Nature

State Parks & Forests in South Walton, Florida

The State Parks and State Forest Lands in South Walton are spectacular. Protected lands make up about 40% of the land south of the bay.

We are so blessed to have such treasure all around us. The lakes, bayous, creeks, forests, dunes and beaches in our parks make SoWal a very special place. Incredible landscapes with coastal dune lakes, lake outfalls kissing the Gulf, flowering dune magnolias, soaring pelicans, dancing dolphins, flower-covered dunes - the wonders of coastal nature are everywhere you turn.

Gulf World Marine Institute Tends to Turtles

Meeting a sea turtle up close is a powerful experience.

They're beautiful and graceful in the water, and they're so darn cute, with big eyes and a permanent smile. They're curious about people and seem to want to connect, waving their large flippers when a person comes close. When you get the rare chance to be face to face, you feel an emotional bond right away.

McQuage Bayou Trail Rebirth Provides Access to Point Washington Ecosystem

SoWal hikers, bikers, and equestrians are thankful that the McQuage Bayou Trail is once again open for business.

Formerly used primarily by equestrians (horizontal posts still exist for tying up ol’ Trigger), the newly improved trail was officially re-opened with a Florida Forest Service event July 21, 2017.

How to be a Fourth of July SoWal Beach Hero

As people make plans to go to the beach for the Independence Day holiday, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is reminding the public to help protect beach-nesting shorebirds and sea turtles by giving them space and keeping personal fireworks off the beach. Please respect shorebird and sea turtle areas that are posted to protect these vulnerable species, but remember not all nests are posted.

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