Upcoming Events

Pumpkin patch at Camp Helen State Park through Oct. 31

Start the fall season off right with a trip to the Camp Helen State Park pumpkin patch. The Friends of Camp Helen are hosting the pumpkin patch daily beginning Saturday September 28th through the end of October (or whenever pumpkins are sold) each day from 9 am-4 pm.

More than 1,000 pumpkins will make their way to the park to be sold throughout the month of October, supporting the Friends of Camp Helen State Park, a Citizen Support Organization that assists the park with funding of projects and activities throughout the year. There will be a variety of shapes and sizes available, with pumpkins being sold from $1 – $30. The pumpkin patch makes a great fall backdrop for family photos, as well as an opportunity to further explore the park.

For more information, call the park at (850)233-5059.

Driving Directions
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.

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Destin Fishing Rodeo Oct. 1 – 31

Fishing is life in Destin. The small beach town is known as “The World’s Luckiest Fishing Village,” so it makes sense that throughout the month of October they host the best fishing rodeo ever. Year after year, fishermen return in hopes of catching the big one.

It’s easy to get in on the action. To participate, all you need to do is contact a local captain and charter a boat for a day of fun on the water. Destin has the largest charter fishing fleet in the country, so booking a boat is a breeze.

Once you’ve got your catch, head in to AJ’s for weigh-ins. Everyone is invited to share in the fun and excitement as anglers show off their winning catch of the day.

Learn more at https://www.destinfishingrodeo.org

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Eden Gardens State Park Vintage Film Series Oct. 17, 24

Join Eden Gardens State Park this autumn for their Vintage Film Series Oct. 10th, 17th, and 24th. The following vintage films will be shown on a large inflatable screen near the lawn beside the pavilion area from 6:30 – 9:30 p.m.

“Goonies” Thursday October 17th, 6:30-9:30 pm

“Frogs” (Filmed at Eden Gardens in the 1970s) Thursday October 24th, 6:30-9:30 pm.

Bring your lawn chair or blanket, along with bug spray and coolers and claim your spot on the lawn before the movie begins. Concessions for donations will be available. Film is free, with paid park entry. For more information, call the park (850)233-8320.

Directions
Eden Gardens State Park is located in Point Washington, off U.S. 98 on C.R. 395.
For more information, call (850) 267-8320.
181 Eden Garden Road, Point Washington, Fl. 32459 ::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.

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Artificial reef presentation at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park Oct. 18

Join Topsail Hill Preserve State Park and Dave Clausen, President of the Choctawhatchee Audubon Society and nature photographer, on October 18, 2019 from 10 – 11 a.m. Come learn about and see the beauty of the artificial reefs in the Florida Panhandle through Clausen’s photography. Park staff will be on hand to answer questions afterwards about the seahorse shaped artificial reef just of the park’s shoreline.                                                                                              

This program is free with regular park admission.

Driving Directions
Located in Santa Rosa Beach, the park is located 1/4 south of U.S. Hwy 98 on western end of Scenic Hwy. 30A.  ::MAP:

Park Fees
Admission Fees –  $6.00 per vehicle (up to 8 people) – Scenic Hwy. 30A just north of U.S. Hwy. 98
Pedestrians, Bicyclists, Passengers in vehicles with holder of Annual Individual Entrance Permit – Admission Fee $2.00

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Alaqua Animal Refuge Announces Animoré benefit Oct. 18-19

A Weekend Benefit for the Love of Animals

Alaqua Animal Refuge announced its newest fundraising weekend, Animoré, to be held Friday and Saturday, October 18 and 19, 2019 on the grounds of Alaqua’s future home along Highway 20 in Freeport, Florida. Showcasing two events and one epic weekend, Animoré is the first annual festival in celebration of and for the love of animals. The combination of two words, Animoré symbolizes “animals” and “amore,” which means love in Italian.

Kicking off the festivities is Alaqua’s 6th Annual 100 Point and Cult Wine Dinner on Friday evening, October 18. This exclusive evening is a one-of-a-kind experience for a limited collection of patrons, as guests will be the first to dine in a most unique, surprise setting at Alaqua’s future home.

The elegant affair begins with a cocktail reception and an intimate musical performance, followed by an exquisite 5-course dinner prepared by Chef Brendan Davey, with each course perfectly paired with distinctive and stellar wines, procured especially for this dinner. An evening of luxe savoring and sipping, including a live and silent auction, this fête is not to be missed!

