
July 4th– Lucky Mud, Tom Kimmel
July 9th– Clint Singleton
July 16th– Lucky Mud
July 23rd– Buddy Mondlock
July 30th– Sarah Mac Band

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

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Free movie night at Florida Farmers Market in Paxton

floridafarmersmarketFree Movies Fridays at Florida Farmers Market starting at 8 p.m. every Friday in July. July 3 – Turbo
July 10 – Penguins of Madagascar
July 17 – Paddington
July 24 – Annie
July 31 – Big Hero 6

Florida Farmers Market Cafe will stay open late. Come for dinner and stay to enjoy the free movie on our huge outdoor movie screen. Bring a blanket or chairs. Popcorn and snacks available for sale.

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Sunday evening free concerts at Gulf Place

gulfplaceGulf Place on 30A is hosting a summer concert series starting June 7. Each week will feature a different local or regional band, ranging in genres. Performances will be appropriate for attendees of all ages. Concerts are from 6-9 p.m. and are free and open to the public. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own chairs and blankets to enjoy the concert on the amphitheater lawn. The live entertainment acts subject to change.
July
July 5 – Dismal Creek
July 12 – Old Truck Bluegrass Band
July 19 – Red Idle Rejects
July 26 – Cadillac Willy
August
August 2 – Tony Vegas
August 9 – Neil Dover
August 16 – Fearless Heights

For more information on the concert series, go to www.gulfplacefl.com. Gulf Place is located in Santa Rosa Beach on the corner of Scenic Hwy. 30A and CR393.

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Explore the sights and sounds of nature at night in July

noniesarkeventuresDates/times: July 8, July 22 – 7:30 – 9 p.m.

The Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance (CBA), in partnership with Northwest Florida State College, announces the summer season of its popular eco-tourism initiative, Eco Adventures of Walton County.

Discover the sights and sounds of nature at night. Nonie’s Ark Animal Encounters will guide evening Eco-Adventures for the Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance this summer on Wednesdays. A minimum of five Eventurer’s are needed and a maximum of 25. We will meet at some of Walton County’s exceptional biodiverse habitats and explore for elusive creatures such as fox, owls, frogs and especially bats. All are invited but focus is on ages 4-10. Bring a flashlight or headlamp to light your way and come properly dressed for heat and ready to repel bugs. The tours will lead out of various locations throughout Walton County. Space is limited to 25. Minimum of 5 required.
Fee: $15
Location:
June 24, 2015 tour will be held at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park:
7525 W County Highway 30A, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459
Other dates locations to be announced.

Discover Roads Less Traveled offers visitors and local residents extraordinary opportunities to explore, discover, and learn about the pristine natural resources that make Walton County unique. Descriptions of the tours being offered are available online at www.basinalliance.org by clicking the Eco Tours information box. Registration is available by phone at 850-200-4160. Click here to download reference # info: Summer 2015 ECOTOUR DESCRIPTIONS

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Beginners fishing demonstration at Grayton Beach State Park July 1

fishing3Date/time Wednesday July 1st at 2 p.m.

Join our Park Ranger Evan for a beginners fishing demonstration. Learn about common baits, rigs, and tackle used in the local waters. Learn to identify common species found along the waters of Grayton Beach State Park. This is an all age program (adults must accompany any one under the age of 18). Participants will meet at the lakeside pavilion on the east end of the beach parking area. Appropriate clothing, closed toe shoes, drinking water is required. Insect repellant, sun screen, and hat is suggested. This program will take approximately 1 hour.

Directions: Grayton Beach State Park is located South of U.S. 98 approximately halfway between Panama City Beach and Destin. Take County Road 283 south of U.S. 98, turn left at the stop sign on 30A. Approximately a 1/4 mile east of the intersection of County Road 30A and County Road 283 the entrance is on the right.

Contact: (850) 267-8300 for more information. All programs are subject to change. Outside programs will be cancelled during severe weather/rain.

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Movie, food, and fun at Camp Helen State Park July 1

EDIT_FINAL_Camp Helen Movies_flierDate/time: July 1, 5:30 p.m.

Camp Helen State Park is offering a summer full of movies, food and fun with a series of family-oriented movies, interpretive programs, and old-fashioned campfire cookouts.

