Longleaf Pine Chapter of Florida Native Plant Society hosting area nature tour Sept. 29

September 24, 2012

Morrison Springs is one of the stops along the nature tour. Lori Ceier/Walton Outdoors

Explore nature in Okaloosa and Walton County

The Longleaf Pine Chapter of Florida Native Plant Society will be hosting a Northwest Florida area field trip on Sept. 29, 2012. Explorations include Turkey Creek Park in Niceville, east through Walton County.

Bring your own lunch and beverages for the day. Hat, boots, insect repellent, binoculars, camera, field guides recommended. The trip starts at Turkey Creek in Niceville at 9 a.m.

• Turkey Creek Boardwalk Nature Trail in Niceville. There is a very interesting 3/4 mile boardwalk along Turkey Creek. There is a new boardwalk that goes out in the saltmarsh along the bay. Professor James Burkhalter, premier field botanist and Curator of the UWF Herbarium, will lead this walk.

• Jackson Guard Visitor Center is around the corner on Hwy. 85.There is a museum and recreational permits for the upcoming year for Eglin Air Force Base may be purchased here.

• Drive east on Hwy. 20 four miles past Freeport to the E.O.Wilson Biophilia Nature Center on Nokuse Plantation. Excellent nature museum. Program “Smokey the Bear” will be presented at 1 pm. This is a program is on forest fires and controlled burns. Admission is $5/adult.

• Visit Lafayette Creek WMA north of Hwy 20  at J.W.Hollington Rd. The Florida Trail passes through this area. There are many steepheads in this area. Walking will be limited to the vicinity of the cars.

• Travel north on Hwy. 81 and visit sites on the west bank of the Choctawhatchee River. Plans are to visit Dead River Landing, Tilley Landing, Morrison Springs (restroom), Cow Lake Landing, and new Cedar Log Lake Landing. Walking will be limited to the vicinity of the cars. The Choctawhatchee River is the reputed habitat of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker, the rarest bird in the United States. Have your cameras ready since there is a very large reward for a picture of a living Ivorybill.

• Dinner at McLane’s Family Steak House in DeFuniak Springs near the Interstate 10 exit.

For more information, contact Leland Leonard at (850) 476-4616