As an added bonus this year, 100 Point and Cult Wine Dinner guests will be treated to the VIP Patron Lounge and prime seating at Saturday’s Inaugural Barn Jam (including complimentary food and drinks).

The animoré Inaugural Barn Jam takes place on Saturday, and will feature an outdoor music festival with performances by Nashville songwriters Billy Dawson, Aaron Barker, and Jon Nite. Together, these award-winning songwriters and performers have written hits for George Strait, Tim McGraw, Keith Urban, Miranda Lambert, Kenny Chesney, Lee Brice, Luke Bryan, and many more. Headlining is roots-rocking, multi-instrumentalist Eric Lindell who has collaborated and shared stages with John Fogerty and Jackson Browne, and is a founding member of Dragon Smoke with Ivan Neville. The Barn Jam will include a wide variety of food trucks, beverages, and auction.

Tickets for all events are currently on sale at http://bit.ly/animore-tickets. Ticket prices for the Barn Jam include: $25 General Admission, Child; $50 General Admission, Adult; and $500 VIP Patron / Furlanthropist, which includes entry into the VIP Lounge (with complimentary food and beverages), preferred seating at the Barn Jam, and their name on the sponsor signage at the event. Seats for the 100 Point and Cult Wine Dinner are $1,200 per seat.

The animoré weekend benefit was born out of an idea from Alaqua’s Founder Laurie Hood to create a community event combining music with excellent food and wine in support of animal welfare. For hundreds of years, music has enhanced our souls and holds a special spiritual power for engaging our senses. Interactions with animals also have powerful effects on the human spirit and body.

As such, one of our goals for our future home and its unique environment is to be an inspiration for creating a kinder, more empathetic, and healthier society by healing animals and people. We believe that this inaugural animoré festival does just that – bringing people together through music and engagement to help heal and give animals in Alaqua’s care second chances at life, happiness, and most of all, love.

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Flutterby Arts Festival at Watersound Oct. 19, 20

Flutterby Arts Festival will feature live entertainment for the entire family, including music, theatre, and dance. Art activities like the butterfly wing creation station, craft-making, pottery hand-building, and face-painting will be available all weekend. Kids can also enjoy the “Clay 30A” butterfly learning center, carnival games, bounce houses and a butterfly parade at the end of each day. The family-fun, two day event will be held on Saturday, October 19 and Sunday, October 20 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. at Watersound Origins.

Flutterby entertainment will be provided by Mari Gleason, 30A Dancewave, the South Walton High School Dance Team, Ohana Records, and more!

Professional artists will be exhibiting and selling their work throughout the weekend, and official Flutterby merchandise featuring artwork by Lillian Li, a 4th grader at Freeport Elementary School, will be available for purchase.

530 Pathways Drive, WaterSound, FL 32413

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Guided plant walk at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park Oct. 21

Join Topsail Hill Preserve State Park and Master Gardener Bill Kuenstler on Monday, Oct. 21 from 9 – 11 a.m. for a guided plant stroll. Take a stroll through the park and the campground to explore the plants visible and to see what is in bloom. Please wear weather appropriate clothing and comfortable walking shoes as you’ll be walking on uneven terrain.

This program is free with regular park admission.                                                         

Driving Directions
Located in Santa Rosa Beach, the park is located 1/4 south of U.S. Hwy 98 on western end of Scenic Hwy. 30A at 7525 W.County Highway 30A
Santa Rosa Beach FL 32459. ::MAP:
Tel: 850-267-8330.

Park Fees
Admission Fees –  $6.00 per vehicle (up to 8 people) – Scenic Hwy. 30A just north of U.S. Hwy. 98
Pedestrians, Bicyclists, Passengers in vehicles with holder of Annual Individual Entrance Permit – Admission Fee $2.00

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campfire stories at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park Oct. 25

Join Topsail Hill Preserve State Park for good ol’ family friendly stories around the campfire. Be sure to arrive before the gates close at sunset.

Join Topsail Hill Preserve State Park for good ol’ family friendly stories around the campfire on Fri., Oct. 25 from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. Be sure to arrive before the gates close at sunset.

This program is free with regular park admission. For more information about “Monthly Campfires” and the park, please call the Ranger Station at 850-267-8330.

