florida state parks

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Enjoy a guided First Day Hike at an area Florida State Park Jan. 1

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...

Florida State Parks offering free admission Nov. 11

Florida State Parks will be offering free admission at Florida’s 174 state parks for all families and visitors Nov. 11, Veterans Day, in recognition of all those who have served and are currently serving in our U.S. military. Year-round, Florida’s state parks offer special deals on Annual Entrance Passes to those who currently serve or have served in the U.S. military branches, veterans with service related disabilities and surviving spouses of members of the U.S. military who have fallen in...

Haunted carnival at Rocky Bayou State Park Oct. 29

Date/time: Sat., Oct. 29, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Join the Fred Gannon Rocky Bayou State Park staff and volunteers on Friday, October 29th, 2016 for a Haunted Carnival hosted by The Friends of the Emerald Coast State Parks. The Carnival will feature 12 booths featuring face painting, ring toss, balloon darts, and many other games. The Haunted Carnival will be from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. The Haunted Carnival is known to inhabit ghosts, spiders, wolves, and spooky sights....

Choctawhatchee Beach mouse hike at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park Sept. 22

Date/Time: Thurs., Sept. 22 – 9 – 10 a.m. Topsail Hill Preserve State Park invites you to enjoy an informational program about one of the imperiled species we share the park with. Beach mice inhabit coastal dunes in the panhandle and along the Atlantic coast of Florida. Development of coastal areas has caused a loss of habitat for beach mice and other plants and animals that live in the dunes. Due to this loss of habitat, five of the six...

Rock the Falls music and craft festival at Falling Waters State Park Oct. 1

Date/time: Sat., Oct. 1, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. Falling Waters State Park and the Washington County Tourist Development Council are proud to present Rock the Falls Music Festival and Craft Show. Live music will be played by award winning recording artists along with crafters and artist all set to the backdrop of what has been called the most amazing geological feature in Florida. Some of the crafters will include woodworkers, soap makers, glassworks, ceramics, jewelry, custom knives and much...

Picnic in the park at Ponce de Leon Springs State Park Sept. 10

Cool off and enjoy a great picnic on Saturday, Sept. 10 at Ponce de Leon Springs State Park. Enjoy free hotdogs, hamburgers, games and swimming with food starting at 11 a.m. Help keep our youth drug and crime free. Sponsored by Teen Court, Ponce de Leon High School, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, and Holmes County District School Board. Driving Directions:Ponce de Leon Springs State Park Area is located one half mile south of U.S. 90 on C.R. 181A in...

Plant communities hike at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park Sept. 9

Date/time: Fri., Sept. 9 – 10 a.m. – 12 Noon Topsail Hill Preserve State Park invites you to enjoy an informational plant community hike. Visitors will learn about some of the plant species here at the park. Some of these plants are truly invasive and carry with them, few, if any, of the natural controls that keep them in check in their native ranges, while some are imperiled and others can be used for medicinal purposes. The topics for the...

Learn about pollinators at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park Aug. 18

Date/time: August 18th, 9-10 a.m. Topsail Hill Preserve State park invites you to enjoy and informational program about one of the most important species in the world, the common honey bee. More than 25,000 species of bees have been identified around the world, with 3,500 within the continental U.S. Of all these species, only 8 to 10 of them known todays are as “honey bees”. Without pollinators like the honey bee, there would be no fruit, no flowers and no...

Co-existing with Florida’s beach-nesting birds

Be watchful and respectful of all nesting wildlife, it’s a matter of survival While we all enjoy the beautiful beaches of Northwest Florida, it is important to remember that we share the beach with nesting shorebirds. While you are at the beach, please remember to be respectful of wildlife. Their survival depends on you! Frequent disturbances of birds on the beach, especially disturbances that cause birds to take flight, may threaten their survival. Many species of Florida’s water birds, including...

Choctawhatchee Estuary Family Festival at Rocky Bayou State Park April 23

The 9th Annual Choctawhatchee Estuary Family Festival, a free family and community event for all ages, will be held Saturday, April 23 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Fred Gannon Rocky Bayou State Park, located at 4281 Highway 20 East in Niceville. There is no park entrance fee for the festival offering fun activities, hand-on displays and environmental awareness. The event is hosted by the Mattie M. Kelly Cultural & Environmental Institute at Northwest Florida State College, with support...