On Wednesday, July 1, “The Bee Movie” will be the featured film. In this film, new college graduate Barry B. Benson doesn’t like his career choice of making honey. On a special trip outside the hive, Barry’s life is saved by Vanessa, a human florist in New York City. (Rated PG). The interpretive program topic will be going on a bug hunt presented the University of Florida Extension Office.

The evening will start at 5:30 p.m. in the Recreation Hall with a brief interpretive program led by Florida Park Rangers or other experts. The program will be followed by a cookout including hotdogs and s’mores, provided by the Friends of Camp Helen. Each evening will end with a family movie in the Recreation Hall, where seating will be provided.

A parent or guardian must accompany children.

These special movie nights are sponsored by Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection, Camping World, and the Friends of Camp Helen State Park. Admission into the park is free, although donations are accepted. Donations will go directly to the Friends of Camp Helen State Park to benefit the park’s resource management projects and interpretive programs.

Driving Directions
Camp Helen is located at 23937 Panama City Beach Parkway, Panama City Beach, FL, just west of the Phillips Inlet bridge on the Bay County and Walton county line. The entrance is south of U.S. Hwy 98. ::MAP::

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Easy on 30A benefit concert July 3

Easy-On-30A-Logo_2014The 4th Annual Easy on 30A Benefit Concert will take place July 3rd, 2015 from 5:45 p.m. – 10 p.m. at WaterColor’s Marina Park, just off scenic highway 30A in Santa Rosa Beach. Performers will include Forrest Williams Band, The Rips and Geoff McBride. Fabulous raffle and silent auction items donated by local businesses will benefit Alaqua Animal Refuge, the Lighthouse Family Retreat, and the Muscogee Nation of Florida.

Admission is one can of non-perishable food to be dropped off at the donation box set up at the event entrance. This will be an outdoor event, so plan ahead to bring a blanket or chairs for seating. Coolers and picnics are welcomed. Food and beverages will also be available for purchase. Donations will be gladly accepted at the event and in advance to benefit all of the charities. Easy on 30A invites everyone to attend, enjoy the music and support these local charities.

Easy On 30A is presented by the WaterColor Homeowners Association, who graciously allows the use of Marina Park in WaterColor to bring this FREE concert to WaterColor owners, area residents and visitors to the 30A community. Easy On 30A works together with the WaterColor Community and WaterColor Resort to bring this fun charity event to fruition during one of the busiest weeks of the summer.

For more information about Easy on 30A, click here:  https://easyon30a.wordpress.com

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Independence Day celebrations in Walton County

seasidegirlsEnjoy parades, fireworks, concerts and more in north or south Walton County this 4th of July.

North Walton:

DeFuniak Springs

4:30 – 9:30 p.m.

Enjoy a 4th of July celebration along Lake Defuniak. Parade starts at 4:30 p.m., then an Air Force flyover along with fireworks after dark.

Cash prizes and trophies will be awarded to the best floats. For more information call 850-830-1661 or to sign up for the parade call 850-892-3950.

Freeport

6 p.m. – Fun and live music by Hunter Phelps at Nick’s Seafood Restaurant at Basin Bayou.

South Walton:

Seaside 4th of July parade along Scenic Hwy. 30A

8 a.m. – Join your friends and neighbors for the annual July 4th Parade down Scenic Highway 30A and concluding in Seaside with even more fun.

The parade begins in Seagrove Beach and travels down 30A, ending in Seaside. After the parade, stick around for the awards presentation, face painting and fun with 30A Radio.

Call (850) 231-6107 or visit www.seasidefl.com/highlights/ to register. Parade starts at Seagrove Plaza, 3723 Scenic Hwy. 30A.

Grayton Beach parade 

8 a.m. – A traditional July 4th parade in Grayton Beach. Line up at the Red Bar starts at 8 a.m., with the parade starting at 8:30 a.m. Decorate your vehicles. No registration required. The parade will end at Grayton Coast Properties for watermelon and lemonade.

Baytowne Wharf fun and fireworks

6 – 10 p.m. – The Village of Baytowne Wharf will have a host of kids activities, including crafts, face painting, lawn games and inflatables. Enjoy live music by Soul Track Mind and fireworks over the lagoon at 9:15 pm. Admission is free and open to the public. For more information, visit www.baytownewharf.com or call 850-267-8117.

Alys Beach concert and fireworks

6 – 9 p.m. – Celebrate the 4th of July at Alys Beach with live music by Compozitionz followed by fireworks. Piper’s will offer food and beverage. Free and open to the pubic.

