Several northwest Florida State Parks are celebrating the new year with guided First Day Hikes on Jan. 1, 2020. Here is a list of participating parks in and around Walton County:
Grayton Beach State Park
The hike will travel through the pristine sand dune trail and you will learn about our rare wildlife and plants that inhabit this unique area of the Gulf Coast. Also discover the history behind this changing winter wonderland. It will be a New Year, so please bring appropriate cold weather attire and trail footwear.
Meet and the pavilion by the beach bathhouse. Hike is free with paid park admission.
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
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::
Topsail Hill Preserve State Park
- Participants attending at 9 a.m. will enjoy a longer four mile round trip hike.
- Those coming at 2 p.m. will enjoy an easier mile and a half stroll.
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. Both the hike and the stroll are a part of the park’s B.A.R.K. Ranger program.
This program is free with regular park admission.
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::
Camp Helen State Park
Ring in the new year on Wednesday, Jan 1, 2010 from 10 – 11 a.m. with a hike through Camp Helen State Park. America’s state parks are promoting First Day hikes in all 50 states as a way to promote healthy lifestyles and year-round recreation. Join Ranger Clayton Iron-Wolf through the diverse ecosystems of Camp Helen that wind through oak canopies, mesic flatwoods and rolling dune landscapes. This will be an easy to moderate hike, so it’s great for the whole family. Learn about the natural and cultural resources of our area, and kick off the new year in the best possible way by exploring our Florida State Parks.
The hike will be held Hike is free with park admission. Meet at the visitor center just prior to hike time.
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. Click here for park website.
Ponce De Leon Springs State Park
Spend the first day of the year on a guided hike at Ponce De Leon Springs State Park. Meet at 8:45 a.m. in the main parking area behind the ranger station. You will travel to the trails that are within the south of I-10 portion of the park, just off from Highway 81.
Trails may have standing water, and temperatures at this time of year can vary, so check weather predictions and wear the proper attire. Paths may be muddy with exposed roots, but with minimum elevation changes.
Hike is free with paid park admission.
$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
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::
Fred Gannon Rocky Bayou State Park
Enjoy a guided hike with the park rangers at Fred Gannon Rocky Bayou State Park at 10 a.m. on Jan. 1, 2020. The rangers will share interesting facts about the park and its pristine natural resources. Be sure to bring a bottle of water and close-toed shoes. Park at the red cedar pavilion in the day use area. The hike is free with paid park admission.
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 East Hwy. 20, Niceville, FL 323578 ::MAP::
Admission Fees $5.00 per vehicle (2-8 people) and $4.00 per vehicle (single occupant).
Pedestrians, Bicyclists, extra Passengers, Passengers in vehicles with holder of Annual Individual Entrance Permit Admission Fee $1.00