Topsail Hill Preserve State Park
Time: 9 – 11:30 am or 2 – 3:30 p.m.
Join Topsail Hill Preserve State Park for a First Day Hike on January 1, 2018 from 9 – 11:30 am or 2 – 3:30 p.m. Enjoy the first day of the New Year leisurely exploring the park with a Ranger to learn about the park and its wildlife.
Participants attending at 9:00a.m. will enjoy a longer four mile round trip hike. Those coming at 2 p.m. will enjoy an easier mile and a half walk. Both trails are relatively flat with roots, rock and dirt. To enjoy the First Day Hike to the fullest, wear weather appropriate clothing and closed toed shoes. Bring water bottle, hat and sunscreen. Please check in at the Ranger Station for starting location. Program is free with regular park admission.
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::
Admission Fees – $6.00 per vehicle (up to 8 people).
Grayton Beach State Park
Time: 10 a.m.
Join Park Ranger Slade as he leads the First Hike of the Year! This year’s First Day Hike is 2.5 Miles and moderate in difficulty. Speed of the Hike will be slow to moderate. Group will be encouraged to stay together. Parking will be located on the North side of 30A, across from Grayton Beach State Park Entrance at the New Flatwoods Trail Parking.
Program is free with regular park entrance fee.
Grayton Beach State Park is located in Walton County, South of U.S. 98 off of Scenic Road 30A. Take county road 283 south from U.S. 98, turn left at the stop sign on 30A (approximately 1/4 mile east of the intersection of C.R. 30A and C.R. 283 the main entrance is on the right). ::MAP::
Admission Fee $5.00 per vehicle (2-8 people per vehicle) $4.00 single occupant vehicle
Pedestrians, bicyclists, extra passengers, passengers in vehicles with holder of Annual Individual Entrance Permit – Admission fee $2.00
Pets are welcome. Pet sanitary bags are required. Bring water for your pet as well as yourself. Pet must be on a leash at all times and under owners control.
Camp Helen State Park
Time: 9 – 10:30 a.m.
Start the New Year by joining Camp Helen State Park for a First Day Hike on January 1, 2018 from 9:00a.m. – 10:30a.m. Come and enjoy the park on a Ranger guided tour to learn about the park and its wildlife. Participants will take a 1.5 mile round trip hike along the parks Oak Canopy Trail and arrive at the beautiful Gulf of Mexico. The trail is moderate level but relatively flat with roots, rock, dirt and beach dunes. To make sure your experience is even more enjoyable wear weather appropriate attire and closed toed shoes. Bring water, sunscreen and hat. Please check in at the ranger station for starting location.
Program is free with regular park admission. For more information call (850) 233-5059.
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::
There is an honor entrance station. The fee is $4.00 per vehicle and $1.00 per bicyclist or pedestrian.
Ponce de Leon Springs State Park
Time: 8 a.m.
Ponce de Leon Springs State Park invites you to be among the first hikers along a proposed (unnamed) trail on January 1, 2018 at 8 a.m. as part of the national First Day Hikes program.
Participants will meet at the parking area behind the ranger station, 2860 Ponce de Leon Springs Rd, Ponce de Leon, FL. From there all participants will use their own vehicles to travel to another portion of the park property where they will park and begin the hike.
This is a moderate hike, 1.4 miles long and expected to take about an hour to complete. Sections may be wet or submerged depending on seasonal conditions.
All ages welcome. Pets are also invited, but must abide by park pet regulations.
Trails are along existing forest service roads, and as such are fairly level. Wheeled mobility aids may have difficulty traversing sections of the trail unless designed for off hard surface use. It is mostly wide paths with a mixture of mowed grass and sandy/packed dirt areas, but may have branches, briars or other small obstructions so closed toe shoes are advised. Also, the trail crosses two low water areas, while they are currently dry, they may be a few feet wide and several inches of running water after heavy rains.
Bring what you’d normally take on a hike of this duration, such as a bottle of water, a snack, bug spray, etc. Weather appropriate clothing is suggested.
With this being a proposed trail, we’ll be inviting the participants to make suggestions and recommendations as to what markers, structures (such as locations for benches and trash cans), and informational signage they’d like to see along the path. So please bring your hiking experiences with you to share.
Park entrance fees are waived for participants.
Driving Directions: Ponce de Leon Springs State Park Area is located one half mile south of U.S. 90 on C.R. 181A in Ponce de Leon, Fla. Click here for map
Ponce de Leon Springs State Park, 2860 Ponce de Leon Springs Road, Ponce de Leon, Florida 32455
Fred Gannon Rocky Bayou State Park
Time: 10 a.m.
Join a Park Ranger on Friday January 1st, 2018 for a first day of the year hike. This will be a one half mile hike down the Red Cedar nature trail. There will be many plants and critters to see along the way.
Osprey and bald eagles are known to nest within the area. Osprey in particular are often sighted by campers, and locals.
Please wear long pants and closed toed shoes. We recommend using sunscreen, bug spray, and bringing water for hydration.
Park admission fees are waived for participants. Fred Gannon Rocky Bayou State Park is located at 4281 S.R. 20, Niceville, FL. For more information, call (850) 833-9144.