Alys Beach Amphitheatre. Somerset Street Panama City Beach, FL 32413

Seaside – Pensacola Symphony and fireworks

7 p.m. – Pensacola Symphony Orchestra Pops performance followed by an unbelievable fireworks finale—an annual 4th of July Seaside tradition. Bring your own chair or blanket early, as space fills up quickly for this festive event.

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Camp Helen history tour July 4

camphelenhistorytourTime: 10 – 10:45 a.m.
The Department of Environmental Protection’s Camp Helen State Park invites you to their history walk at Camp Helen State Park. Come learn about the early history of the park and local area while wandering on a guided tour around Camp Helen’s restored historical buildings. The history walk takes place the first Saturday of each month.

Participation Requirements:
• Must have the ability to follow visual and/or verbal instruction independently or with the assistance of a companion.
• Must have the ability to withstand exposure to the outdoors for a period of 1- 2 hours.
• Must have the ability to traverse wet, sloped, and uneven terrain for .5 -1 miles, independently or with the assistance of a companion.

Fees: The tour is free with paid park admission fee of $4.00 per vehicle. Please use the honor box to pay fees. Correct change is required. Limit 8 people per vehicle.
$2.00 Pedestrians, bicyclists, extra passengers, passengers in vehicle with holder of Annual Individual Entrance Pass.
Contact: (850) 233-5059 ::MAP::

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Guided nature walk at Grayton Beach State Park July 9

graytonbeachstateparkduneDate/time: Wednesday July 8th at 3 p.m.

Park Ranger Charlie will be leading a guided nature walk along the parks dune nature trail. Come learn about coastal dune lakes, the flora and fauna that call the dunes home, and see the most photographed spot on 30-A. Participants will meet at the lakeside pavilion on the east end of the beach parking area. Appropriate clothing, closed toe shoes, drinking water is required. Insect repellant, sun screen, and hat is suggested. This program will take approximately 1 hour.

Directions: Grayton Beach State Park is located South of U.S. 98 approximately halfway between Panama City Beach and Destin. Take County Road 283 south of U.S. 98, turn left at the stop sign on 30A. Approximately a 1/4 mile east of the intersection of County Road 30A and County Road 283 the entrance is on the right.

Contact: (850) 267-8300 for more information. All programs are subject to change. Outside programs will be cancelled during severe weather/rain.

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Learn about black bears at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park July 10

bearDate/time: Friday July 10th, 1- 2:30 p.m.

Topsail Hill Preserve State Park invites you to an informational program on the Florida Black Bear. This program will cover the basics of the bear’s life in Florida, such as life span, denning habits, eating habits, and much more. This will be an all ages program and will take place in the clubhouse. Enter the park through the main gate and park staff will direct you to the clubhouse.

Admission into the park is free until Labor Day. Please stop by the ranger station for more details. Outside tours canceled during severe weather.

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

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Breakfast with a ranger at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park July 11ranger

Date/time: Saturday July 11th, 2015, 9 – 10 a.m.

Topsail Hill Preserve State Park invites you and your family to Breakfast with a Ranger. Join the Rangers of Topsail Hill to learn about the park, its history and to ask them all the questions you can think of about the park its wildlife and anything in between. This program is ideal for the whole family to enjoy. To cover the cost of food, please bring $5.00, which goes to Friends of Topsail Hill Preserve State Park to enhance the park or bring your own breakfast. Enter the park through the main gate and park staff will direct you to the clubhouse.

Admission into the park is free until Labor Day. Please stop by the ranger station for more details. Outside tours canceled during severe weather.

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

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Learn about sea turtles at Grayton Beach State Park July 15

seaturtle2Date/time: Wednesday July 15th at 3 p.m.

Ranger J.D. will be giving an interpretive program on sea turtles that nest on the beach of Grayton Beach State Park. Participants will meet at the Lakeside Pavilion on the east end of the Grayton Beach State Park beach parking area. This program will take approximately 1 hour.

Directions: Grayton Beach State Park is located South of U.S. 98 approximately halfway between Panama City Beach and Destin. Take County Road 283 south of U.S. 98, turn left at the stop sign on 30A. Approximately a 1/4 mile east of the intersection of County Road 30A and County Road 283 the entrance is on the right.

Contact: (850) 267-8300 for more information. All programs are subject to change. Outside programs will be cancelled during severe weather/rain.

