Scenic Beauty: Nature Trails

S2Blountstown Greenway

Portions of this 4-mile trail, which connects the Pioneer Settlement with the Apalachicola River, follow the route of the former Marianna and Blountstown Railroad (M&B). A spur trail heads north at Franklin Street, following that street to parallel with CR 17; it ends where CR 17 intersects with 11th Street. The greenway is part of the larger Florida National Scenic Trail system.

 

 

 

S3Chipola River Greenway

The entrance to the HCRA and Hinson Trail is located one mile south of the town off SR 73, via Gator Hole Lane. The trailhead is at the eastern end of Gator Hole Lane and features picnic tables, portable toilets, and a small boat launch ramp. The new Hinson Trail is a beautiful 4.6-mile system of loop trails along the Chipola River and is part of the Chipola River Greenway, which is a National Recreation Trail. The trails offer a broad range of walking experiences, featuring high bluffs overlooking the Chipola River, several large and many small sink holes, two walk-in caves, a stretch of trail that follows the still- remaining steel rails of the old Marianna and Blountstown (M&B) Railroad, beautiful native plants and animals, rare and protected species including a Gopher Tortoise preserve, and meadows of vintage pecan orchards.

 

S4Dwarf Cypress Boardwalk

One of the most unique features of this area, the Dwarf Cypress—also known as Bonsai or Hat-Rack Cypress—are found throughout Tate’s Hell, but nowhere more pronounced than in the area of this boardwalk. Many of the trees are more than 300 years old, but they grow to a height of only 6-15 feet. No one is exactly sure what causes the cypress in this area to be dwarfed. The trees are not genetically different from other pond-cypress trees in the area, and seeds from these trees will grow to normal heights when planted on other sites. The soil in this area is very deep before hitting bedrock, but there is a layer of hard clay that may prevent the cypress roots from growing deeper. The soil here is also very low in nutrients, as evidenced by the many carnivorous plants in the area.

 

S5Florida National Scenic Trail at Nokuse Plantation

The Nokuse Plantation portion of the Florida Trail offers upland, wetland, and freshwater natural habitats along the Lafayette Creek and Big Head Branch Creek in Walton County. The trailhead near Seven Runs Creek offers a short, 2-3 hour, shady, moderate hike along Big Head Branch creek. Nokuse Plantation is a privately owned preservation and restoration area connecting conservation lands of Eglin Reservation, Lafayette Wildlife Management Area, and the Choctawhatchee Wildlife Management Area.

 

 

S7High Bluff Coastal Hiking Trail

Pull into the parking lot off US Highway 98 to hike this one-mile loop which features coastal scrub habitat unique to this coastline. The route crosses old sand dunes covered by plants, Scrub Oaks, and isolated groups of Sand Pines, and lower elevations with dense Palmettos, Slash and Longleaf Pine. A picnic table is located at the halfway point and a park bench at the end of the spur trail.

 

 

 

S9Lake Talquin State Forest Lines Tract Off-Road Bicycle Trail

The facility has a $2 fee with picnic facilities, grill, restroom, and a 9.5 mile trail for hikers as well as beginners and intermediate level cyclists that winds through pine plantations, sandhills, and hardwood areas along the lakeshore. The trail is divided into two sections: the Longleaf Loop of 4 miles and the Talquin Loop of 5 miles. The complete 9.5 mile loop takes about 2 hours to complete at regular speeds. One group campsite is located off the Talquin Loop with picnic tables, grill, and fire ring.

 

 

Living Shoreline Trail

This trail promotes the Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance “living shoreline initiative” and showcases the diverse vegetation at Eden Gardens State Park. The interpretive trail identifies 18 species in the cultivated gardens, as well as many native plants.

 

S13Mill Pond Nature Trail

Part of the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail, the walk parallels the Apalachicola River with great views of blooming Blue Flag Iris in season.

 

 

 

S11St. George Island Bike Path

Families enjoy this 6-mile long paved bicycle trail which winds among the dunes from the St. George Island State Park on the eastern end to The Plantation development on the western end. The gulf side offers visitors lots of beach to enjoy…and occasionally some surf in which to play.

 

 

S12Timpoochee Trail/Longleaf Greenway Trail

This is the most widely used paved path in South Walton. Named after Timpoochee Kinnard, the influential Indian Chief of the Euchee Indian tribe, the paved multi-use path winds through the beach communities along Scenic Highway 30A, traversing recreational areas, state parks, the state forest, and coastal dune lakes.