As of March 19, 2020 many area recreation sites have been temporarily closed due to the outbreak of COVID-19. It is difficult to keep up with all the changes, however here are a few closed areas:
WALTON COUNTY BCC CLOSES BEACHES TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC; SHERIFF’S OFFICE CHARGED WITH ENFORCEMENT. Walton parks beyond the beach remain open
March 19, 2020 WALTON COUNTY, Fla— A vote early Thursday morning has closed beaches to the general public in Walton County.
At their scheduled emergency meeting Walton County Board of County Commissioners passed an emergency ordinance to close all Walton County beaches to the public. The ordinance is effective immediately as of 9:45 a.m. on Thursday, March 19th, 2020 and will remain in place for 30 days unless subsequent action is taken by the Commission. Walton County Sheriff’s Office will be charged with enforcement of the ordinance which came following a local state of emergency triggered by COVID-19.
Walton County Sheriff’s Office is seeking voluntary compliance in this unprecedented time in our community. It is imperative for our constituents to understand the magnitude behind this decision and the resources it will take to enforce. While deputies will be doing their best to educate and mediate first, personal responsibility is essential during this time for the safety and health of our county.
Normal operations will continue at the Sheriff’s Office as far as answering calls for service and continuing our commitment to serving our residents. All other parks beyond the beach remain open.
Florida State Parks on the beach are now closed, other state parks open
Northwest Florida Water Management District closes reservation campsites, developed recreation areas including pitt spring and williford spring
March 18, 2020 – The Northwest Florida Water Management District is closing each of its reservation campsites and developed recreation areas beginning Monday, March 23, 2020, for the next 60 days. This includes picnic areas, swimming areas, and other developed recreation sites.
Hiking trails, bike trails, equestrian trails, and boat ramps will remain open for individual use, but users may not congregate at or use associated shared facilities (e.g. picnic tables, pavilions, restrooms, etc.) Individuals must maintain appropriate distances from other users while using trails and launching and retrieving boats and paddle craft.
Until further notice, hunting and other disbursed recreation activities are allowed on all District-owned Wildlife Management Areas in accordance with Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission rules for these areas (please see https://myfwc.com/hunting/wma-brochures/ for area-specific regulations).
Individuals on District lands are expected to abide by current health guidelines implemented by the federal and/or state government for prevention of COVID-19 transmission, and in accordance with FWC regulations.
Wildlife Management Areas where disbursed (backcountry) camping is allowed include: Escambia River WMA, Choctawhatchee River/Holmes Creek WMA, and the District-owned portions of the Yellow River WMA, Apalachicola WMA, and Apalachicola River Wildlife and Environmental Area (WEA).
For updates on recreation area status, please visit: https://nwfwater.com/Lands/Recreation/Recreation-Site-Closures.
HOLMES CREEK CANOE TRAIL REMAINS OPEN
Rent a kayak/canoe or launch from any of the boat ramp areas on Holmes Creek. Learn more here.
Point Washington State Forest
Point Washington State Forest remains open to hiking and biking. Campsites are closed. Learn more here.
Some privately owned camping and recreation areas remain open:
Live Oak Landing RV Resort
229 Pitts Avenue
Freeport, FL. 32439
Tel: (877) 436-5063
Located in Freeport on Black Creek near the opening to the Choctawhatchee Bay, Live Oak Landing offers an abundance of opportunities for the outdoor enthusiast. 59 RV full hook up sites, and 12 cottages are available for rent or purchase. No tent camping available.
Amenities include playground, grill and picnic table at each site, restrooms, bath house, clubhouse, docks, boat ramp, canoe and kayak rental, pool, fishing and charter boat services, Wi-Fi and cable.
Sunset King Lake Resort
366 Paradise Island Drive
DeFuniak Springs, FL. 32433
Tel: (800) 774-5454
Sunset King Lake Resort is located in North Walton County on King Lake. Sunset King offers 220 RV sites and 13 cabins and cottages available for rent or purchase and friendly staff.
Amenities include swimming pools, bath house, exercise facility, club house, chapel, meeting room, sewing room, Wi-Fi, boat launch, playground, basketball court, volleyball court, group activities, boat rentals and fishing. A large facility with a variety of rental/purchase options. Full hook up service.
• Tent camping permitted
Twin Lakes Resort
580 Holley King Lake Road
DeFuniak Springs, FL. 32433
Tel: (850) 892-5914
Formerly a private resort, Twin Lakes Resort is in the midst of remodeling and is now open to the public. Located on a peninsula between Holley and King Lake, this resort offers nice views of the two lakes with good fishing for bass and bream on the lake.
Amenities include swimming pool, clubhouse, screened in grill area. A quiet location.
• Full hook up
• Tent camping permitted
• Cabin and condo rentals
Ponce De Leon
Vortex Spring Adventures
1517 Vortex Springs Lane
Ponce de Leon, FL, 32455. Tel: (850) 836-4979.
Vortex Spring Adventures offers an adventurer cave diving, swimming, and family-oriented year-round fun, including crystal clear dives into a deep limestone cavern. They also offer camping with full RV hookups and primitive options.
Click here for their Facebook page. Note that some images in video below are courtesy of Vortex Springs.