Watersound trail opens in St. Joe Origins community

October 23, 2014

During the fall months, you can spot flowering liatrus and goldenaster along the trail. Lori Ceier/Walton Outdoors
During the fall months, you can spot flowering liatrus and goldenaster along the trail. Lori Ceier/Walton Outdoors

NOTE: Trail temporarily closed due to construction. Will reopen in 2017.

A new five-mile trail has opened in the St. Joe community of Origins. Named the Watersound Trail, the wide, crushed gravel surfaced road winds through a slash pine plantation.

As an old logging road, the trail is a flat, easy trek for hikers or cyclists, and spans across the northern portion of the Origins community to eventually connect to Panama City Beaches Gayle’s Trails, which is part of Conservation Park.

Map at the Origins trailhead. Lori Ceier/Walton Outdoors
Map at the Origins trailhead. Lori Ceier/Walton Outdoors

The hiker will see the familiar sightings one is offered in the Point Washington State Forest. Views of long leaf pine restoration areas, cypress domes, wetland areas, and evidence of wildlife such as track prints and scat can be seen along the trail. There is very little shade on your trek, so be prepared and wear sunscreen. One of the many rules (listed below) is not to stray from the trail, making exploring the forest area a no go.

Rest area midway along the 5 mile trail. Lori Ceier/Walton Outdoors
Rest area midway along the 5 mile trail. Lori Ceier/Walton Outdoors

The trail is clearly marked at several locations and offers a rest area midway along the journey.

To access the trail, enter the Origins community and drive north to the clubhouse area. The trailhead is just left of the parking lot at 530 Pathways Drive, Watersound, Florida.

The trail is open sunrise to sunset. ::MAP::

TRAIL RULES:
1. Trail is open daily from sunrise to sunset.
2. Watersound is not responsible for articles lost or stolen.
3. Authorized motorized vehicles only.
4. Watersound does not allow discharge of firearms on the trail; however, there are active hunting leases on the adjacent property.
5. Please keep the trail, facilities, and parking area clean. Do not litter, place all waste in receptacles provided.
6. Dogs are permitted, but must be kept on leashes and controlled at all times. No more than 2
dogs per person. Clean up after your pets!
7. No horses or equestrian activity of any kind is permitted
8. No smoking, campfires, or open flames are permitted on the trail.
9. No overnight stays or camping is permitted on the trails.
10. No person shall possess or consume alcoholic beverages on the trail.
11. Stay on the trails at all times; use of any other areas of the forest is prohibited.
12. Respect wildlife and plants while you visit their home. Do not approach wildlife.
13. Release of any animal on the trail is prohibited.
14. Preserve your heritage; do not remove artifacts or vegetation from the forest.
15. Let nature’s sounds prevail. Keep loud voices to a minimum. Wear earphones when using music players.
16. Yield to others.