Enjoy a leisurely hike or bike along the Cassine Trail in South Walton

November 30, 2018

Forest trail a leisurely, picturesque hike

Cypress swamp along the trail. Lori Ceier/Walton Outdoors

Located within the Point Washington State Forest and part of its Eastern Lake Trail System, Cassine Gardens trail offers a pleasant, easy hike showcasing the diversity of Northwest Florida’s ecosystems.

The majority of this pleasant, easy hike consists of basin swamps/titi drains and wet flatwoods. Most colorful in spring and fall for the variety of wildflowers it hosts, you can enjoy this year round for its diversity and shady walk. Midway through the hike at the turn around, the trail winds past the northwest portion of Eastern Lake. This spot offers a stellar view of one of the area’s rare coastal dune lakes. This location is also the connector to other legs of the trail system. Click here for entire Eastern Lake trail map.

Trees and plants along the trail include Florida anise, southern magnolia, pond cypress, titi, red maple, pines, scrub oak, hickory, short-leaved rosemary, minty (wild) rosemary, fetterbush, saw palmetto, spiderwort, prickly pear cactus to name a few; along with a variety of ferns, mosses and lichen as well.

The trail is an easy to moderate level hike. With portions of the trail located in wetlands, the trail may be muddy at times.

Fetterbush blooms in the spring. Lori Ceier/Walton Outdoors

Access to the Cassine trailhead is located within the privately owned Cassine Gardens subdivision. Cassine Gardens is located 1.5 miles east of CR395 on Scenic Hwy. 30A in the Seagrove area of Santa Rosa Beach in South Walton County. The trailhead is at the end of Cypress St.
Another access is available across the street from CLAY Nursery a bit further east on Scenic Hwy. 30A. Primitive camping is also available within the Point Washington State Forest. Click here to learn more.

To learn more about the trails in the Point Washington State Forest, click here

    1. This is one of my favorite local hikes. It has historical significance, too. This is how the Wesleys came down from their home at Pt. Washington, now The Wesley House and Eden Gardens State Park, to the beach at Eastern Lake. There was an old bridge that you can still see posts on the north end of the lake. Picnic bench is nearby. The sand road from Eden came to Eastern Lake, they crossed the bridge, then proceded to their homestead on Eastern Lake. William H. and Katie Wesley homesteaded 160 acres on the West side of Eastern Lake. The homestead land grant was in 1903. A plat was produced for the neighborhood, Eastern Lake Estates in 1939. Brenda Rees – Shaping Florida

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