Walton Outdoors top 10 stories of 2010

December 27, 2010

A snokeler explores one of the many springs in and around Walton County. Lori Ceier/Walton Outdoors

Walton Outdoors looks back at an extraordinary year of exploring the outdoors

Wow, what an incredible year it has been for Walton Outdoors. We have ventured on quite a few journeys throughout Walton County and the surrounding area. It was difficult to pick just a few stories we thought were the best, as every one was an interesting and unique experience.

Not surprising, some of the most interesting stories are about the folks that live in our area and their passion for living in the Northwest Florida Panhandle. With the wonderful people and our waterways, trails and diverse ecosystems, it’s no wonder we all love living here.

Here is a peek at our top ten most intriguing stories:

The Places:

1) Seven Runs creek, located off of State Road 81, just north of Bruce, is a scenic paddle through wetlands and cypress swamps. Take this incredible journey into a magical and untouched wonderland in the Choctawhatchee River basin. Click here to read story

Early morning fog along Holmes Creek. Lori Ceier/Walton Outdoors

2) Just a few miles outside Walton County in Vernon is home to the beautiful spring fed Holmes Creek. An easy paddle journey awaits paddlers along this creek filled with wildlife. Click here to read story

3) Most of the locals know about our unique coastal dune lakes. However, many did not know that most all of these incredible lakes are not only an eco-tourism adventure, they are easily accessible and offer great recreational opportunities.

Click here to ready story

4) Who knew the military once launched missiles into the Gulf in Walton County? All of that history is documented and bunkers intact at the Coffeen Nature Preserve. Not only are the launch tracks still visible, Coffeen is a wonderful nature preserve. Click here to read story

The Floridan aquifer boils up through limestone rock. Lori Ceier/Walton Outdoors

5) Some of the most beautiful places to explore Northwest Florida are along our spring fed waterways. These creeks, streams and rivers provide incredible recreation and eco tourism along with the valuable drinking water our communities rely on. Click here to read story

The People:

6) Who knew that going to the dentist can be a beautiful experience. Indeed it is possible if you visit Johnny Savage, DDS. With his rustic office located right on the river, a patient can enjoy a spectacular view while getting quality dental care. Not only that, but Johnny will tell you all about the history of the Choctawhatchee River and much more about life on the river. Click here to read story

Jim Dietrich holds up a frame full of honey. Lori Ceier/Walton Outdoors

7) The fine art of beekeeping is alive and well in DeFuniak Springs. At Deitrich’s honey farm you can find Jimmy Dietrich busy taking care of his honeybees and reaping that sweet delight we all enjoy. Click here to read story

8 ) Kathryn and Ron Hardy are self-proclaimed river rats and both grew up on the water. That love of the water moved them into creating a special paradise on the Choctawhatchee River. There is no place quite like their Choctaw Lodge Bed and Breakfast. As soon as you arrive, you will fall in love with the place.  Click here to read story

9) As we mentioned some of the most interesting people live right here in Walton County, and many dedicated to farming and growing quality produce. Here is a story in support of the ‘growing local’ community. Click here to read story

Joshua Cofer, age 2 experiences a tortoise first hand at Nonie's Ark exhibit. Photo courtesy Joan Vienot

The Experience:

10) Walton Outdoors is dedicated to sharing the wonders of the outdoor experience by providing interesting stories to our readers and educating our youth on the wonders of getting outdoors. In October we hosted the first Explore The Outdoors Festival at Camp Timpoochee. It was a great success and a joy to watch children exploring the outdoors.

“When I heard a young boy holler out ‘I caught a fish, my very first one,’ I knew I had accomplished what I set out to do that day,” said Lori Ceier, publisher of Walton Outdoors. Click here to read story