Camp Helen State Park Extra Special In October

Of course the truth is that all of SoWal is special in October. Instead of setting our clocks back on November 7th, I wish we could set our calendar back a month. There are just not enough days in October.

Camp Helen is a special place any time of the year, butlower temps and humidity, and a calm gulf bring magic days and amazing sunsets. Buzzing Dragonflies fill the air and Monarch butterflies flutter through on their great migration.

Point Washington State Forest Comes Alive

October’s crisp mornings and bright blue skies coupled with the arrival of Monarch butterflies and sprouting wild goldenrod make it an ideal time to get outside and explore one of SoWal’s most treasured and often-overlooked resources - Point Washington State Forest.

The forest preserve covers over 15,000 acres in Walton County and includes various opportunities for outdoor recreation including hiking, biking, horseback riding and even hunting.

A Nearby Secret Spot On The Forgotten Coast

If you promise to keep it to yourself, I’ll share a longtime secret spot where many locals go to escape the Summer SoWal craziness for a few days. Just two hours east, past the hustle and bustle of Panama City, you’ll find a quiet and quaint area between Port St. Joe and Apalachicola. 

The water’s not as clear and the sand’s not as white but there’s something striking about the landscape, and endearing about the people of what’s commonly referred to as the Forgotten Coast of Florida. 

A SoWal Summer None Of Us Will Ever Forget

What is wrong with this picture? Looking for clues why SoWal was spared…

They were 84 days none of us will ever forget. From April 22 to July 15, an estimated 4.9 million barrels of light, sweet Louisiana crude spewed into the Gulf of Mexico, and it was feared to be only a matter of time before the sugar-white beaches of SoWal became a parking lot.

The news was everywhere and it was beyond bad. It was the apocalypse.  Even Jim Cramer, the host the CNBC show “Mad Money,” had an opinion.

Protecting SoWal's Precious Coastal Dune Lakes

Walton County takes matters into its own hands…

It now seems like a lifetime ago.

The news was bad and utterly unexpected.  In late April, a few days after the Deepwater Horizon rig sank, Walton County officials were told that “in 72 hours our beaches would look like a paved parking lot,” recalled Captain Mike Barker of the Walton County Sheriff’s Office.

Filmmaker Aims His Camera At Coastal Dune Lakes

There’s a special category of cinematographer whose job is to bring a camera to bear in places the audience is unlikely to otherwise visit.

They pursue the inaccessible, and render the quiet workings of little-known worlds.  

“I get in the water,” says Elam Stoltzfus. “That’s what you have to do to get your shot.  And I love doing it.”


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