Guided First Day hike at a northwest Florida State Park

December 12, 2016

When:
January 1, 2017 @ 9:00 am – 1:00 pm
2017-01-01T09:00:00-06:00
2017-01-01T13:00:00-06:00

Head outdoors for a ranger-guided hike at the First Day Hikes tradition at Florida State Parks on Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017.

Here is a list of hikes across northwest Florida:

Topsail Hill Preserve State Park

Time: 9 – 11:30 a.m.

Topsail Hill Preserve State Park invites you to join us for a pet and family friendly Ranger Led First Day Hike!  This hike will take place on the north side of the Turpentine Trail, on this trail participants will learn about the park, its wildlife, and the turpentine industry that thrived here in the late 1800’s.  Enter the park through the main gate and park staff will direct you to tram stop 2.

In order to participate in this program, one:

  • Must have the ability to follow verbal and/or visual direction independently or with the assistance of a companion.
  • Must have the ability to withstand exposure to the outdoors for a period of 1.5 hours.
  • Must have the ability to navigate wet, sloped and uneven terrain for one mile, independently or with the assistance of a companion, or with the use of adaptive equipment.

Standard park admission fees apply, however there are no additional fees for the program.

A $6.00 entry admission per vehicle into the park. 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::

Grayton Beach State Park

Time: 9 – 11 a.m.

Join a Park Ranger for a 3 mile hike on the Flatwoods Trail in the beautiful Grayton Beach State Park. First Day Hikes offer a great way to get outside, exercise, enjoy nature and welcome the New Year with friends and family. Participants should bring water, sunscreen, and insect repellant. This is a pet friendly hike. Pets must be well behaved and on a leash at all times.

Participation requirements:
In order to participate in this program, one:
· 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 1- 3 miles, independently or with the assistance of a companion.

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::

Park Fees:
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

Camp Helen State Park

Time: 9 – 10:30 a.m.

Camp Helen State Park will be hosting America’s State Parks First Day Hike on January 1, 2017.  Join the staff as they take a 3/4 of mile hike on the Oak Canopy Trail which winds through a dense canopy of maritime hammock overlooking a salt marsh. The hike is moderate in difficulty.

Participant Requirements:

Camp Helen State Park is located west of Panama City Beach on U.S. 98 at the west end of Phillips Inlet bridge, just inside of Bay County. The entrance is south of U.S. Hwy 98 and approximately six miles west of State Road 79.  23937 Panama City Beach Parkway, PCB, FL 32413.

Meeting point will be at the visitor center. Please arrive no later than 8:50 a.m. Don’t forget to wear comfortable shoes and bring a water bottle, bug spray, and sunscreen.

Event is free with paid park admission.

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::

Park Fees
There is an honor entrance station. The fee is $4.00 per vehicle and $1.00 per bicyclist or pedestrian. Click here for park website.

St. Andrews State Park

Time 9 – 11 a.m.

Start the New Year off right by joining a Ranger for a hike on the Heron Pond Trail. Participants will take a .6 mile hike through the grasslands and flat woods along scenic Grand Lagoon.

The program will begin at the picnic area next to the boat ramp. Please wear weather appropriate clothing and shoes. It is also recommended to bring water, sunscreen, and bug spray.

In order to participate in this program, one:

  • Must have the ability to follow verbal and/or visual direction independently or with the assistance of a companion.
  • Must have the ability to withstand exposure to the outdoors for a period of 1 hour.
  • Must have the ability to navigate wet, sloped and uneven terrain for one mile, independently or with the assistance of a companion, or with the use of adaptive equipment.

4607 State Park Lane, Panama City, Florida 32408
(850) 233-5140

Hours: The park is open from 8 a.m. until sundown 365 days a year.
Admission Fee:
$8.00 per vehicle. Limit 2-8 people per vehicle.
$4.00 Single occupant vehicle.

To learn more about St. Andrews State Park: click here
::MAP::

Ponce de Leon Springs State Park

Time: 9 – 11 a.m.

Seeing the unseen, identifying elusive wildlife

Join park ranger Fred Provost on January 1, 2017 at 9:00 am for a New Year’s Day hike.  The ranger will share with you tips and tricks on how to spot wildlife in our state parks, even when the animals don’t make an appearance.  This is going to be an easy to moderate hike, less than a mile long, on mixed surface trails.  There will be lots of stops to go over interpretive materials and is designed for participants of all ages.  We will be meeting at the Ponce de Leon Springs parking lot, and will hike from there.  Bring closed toe shoes, and weather appropriate clothing.  Entry fees are required.

In order to participate in this program, one:

  • Must have the ability to follow verbal and/or visual direction independently or with the assistance of a companion.
  • Must have the ability to withstand exposure to the outdoors for a period of 1 hour.
  • Must have the ability to navigate wet, sloped and uneven terrain for one mile, independently or with the assistance of a companion, or with the use of adaptive equipment.

Contact the park at 850-836-4281 for more information

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, FL. ::MAP::

Park Fees
$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.

Ponce de Leon Springs State Park
2860 Ponce de Leon Springs Road
Ponce de Leon, Florida 32455
Phone: 850-836-4281
For more information, click here for the park’s website.

Florida Caverns State Park

Time: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Florida Caverns State Park offers a little something for everyone’s New Year resolutions this year.  If your resolution includes:  getting out more, exercising, enjoying more time with the family or submerging one’s self in nature, Florida Caverns has just the thing!  Join a Ranger in celebrating the New Year with a visit to the Forest.

10 a.m. – The First Day Hike

The First Day Hike participants will enjoy a scenic trip along the Flood Plain Bluff trail as a Park Ranger interprets the Upland Hardwood Forest and the Karst topography that runs along the Chipola Flood Plains.  This hike is moderately strenuous and will require you to walk up and down hill along a limestone rock trail.

2 p.m. – The First Day Stroll

The First Day Stroll offers nature lovers the opportunity to stroll through nature with a Park Ranger. This stroll presents park visitors the opportunity to meander through the unique scenery of this upland hardwood forest, along a sidewalk and gravel trail without the strenuous terrain.

Meet to register for Ranger led activities at Florida Caverns Gift Shop Space is limited.
In order to participate in this program, one:

  • Must have the ability to traverse 100 feet of walkway independently or with the assistance of a companion.
  • 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 up to 2 hours.
  • Must have the ability to traverse up to a ½ mile of trails or pavement independently or with the assistance of a companion.

The park is located three miles north of Marianna on State Road 166, at 3345 Caverns Road, Marianna, FL 32446. Tel: (850) 482-1228. ::MAP::

Fred Gannon Rocky Bayou State Park

Time: 10 – 11 a.m.

Want a great way to start off the new year?  Come join a park ranger for our First Day Hike!  We will be hiking the Red Cedar nature trail which is one-half of a mile.  Ospreys, Hawks, lizards, and song birds can be seen on this trail.  Please wear close toed shoes, long pants, bug spray, and sunscreen.  Start the New Year off in the real Florida!

  • 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 up to 1 hour.
  • Must have the ability to traverse up to a ½ mile of trails or pavement independently or with the assistance of a companion.

For more information about Fred Gannon Rocky Bayou State Park call 850-833-9144 or click here for their website.
Hours of Operation
8:00 a.m. to sunset

4281 S.R.20 , Niceville, FL, FL 32578

::MAP::

Park Fees
Admission Fees $4.00 per vehicle (2-8 people) and $3.00 per vehicle (single occupant).
Pedestrians, Bicyclists, extra Passengers, Passengers in vehicles with holder of Annual Individual Entrance Permit Admission Fee $1.00.