Upcoming Events

Guided hike at Camp Helen State Park Aug. 29

Join the park ranger on the last Thursday of the month 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 this 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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Mosquito lecture in DeFuniak Springs Sept. 4

The Walton County Master Gardeners resume their lecture series for the local gardeners on Wednesday, September 4, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. at the UF/IFAS Walton Extension Office, 732 N 9th Street in DeFuniak Springs.  We are pleased to hear from Julie McConnell, the Horticulture Agent from our neighbor, Bay County.  She will be discussing mosquito borne disease, an important topic year-round for those of us who spend time outdoors. Learn effective and safe tactics to deal with these pests.

Cost to attend this workshop is $5 cash or check please, payable at the door.  Seating is limited and reservations are required.  Please call 850-892-8172 or email haneyc@ufl.edu to save your place.  Light refreshments will be served.  We look forward to seeing you.

Master Gardeners will be on hand to take other gardening questions and help with soil samples.

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History tour at Camp Helen State Park Sept. 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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Holmes County Outdoor Expo in Bonifay Sept. 14

The Holmes County Outdoor Expo will be held on Sat. Sept. 14, 2019 at 1169 E. Hwy. 90, Bonifay, FL. The event will be from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. and admission is free.

The event will have hunting, fishing, recreation, resource management exhibits along with live animal displays. Florida State championship turkey calling contest, scavenger hunt, and silent auctions will be held as well.

The event is hosted by University of Florida/IFAS Holmes county. Click here for more info.

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Guided moonlight paddle at Camp Helen State Park Sept. 14

Come and join the rangers at Camp Helen State Park for a moonlight paddle on Lake Powell, Florida’s largest coastal dune lake on Saturday, Sept. 14 from 7:30 – 9:30 p.m. The experience will be a mostly quiet excursion led by rangers and will give visitors a unique opportunity to view one of the rarest lakes in the world, while under a nearly full moon. The trip is approximately 2 hours and will begin with a brief safety review and interpretation on Lake Powell and why coastal dune lakes are such a rare natural phenomenon. Participants must be experienced paddlers and 12 years of age or older.

Program is $35 per person, cash only. Fee includes watercraft rental, life jacket, paddle, glow sticks, park admission fee, and a donation to the Friends of Camp Helen State Park. Watercraft and gear from outside the park id not permitted.

Space is limited. Advanced reservations are required to participate and can be done by

calling Camp Helen State 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::

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Stargazing at Eden Gardens State Park Sept. 27

Join the Northwest Florida Astronomy Association at Eden Gardens State Park for an evening of stargazing on the lawn on Sept. 27, 2019. Clear skies permitting, the beauty of the universe will be on display beginning at 5:30 – 9:30 pm, with NWFAA members setting up their telescopes for the public’s viewing pleasure. Normal celestial gazing includes bright galaxies, star clusters, and planets. Guests are also encouraged to bring their own telescopes, as NWFAA members will offer assistance with their use, if at all possible!

Please wear weather appropriate clothing and bring bug repellent. If you bring a flashlight, please use a red filter to minimize the effect on night vision. The gazes themselves are free, however normal park entry fees do apply.

Event is weather permitting please call Eden Gardens State Park at 850-267-8322 the day of the event for further information.

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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History tour at Camp Helen State Park Oct. 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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Guided moonlight paddle at Camp Helen State Park Oct. 12

Come and join the rangers at Camp Helen State Park for a moonlight paddle on Lake Powell, Florida’s largest coastal dune lake on Saturday, Oct. 12 from 7:30 – 9:30 p.m. The experience will be a mostly quiet excursion led by rangers and will give visitors a unique opportunity to view one of the rarest lakes in the world, while under a nearly full moon. The trip is approximately 2 hours and will begin with a brief safety review and interpretation on Lake Powell and why coastal dune lakes are such a rare natural phenomenon. Participants must be experienced paddlers and 12 years of age or older.

Program is $35 per person, cash only. Fee includes watercraft rental, life jacket, paddle, glow sticks, park admission fee, and a donation to the Friends of Camp Helen State Park. Watercraft and gear from outside the park id not permitted.

Space is limited. Advanced reservations are required to participate and can be done by

calling Camp Helen State 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::

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Guided hike at Camp Helen State Park Sept. 26

Join the park ranger on the last Thursday of the month, Sept. 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.

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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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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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Explore The Outdoors Festival Oct. 19

Walton Outdoors will be hosting our ninth annual Explore The Outdoors Festival on Saturday, Oct. 19 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. ::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. Food will be available for purchase.

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, Hydrobiking
• Archery
• Boating with Wounded Warrior Fishing
• Boating with Backwater Tours
• Birding with the Choctawhatchee Audubon Society
• Wildlife exhibit with Florida Fish and Wildlife
• Ponce De Leon Springs State Park exhibit
• Topsail Hill Preserve State Park exhibit
• Eden Gardens State Park exhibit
• Rocky Bayou 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
• Florida Trail exhibit

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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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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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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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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.