Spring 2016 Eco-Adventures Showcase Walton County’s Natural Resources

February 25, 2016 by SoWal Staff

The Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance (CBA) and Northwest Florida State College (NFSC) announces the 2016 spring season of its eco-tourism initiative, Discover Roads Less Traveled: Eco-Adventures of Walton County. The perfect time of year to get outdoors and experience nature-based tours in South Walton and the surrounding area led by local experts and naturalists.
Discover Roads Less Traveled tours take place spring, summer and fall seasons offering visitors and local residents opportunities to explore the diverse natural resources that make Walton County unique.        

Descriptions of the tours being offered are available online at by clicking the “Eco-Tours” tab. Registration is only available online or in-person at any Northwest Florida State College student services desk. Prices vary starting at $15. The schedule provides a broad range of activities for the warming spring season in Florida.

Hike the wet prairies at Point Washington State Forest or enjoy a driving tour along the Choctawhatchee River and to Morrison Springs - two commonly overlooked natural gems of Walton County. In the mood for history? Try one of our most popular tours, the historical tour of the Coffeen Nature Preserve.

“The tours we are offering this semester highlight some of the most enjoyable locations that we have in Walton County. We hope that individuals, local and visiting, enroll to appreciate these natural features,” says CBA’s ecotour coordinator, Brandy Foley. “We hope that by providing an intimate tour setting, individuals are truly able to learn something new about Walton County and the Panhandle of Florida!”

The Florida Pandhandle is one of the five richest biodiversity hotspots in North America. Walton County’s extraordinary ecosystems are home to numerous and unusual native plants and animals. Besides its white-sand beaches, the county boasts the Choctawhatchee River (Florida’s fourth largest in volume), Choctawhatchee Bay, many spring-fed creeks and streams, and the extremely rare coastal dune lakes. Discover Roads Less Traveled will introduce you to some of these very special places in Walton County.

CBA Spring Adventure Tours 2016
Historical Tour: Coffeen Nature Preserve
Explore the Coffeen Nature Preserve and its history of World War II missile testing. The 220-acre Nature Preserve is owned by the Coffeen Land Trust, a local environmental non-profit organization dedicated to preserving it “as a place of peace and quiet and a haven for all God’s creatures.” Enjoy the natural beauty of the Preserve and Fuller Lake. This is the most western of Walton County’s globally rare and imperiled coastal dune lakes.
Guide: Susan Paladini
Coffeen Nature Preserve in Santa Rosa Beach
Mar 9, Mar 26, Apr 30, May 4, May 28 | 9:30am - 11:30am | Fee: $20
Tour of the Choctawhatchee River and Morrison Springs
Learn about unique places tucked away along the Choctawhatchee River. Learn about our precious water resources, flood plains, where the river flows, and why it is ever changing. The group will then drive to Morrison Springs. Learn about how many millions of gallons of water Morrison Springs emits every day, and where the water comes from. Observe the flora and fauna that inhabit the area. Take a dip in the cool, clear spring water. Meet at NFSC South Walton Campus for van transportation.
Guide: Lori Ceier
Apr 22, May 20 | 8:30am (all day)  | Fee: $35

Wet Prairies and Rare Plants of Point Washington State Forest
Visit several wet prairies in Pt. Washington State Forest. Observe and identify pitcher plants, sundews and other carnivorous plants, plus many other native plants that are typically found only in this kind of habitat. The history and ecology of the prairies will be discussed, as well
as the role of fires in these precious ecosystems. This tour is led by an accomplished biologist who has been involved in describing and mapping wet prairies in South Walton County. Meet at NFSC South Walton Campus to caravan to event location.
Guide: Tom Greene
Apr 16 | Fee: $15 + $2 forest entry fee         

Read more about each adventure tour and register online. Each tour has a maximum number of participants. 

Point Washington State Forest

CBA is an entirely grant and donor-funded, 501(c)3 non-profit watershed organization whose efforts are focused on raising awareness to increase the health and sustainability of local waterways, through monitoring, research, restoration and education. For 20 years, CBA has promoted water stewardship within the Choctawhatchee Watershed, growing the network of supporters who have joined in the mission to provide a future for these natural resources. For more information about CBA, please visit        

Look for more adventure tours coming to Walton County, Florida this Summer.

For more information about Discover Roads Less Traveled, please contact Brandy Foley at 850-200-4163 or


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