Driving Directions
Located in Santa Rosa Beach, the park is located 1/4 south of U.S. Hwy 98 on western end of Scenic Hwy. 30A.  ::MAP:

Park Fees
Admission Fees –  $6.00 per vehicle (up to 8 people) – Scenic Hwy. 30A just north of U.S. Hwy. 98
Pedestrians, Bicyclists, Passengers in vehicles with holder of Annual Individual Entrance Permit – Admission Fee $2.00

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Bird Walk at Camp Helen State Park Oct. 26

Join the Choctawhatchee Audubon Society for a bird walk at Camp Helen State Park on Sat. Oct. 26. Meet 8:00-8:15 AM in the parking lot. Emily Ellis, 850-818-2262, will be leading the group through the park to look for a variety of shorebirds including plovers, terns, and herons, as well as migrating songbirds such as warblers and buntings. Bring a picnic lunch, binoculars and/or camera, wear closed-toed shoes, long pants, and a hat.

Driving Directions
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.

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Witches ride in South Walton on Oct. 31

The Witches of South Walton are set the host their 16th Annual Witch Ride on Wednesday, October 31, 2019 to support the mission of local nonprofit, the Children’s Volunteer Health Network (CVHN).

Those participating can bring their own bike or rent one from one of our Bike Rental Partners. All participants should be at the Gulf Place Amphitheater by 6 a.m. the morning of the ride.

The Witches will be leaving the Gulf Place Amphitheater at 7 a.m. sharp, heading west along 30A for about 1.5 miles before looping back for the Gathering Brunch shortly after 8 am. Ticketed riders can expect to enjoy a leisurely morning bike ride followed by brunch, which includes delicious food and beverages, the opportunity to win incredible raffle and silent auction items, and compete in their Best Dress, Most Witchy Cackle & Best Broom (bike) decor competitions.

Admittance to the event is limited to the first 350 to register. Advanced registration is open for the advanced fee of $50. A t-shirt and early raffle tickets are also available for purchase.

This year’s event is hosted by Pizza By The Sea. To purchase your ride ticket visit www.WitchRide.com or to learn more about the Witches and our events, visit www.WitchesOfSouthWalton.comFacebook, or Instagram.

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Guided hike at Camp Helen State Park Oct. 31

Join the park ranger on the last Thursday of the month, Oct. 31 for a ranger-led trail hike from 10 – 11 a.m. Camp Helen is home to over 3 1/2 miles of trails that meander through nine different distinct natural communities. A park ranger will lead the group on different sections of the trail for approximately 45 minutes, sharing about the natural and cultural history of Camp Helen State Park.

All ages and fitness levels are welcome. Plan to meet in the visitor center prior to the hike and be sure to bring water and proper sun/insect protection. Park entry fees are required, but there is no charge for this guided hike.

Meet at the visitor center just prior to hike time.

Driving Directions
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.

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Explore The Outdoors Festival Nov. 2

Walton Outdoors will be hosting our 10th annual Explore The Outdoors Festival on Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019. The event will be held from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the beautiful waterfront location of Live Oak Landing Outdoor Destination, 229 Pitts Avenue in Freeport, Florida. 32439 ::MAP::

This fun-filled day will introduce children to the wonders of exploring nature and the outdoor experience. Hands on activities will include fishing, kayaking, wildlife, archery, interactive educational exhibits, giveaways and much more. The event is free for all ages. The water activities are geared for children six-years-old and up.

Activities and exhibits include:
• Learn to fish on Black Creek with fishing pros
• Florida Fish and Wildlife fresh water fishing exhibit
• FISH FLORIDA fishing rod/reel giveaways
• Freshwater fishing education with Florida Fish and Wildlife
• Kayaking with the Episcopal Way of Love in Freeport
• Archery
• Boating with Florida Boy Charter and Backwater Tours
• Birding with the Choctawhatchee Audubon Society
• Wildlife exhibit with Florida Fish and Wildlife
• Topsail Hill Preserve State Park exhibit
• Eden Gardens State Park exhibit
• Northwest Florida Astronomy Club stargazing
• Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance touch tank
• Smokey the Bear and his friends from Forestry
• Florida Sea Grant exhibit
• Freeport Town Planters Society crafts
• Beekeeping exhibit with Jeff Chesser
• Walton County Master Gardeners activity
• Crafts with Glendale Memorial Nature Preserve
• Nonie’s Ark Animal Encounters
• Florida Public Archaeology exhibit
• Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge exhibit
• South Walton County Mosquito Control exhibit
• North Walton Fire and Rescue exhibit
• Live music by Allen Rayfield and a side order of Catfish on the saw
• Food will be available for purchase from Black Creek Café
• On site parking
• Free admission

For more information, send us an email: info@waltonoutdoors.com, or give us a call at (850) 267-2064.