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Movie, food, and fun at Camp Helen State Park July 15

EDIT_FINAL_Camp Helen Movies_flierDate/time: July 15, 5:30 p.m.

Camp Helen State Park is offering a summer full of movies, food and fun with a series of family-oriented movies, interpretive programs, and old-fashioned campfire cookouts.

On Wednesday, July 15, the film “Rio” will be featured. This film introduces Blu, a domesticated macaw from small-town Minnesota who goes to Rio de Janeiro to mate with the free spirited blue macaw Jewel. After they fall in love, they face being smuggled by a cockatoo. (Rated G). The interpretive program topic will be on shorebirds presented by the Audubon Society.

The evening will start at 5:30 p.m. in the Recreation Hall with a brief interpretive program led by Florida Park Rangers or other experts. The program will be followed by a cookout including hotdogs and s’mores, provided by the Friends of Camp Helen. Each evening will end with a family movie in the Recreation Hall, where seating will be provided.

A parent or guardian must accompany children.

These special movie nights are sponsored by Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection, Camping World, and the Friends of Camp Helen State Park. Admission into the park is free, although donations are accepted. Donations will go directly to the Friends of Camp Helen State Park to benefit the park’s resource management projects and interpretive programs.

Driving Directions
Camp Helen is located at 23937 Panama City Beach Parkway, Panama City Beach, FL, just west of the Phillips Inlet bridge on the Bay County and Walton county line. The entrance is south of U.S. Hwy 98. ::MAP::

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Learn about invasive plants at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park July 17

chinesetallowDate/time: Friday July 17th, 1 – 2:30 p.m.

Come learn about our non-native visitors. You may have some right in your own backyard. This program will teach you how to identify and get rid of plants that do not belong. Lots of time and money are spent on eradication of these plants, find out how you can help. Enter the park through the main gate and park staff will direct you to the clubhouse.

Admission into the Park is Free until Labor Day. Please stop by the ranger station for more details. Outside tours canceled during severe weather.

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

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Pleasant Ridge Arena hosts Neigh and Bray fun show July 18

Pleasant Ridge Arena in DeFuniak Springs is hosting a Neigh and Bray Fun Show. Sponsored by owners Diana and Rex Brannon, young children will enjoy stick races, and lead line while the more seasoned riders will compete in pole bending, barrel racing Western and English pleasure and more. There is a class for everyone and every breed. The Neigh and Bray show is held the third Saturday of every month. To find out more, go to their website at pleasantridgearena.com. Phone: (850) 892-5398. Show starts at 4 p.m. and is free for spectators.

Location: Pleasant Ridge Arena is located at 1917 Pleasant Ridge Road in DeFuniak Springs.

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Learn about animals and tracks at Grayton Beach State Park July 22

raccoontracksmDate/time: Wednesday July 22nd at 2 p.m.

Join Park Ranger Chad for “Whose been walking in the forest.” Learn about the different animal tracks found in the park and the animals that they belong to. Participants will be able to make a plaster mold of some of the animal tracks. This is a fun program for the entire family.

Sunscreen, drinking water, appropriate clothing, and hat are suggested. This program will take approximately 1 hour.

Directions: Grayton Beach State Park is located South of U.S. 98 approximately halfway between Panama City Beach and Destin. Take County Road 283 south of U.S. 98, turn left at the stop sign on 30A. Approximately a 1/4 mile east of the intersection of County Road 30A and County Road 283 the entrance is on the right.

Contact: (850) 267-8300 for more information. All programs are subject to change. Outside programs will be cancelled during severe weather/rain.

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Guided coastal dune lake tour July 24

westernlakeTime: 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

This educational tour will introduce participants to the Jewels of 30A – the coastal dune lakes of Walton County, Florida. Coastal dune lakes are extremely rare ecosystems, which exist in just a few places around the world. They are primarily freshwater systems that sit along the coastline. But here in South Walton, the lakes periodically break through the beach and connect to the Gulf of Mexico. A saltwater exchange occurs, which supports an incredible biological community.

Our tour of the coastal dune lakes will follow Scenic Highway 30A. We will make several stops along the way, visiting three to five coastal dune lakes. We will explore the unique character of the different lakes as we discuss ecology, water quality, and human impacts. We will enjoy photographic vistas, take a short hike within the dune system, and stop for a picnic lunch in one of the local state parks.

