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Instagram It or It Didn’t Happen: 4 Spots to Take Great Ecosploring Photos in South Walton

These days, it sure seems like the only way to prove you did something is to Instagram it. While that’s not strictly true, there are some incredibly picturesque spots to hike, bike or kayak in South Walton, and it would be a shame to pass up a photo opportunity at any of them. 

Grayton Beach State Park

Exploring in Grayton Beach State Park

Walk amongst the sand dunes in one of the most beautiful and unique state parks in the world. Just a short hike from the parking lot, you’ll find a trail that winds through an enchanting little forest. When you emerge on the other side, you’ll find spectacular views of Western Lake, along with the dunes, pine flatwoods and scrub communities that are uniquely South Walton.

Deer Lake State Park

Sunrise in Deer Lake State Park

Named after the coastal dune lake it surrounds, Deer Lake State Park is both beautiful and fascinating. Coastal dune lakes are incredibly rare, and in the U.S., they’re only found on the Gulf Coast. As you follow the boardwalk around the dunes and to the beach, you can explore rare plants, from Gulf Coast lupine to Curtiss’ sand grass. Once you make it to the dune lake, feel free to picnic, swim or go fishing. Or, just snap a few pics for Instagram. 

The Boathouse at Western Lake

Sunset over Western Lake

Western Lake is a premier destination for ecosploring and watersports in South Walton. For great Insta-worthy views, take a stroll along the Western Lake Loop, or even camp out if the mood strikes you. And when you actually want to get in the water, WaterColor’s Boathouse is a great place to rent a stand-up paddleboard and have an adventure on Western Lake.

Point Washington State Forest

Horseback riding in Point Washington State Forest

Into biking or hiking? Take a 3.5-, 5- or 10-mile loop on Point Washington State Forest’s trail system. The forest is overflowing with rare and endangered plants and animals and gorgeous scenery. Want to step up your selfie game even more? Saddle up for a horseback ride at Arnett’s Gulfside Trail Rides, which connects to Point Washington, and explore nature a whole new way.

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