Many thanks to our sponsors C.W. Roberts Contracting, FISH FLORIDA, Freeport Town Planters, Copeland’s Gun and Tackle, Bent Rod Fishing Club, and the many volunteers who help make this event a success.

About Walton Outdoors:
Walton Outdoors is the online source for outdoor adventure in Walton County and northwest Florida. Our mission is to share great spaces to explore the outdoors, and to educate our readers on the wonders of nature.

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Hazmat recycling, tire amnesty day at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park Nov. 2

Topsail Hill Preserve State Park and Walton County are hosting a hazmat recycling and waste tire amnesty collection on November 2, 2019 from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Representatives from the Walton County Solid Waste and Recycling office will be on hand to help unload the following items from your car: Pesticides, Used Oil, Stale Gasoline, Solvents, Fertilizers, Paint, Paint Thinners, Paint Strippers, Batteries, Furniture Polish, Brake Fluid, Engine Degreasers, Anti-Freeze, Pool Chemicals, Insecticides and  Spot Removers.   No gas cylinders or explosives, please.  Due to hazardous nature of certain components in home computers old computer hardware including processors, monitors, keyboards, printers, scanners, etc will also be accepted.

Waste tire amnesty will also be held at the same time. Walton county residents may bring up to 4 tires per residence.

Driving Directions
Located in Santa Rosa Beach, the park is located 1/4 south of U.S. Hwy 98 on western end of Scenic Hwy. 30A.  ::MAP:

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History tour at Camp Helen State Park Nov. 2

Enjoy a history tour of Camp Helen State Park from 10 – 11 a.m. on the first Saturday of the month.

Park guests will have the opportunity to learn about how recreation has been a part of the park’s heritage for nearly 100 years. From the first hotel built along the bluffs overlooking Lake Powell in the 1920s, to Camp Helen’s hey-day between 1945 and 1987 as a recreation camp for employees of Avondale Textile Mills, our park has been a source of ocean-front fun for decades! Plan to meet inside the Visitor Center prior to the tour and expect the tour to last approximately 45 minutes to an hour. The tour is free and open to the public, but visitors are expected to pay the park entrance fee upon entry to the park. For further questions, feel free to contact the office at Camp Helen at (850) 233-5059.

Driving Directions
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.

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Monarch butterfly science project at Henderson Beach State Park Nov. 2

Come out and experience the beauty of the monarch butterfly at Henderson Beach State Park on Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019. By participating in a citizen science project, you will get to tag your very own monarch butterfly. There will be a short talk about the monarchs, their migration, food source, native plants and pollinators within Florida. The Florida Native Plant Society will also be joining in. This is a great opportunity for you and your family to help such a renowned butterfly that’s in decline.

This is a free event to participate in with paid park admission. Limited butterflies available.  Event starts at 10 a.m. at Pavilion B. For more information please contact Park Ranger Jeni Toll at 850-837-7550.

There is a $6 admission fee per vehicle. Henderson Beach State Park is located in Okaloosa County, on Highway 98 just east of downtown Destin.

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Herb gardening lecture in DeFuniak Springs Nov. 6

The Walton County Master Gardeners present their next Lecture Series installment on Wednesday, November 6, 2019 at 10:00 AM.  Jane Szarek and Paula Thornquist will share their experience and knowledge of herb gardening.  The location is the UF/IFAS Walton Extension Office at 732 N. Ninth Street, DeFuniak Springs, FL 32433.

These Master Gardeners will address growing herbs inside as well as in the garden.  They will cover which plants are perennials, and which are annuals, and how to preserve them.   Some herbs are grown for culinary uses, and some for medicinal purposes.  Still, others are planted for their beauty and aroma.  Learn how to make tea, tinctures and oils using herbs.  A tour of the new herb garden at the meeting site will be included. Light refreshments will be served.

The cost of the program is $5, cash or check only please, payable at the door.  Seating is limited and reservations are required.  Call 850-892-8172 or email haneyc@ufl.edu by Monday 11/4 to save your place. Master Gardeners will be on hand to take your gardening questions and help with soil samples.

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Best daffodils for north Florida lecture in DeFuniak Springs Nov. 9

On Sat., Nov. 9, 2018 from 9 -10 a.m., Master Gardener Dara Dobson of 7 Pines Native Plant Nursery will host a free lecture on daffodils. The program will cover best cultivars for our warm climate, how to plant and how to maintain for years of enjoyment. There will be nine types of bulbs available for purchase.