Participants should plan for easy to moderate short hiking, getting in and out of vans and/or bus, and being outside in the sunny and possibly windy conditions associated with coastal areas. Bring a camera and /or binoculars if you like. We suggest a hat, water bottle, sunglasses, sunscreen, and layered weather-appropriate clothing, including rain gear if needed. Tours will go on, rain or shine; stops may be adjusted according to weather conditions to suit the comfort of the participants. Lunch will be provided.
Space is limited to 30 participants. Minimum of 5 required.
Location: Meet at South Walton Center of Northwest Florida State College, 109 Greenway Trail, Santa Rosa Beach. Participants will ride as a group in a van to all of the stops.
Fee: $45

Discover Roads Less Traveled offers visitors and local residents extraordinary opportunities to explore, discover, and learn about the pristine natural resources that make Walton County unique. Descriptions of the tours being offered are available online at www.basinalliance.org by clicking the Eco Tours information box. Registration is available by phone at 850-200-4160.

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Marine Camp offered at Camp Timpoochee July 20 – 24

timpoocheeAre you interested in learning about marine life, going fishing, or exploring the underwater world with a mask and snorkel? If so, this is the camp for you.

Separated from the Destin beaches by the Choctawatchee Bay, Camp Timpoochee 4-H Center, (located in Niceville, Florida) allows campers first hand experience with Florida’s marine environment from above and below the waterline. Timpoochee’s marine lab is equipped with large aquariums supporting life from both fresh and saltwater habitats.

Sport fishing sessions will help youth learn about local fish and how to catch them. This week is full of learning and other fun activities such as snorkeling, swimming, recreational games, campfires, camp dance, evening activities and more. Marine education activities will be lead by specialists with the University of Florida’s Sea Grant Program and State 4-H Staff, making this week an exciting Outdoor Ed-Venture.

A daily snack from the canteen and a summer camp t-shirt are included in the camp fees, along with three nutritious meals per day prepared on site by our certified food safety staff. All cabins are air-conditioned.

Campers must be between the ages of 8-13. (Campers must have turned at least 8 by September 1, 2014.)

To register go to http://florida4h.org/camps_/specialty-camps/marine/

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Guided hike to No Name Lake at Topsail Hill Preserve State park July 24

nonamelaketopsail2Date/time: Friday July 24th, 2015, 1 – 2:30 p.m.

Topsail Hill Preserve State Park Rangers will lead you through the various ecosystems that make this park unique. This hike will lead you to one of the lakes in the park, No Name Lake. Be sure to bring your binoculars, sunscreen, and water. The hike will leave from Tram Stop 1 in the day use parking area.

Admission into the park is free until Labor Day. Please stop by the ranger station for more details. Outside tours canceled during severe weather.

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

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Nick’s Kids Catfish Tournament July 25, 2015

kidscatfish1smJoin in on the fun as Treylermade Tournaments hosts their 5th Annual Kids Catfish Tournament on Saturday, July 25, 2015. Entry fee is $50 per angler with proceeds to benefit the Backpacks of Love Foundation and Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance. All anglers must register at Nick’s Seafood at Basin Bayou by 7 p.m. on Fri., July 24. Download flyer and registration form: Catfish Tournament Rules.Entry.Flyer 2015

Rules- Kids age of 12 years or under, Four (4) catfish limit saltwater species. Fishing in the Choctawhatchee Bay or estuaries thereof. Fish may be caught in a boat, on a dock, or from the shoreline. Adults may assist kids with handling fish but may not reel fish in for them. (Baiting and Casting and use of landing net only). Live or artificial bait, rod and reel only, no jugs, cast nets, or noodling. Note: Catfish have three spines use caution when handling these fish. (Cut the line when the fish is in the boat, hooks are cheap.)

**FISH MUST BE CAUGHT IN CHOCTAWHATCHEE BAY NORTH OF THE DESTIN BRIDGE.

CRAB ISLAND AND DESTIN HARBOR AREAS ARE OFF-LIMITS. VIOLATING THIS RULE WILL RESULT IN DISQUALIFICATION FROM THE TOURNAMENT**

Scoring: Heaviest weight for a single fish, and a combined weight of 3 Catfish (saltwater species).

Entry Fee: $50 per angler-Proceeds to benefit the Backpacks of Love Foundation and the Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance (CBA).

GRAND PRIZE: A brand new boat by TRACKER MARINE!

Hardhead Division -Total weight of three Hardhead Catfish.