7 Pines Native Plant Nursery is located at 2365 County Hwy 192, DeFuniak Springs.

Call 850-830-8996 or e-mail wildflowersmatter@7pinesranch.com

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Guided hike at Camp Helen State Park Nov. 28

Join the park ranger on the last Thursday of the month, Nov. 28 for a ranger-led trail hike from 10 – 11 a.m. Camp Helen is home to over 3 1/2 miles of trails that meander through nine different distinct natural communities. A park ranger will lead the group on different sections of the trail for approximately 45 minutes, sharing about the natural and cultural history of Camp Helen State Park.

All ages and fitness levels are welcome. Plan to meet in the visitor center prior to the hike and be sure to bring water and proper sun/insect protection. Park entry fees are required, but there is no charge for this guided hike.

Meet at the visitor center just prior to hike time.

Driving Directions
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.

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Christmas tour of homes in DeFuniak Springs Dec. 7

On December 7 from 10 am to 5 pm St. Agatha’s Episcopal Church, in DeFuniak Springs will host the annual Christmas Tour of Homes. Proceeds will fund preservation projects slated for their three historic buildings on Circle Drive. Plan to come early for a continental breakfast (8-10 am, $5) at the Parish Hall (150 Circle Drive). Mark your calendar and spend the entire day in Historic DeFuniak Springs.

The tour consists of lovely homes decked in Christmas splendor, commercial sites (The Post, The Bank and The Exchange) that aptly demonstrate the value of historic restoration and rehabilitation. If construction is at a safe stage, perhaps ticket holders can view the heroic restoration efforts underway to save a mansion on Circle Drive. As an extra attraction, the Church, The Parish House and the Vicarage will be shown. Finally, the Chautauqua Winery, the museums and the library (with its collection of medieval armor and weapons) will be open.

To reserve your tickets, send $25 per ticket to TOUR, 504 Circle Drive, DeFuniak Springs, FL 32435. Tickets are also available at Nook and Cranny Consignments on Baldwin Avenue; R.J’s Collectibles on 7th Street, Vault 46 on 9th Street; The Art Co-Op on Hwy 331; and at The Visitor’s Center, 1162 Circle Drive.

The Tour begins at the Visitor’s Center where you may purchase tickets, retrieve your reserved tickets and obtain your tour guide and map for the event. At 5 pm “Christmas Reflections,” featuring 9 million Christmas lights in Chipley Park around Lake DeFuniak ($3/person), will provide a fantastic ending to a perfect day.

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History tour at Camp Helen State Park Dec. 7

Enjoy a history tour of Camp Helen State Park from 10 – 11 a.m. on the first Saturday of the month.

Park guests will have the opportunity to learn about how recreation has been a part of the park’s heritage for nearly 100 years. From the first hotel built along the bluffs overlooking Lake Powell in the 1920s, to Camp Helen’s hey-day between 1945 and 1987 as a recreation camp for employees of Avondale Textile Mills, our park has been a source of ocean-front fun for decades! Plan to meet inside the Visitor Center prior to the tour and expect the tour to last approximately 45 minutes to an hour. The tour is free and open to the public, but visitors are expected to pay the park entrance fee upon entry to the park. For further questions, feel free to contact the office at Camp Helen at (850) 233-5059.

Driving Directions
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.

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First Seminole War/Creek War living history event and battle reenactment in Chattahoochee Dec. 7 – 8

The Scott 1817 Seminole War Battle reenactment and living history event returns to River Landing Park in Chattahoochee Dec. 7 – 8, 2019. It will be held at River Landing Park in Chattahoochee, FL.

Activities this year include living history camps, musket firings, weapons demonstrations, lectures, a memorial service and battle reenactments both Saturday and Sunday. Activities will run 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. both days.

Saturday’s Battle Reenactment will be at 11:30 a.m. Sunday’s Battle Reenactment will be at 2:00 p.m.

For more information call (850) 693-1547. River Landing Park is located in Chattahoochee, FL. on the Apalachicola River on River Landing Road.

::MAP::

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Guided hike at Camp Helen State Park Dec. 26

Join the park ranger on the last Thursday of the month, Dec. 26 for a ranger-led trail hike from 10 – 11 a.m. Camp Helen is home to over 3 1/2 miles of trails that meander through nine different distinct natural communities. A park ranger will lead the group on different sections of the trail for approximately 45 minutes, sharing about the natural and cultural history of Camp Helen State Park.

All ages and fitness levels are welcome. Plan to meet in the visitor center prior to the hike and be sure to bring water and proper sun/insect protection. Park entry fees are required, but there is no charge for this guided hike.

Meet at the visitor center just prior to hike time.

Driving Directions
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.