Grand Prize: New Boat by Tracker Marine; 2nd – 5th place, prizes and medals.

Sailcat Division -Single heaviest Sailcat.

1st – $300 2nd – $200 3rd – $100; 4th & 5th place will be recognized.

Starting Point: Anglers may start from their desired location in waters on or adjacent to the Choctawhatchee Bay in Okaloosa and Walton Counties. Tournament starts at safe daylight on Saturday July 25th.

Weigh-in time: 4:00-5:00 PM. Scale will open at 4:00 and close at 5:00 PM. Contestants must be checked in with a tournament official by 5:00 to have their catfish scored. Weigh in will be at Nick’s Seafood Restaurant 7585 Hwy 20 West Freeport, FL 32439. 850-835-2222 or 850-830-6161.

**All fisher kids must be registered by 7:00 pm Friday, July 24th**.

kidscatfish6smMullet Toss for all ages will be held following the weigh-in.

**The Backpacks of Love program is designed to support and help children in need at Freeport Elementary School and other regions of Walton County. Each week, Backpacks of Love helps children dealing with hunger by providing them with a bag of non-perishable and kid-friendly food.

***The Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance is a local non-profit waterway organization that promotes the health and sustainability of the Choctawhatchee Bay Estuary. Their mission is to instill in youth, as well as adults, stewardship practices that will ensure the future of this valuable resource, so that it can be enjoyed by generations to come.

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Learn to cast a net at Grayton Beach State Park July 29

castnetfisherman_01Date/time: Wednesday, July 29th at 2:00 p.m.

Join Ranger Rooster for a cast net fishing demonstration. Experience how to properly throw a cast net and learn what fish can be caught using the cast net. Participants will meet at the boat ramp parking area. Sunscreen, drinking water, appropriate clothing, and hat are suggested. This program will take approximately 1 hour.

Directions: Grayton Beach State Park is located South of U.S. 98 approximately halfway between Panama City Beach and Destin. Take County Road 283 south of U.S. 98, turn left at the stop sign on 30A. Approximately a 1/4 mile east of the intersection of County Road 30A and County Road 283 the entrance is on the right.

Contact: (850) 267-8300 for more information. All programs are subject to change. Outside programs will be cancelled during severe weather/rain.

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Movie, food, and fun at Camp Helen State Park July 29

EDIT_FINAL_Camp Helen Movies_flierDate/time: July 29, 5:30 p.m.

Camp Helen State Park is offering a summer full of movies, food and fun with a series of family-oriented movies, interpretive programs, and old-fashioned campfire cookouts.

On Wednesday, July 29, “The Princess and the Frog” will be the last film shown in the 2015 series. This movie involves a hard working waitress Tiana, who dreams of owning her own restaurant. After kissing a prince who’s been turned into a frog by an evil witch doctor, Tiana becomes a frog herself. (Rated G). The interpretive program topic will be on frogs.

The evening will start at 5:30 p.m. in the Recreation Hall with a brief interpretive program led by Florida Park Rangers or other experts. The program will be followed by a cookout including hotdogs and s’mores, provided by the Friends of Camp Helen. Each evening will end with a family movie in the Recreation Hall, where seating will be provided.

A parent or guardian must accompany children.

These special movie nights are sponsored by Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection, Camping World, and the Friends of Camp Helen State Park. Admission into the park is free, although donations are accepted. Donations will go directly to the Friends of Camp Helen State Park to benefit the park’s resource management projects and interpretive programs.

Driving Directions
Camp Helen is located at 23937 Panama City Beach Parkway, Panama City Beach, FL, just west of the Phillips Inlet bridge on the Bay County and Walton county line. The entrance is south of U.S. Hwy 98. ::MAP::

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Learn how to surf fish at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park July 31

surffishingDate/time: Friday July 31st, 2015, 1 – 2:30 p.m.

Surf fishing is a popular sport along the beaches of Topsail Hill. This program will teach you what types of bait will work, what times of year certain fish can be caught, and common fish you can catch from the beach. Fishing gear is optional, the park has fishing gear. This program will take place at the Beach Access, park in the Day Use parking area and catch the 1:00pm Tram to the beach. The program will take place once the 1:00pm Tram arrives at the beach. Enter the park through the main gate and park staff will direct you to the tram stop.

Admission into the park is free until Labor Day. Please stop by the ranger station for more details. Outside tours canceled during severe weather.

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

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