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Hike or Bike to Explore South Walton’s Natural Beauty

More than 40 percent of Walton County’s total acreage is dedicated to preservation, allowing visitors endless opportunities to explore thousands of acres of forest and rare coastal dune lakes, and spot rare and protected bird species.

In Walton County you’ll find 200-plus miles of hiking and biking trails with varied levels of difficulty. So whether you are looking for a leisurely ride on a paved path or a heart-pounding, sweat-inducing run along forest trails, you’ll find what you’re looking for in the area’s four state parks or the Point Washington State Forest.

Now that you’re ready to explore, here’s a look at the trails you can hike and bike in South Walton.

Scenic Highway 98:

Known as the original beach cruising spot in South Walton, Scenic Gulf Drive (as it’s officially known) is a three-mile paved path in Miramar Beach that offers breathtaking views of the Gulf of Mexico and South Walton’s sugar-white sands. Biking along Scenic Gulf Drive you’ll enjoy an easy ride, great views and cool ocean breezes.

2384 Scenic Gulf Drive, Miramar Beach

Topsail Hill Preserve State Park:

With 1,600 acres of stunning bald cypress ponds, nature trails that traverse mountainous sand dunes and two freshwater coastal dune lakes, Topsail Hill Preserve State Park in Santa Rosa Beach offers bike riders plenty of natural beauty and 14 unique plant communities. The park’s trails offer riders a variety of options, both laid back and challenging.

7525 W. Scenic Highway 30A, Santa Rosa Beach

  • Beach Tram Path: 1 mile, easy

  • Campbell Lake Trail: 5.2-mile loop, easy

  • Deer Track Trail: 5.5 miles, difficult

  • Morris Lake Trail: 2.5-mile loop, difficult

  • Old Growth Trail: 1 mile, difficult

  • Salamander Pond Trail: 1.1-mile loop, easy

Timpoochee Trail:

The Timpoochee Trail, named after Timpoochee Kinnard, an influential Chief of the Euchee tribe, is one of the most widely used paved paths in South Walton. Located adjacent to Scenic Highway 30A, the 19-mile multi-use path winds its way town-to-town through 12 of South Walton’s 16 beach neighborhoods, while also showcasing views of recreational areas, state parks, the state forest and 15 coastal dune lakes. The trail is paved, protected and mostly level, with just a few Florida hills.

Cassine Trail:

Nestled inside the Point Washington State Forest, and connecting to the Eastern Lake Trail, is the Cassine Trail. The .5-mile trail allows hikers and bike riders to explore a variety of terrain while showcasing the diversity of the Northwest Florida ecosystem. Those who explore the trail can soak up gorgeous views of Eastern Lake.

2447 South County Highway 395, Santa Rosa Beach

Grayton Beach State Park:

With pristine landscapes, picnic areas and bird watching galore, Grayton Beach State Park is a must-see for those exploring South Walton. The trails in the park wind through pine flatwoods and around small freshwater ponds, which are a natural habitat for wading birds.

357 Main Park Road, Santa Rosa Beach

  • The Flatwoods Trail: 3.81 miles, easy to moderate

  • Western Lake Loop: 0.7 miles, easy to moderate

Point Washington State Forest:

Covering 15,000 acres, Point Washington State Forest offers explorers more than 27 miles of distinct trails that traverse through longleaf pine flatwoods, wet prairie, coastal scrub swamplands and sand hills.

2447 South County Highway 395, Santa Rosa Beach

  • Longleaf Greenway Trail:

    • East Trail: 2.5 miles, moderate

    • Middle Trail: 3.25 miles, moderate

    • Western Trail: 2.5 miles, easy

  • Eastern Lake Trail:

    • Orange Loop: 11 miles, moderate to difficult

    • Red Loop: 6 miles, moderate

    • Yellow Loop: 3.5 miles, easy to moderate

Deer Lake State Park:

This state park is nestled alongside Deer Lake, a rare coastal dune lake, and presents visitors with splashes of color from the summer wildflowers, plants and various species of birds and butterflies. The 1.5-mile loop trail is located on the north side of Scenic Highway 30A across from the park entrance.

6719 E. Scenic Highway 30A, Santa Rosa Beach

Alys Beach Nature Trail:

The northern portion of Alys Beach contains a 20-acre nature preserve that provides a quiet and reflective getaway. A .75-acre trail meanders through the preserve, with most of it on an elevated boardwalk that offers views of slash pine forest, cypress trees, open meadows, wiregrass and wildflowers.

140 Charles Street, Alys Beach

Watersound Trail:

The Watersound Trail currently connects Walton County and Bay County, running from the Watersound Origins community to the Panama City Beach Conservation Park. The trail can be accessed at Village Commons in Watersound Origins and offers a leisurely stroll on foot or a quiet bike ride through nature.

530 Pathways Drive, Santa Rosa Beach

  • 5 miles, easy to moderate

Kellogg Nature Center:

This 10-acre parcel of land was donated to Walton County in 2003 by Mrs. Pat Kellogg to be used as a wildlife nature preserve and nature center. The hiking and biking trail is perfect for bird watching and outdoor recreation as it loops through pine flatwoods connected to Choctawhatchee Bay.

776 E. Nursery Road, Santa Rosa Beach

  • .3 miles, easy

Greenway Trails:

The multi-use trails are located within the Town Center Government Education Complex between J.D. Miller Road and U.S. State Highway 331. The paved trail includes timber bridges, wetlands and native vegetation.

63 South Centre Trail, Santa Rosa Beach

  • Greenway Hiking Trail: 875 feet, easy

  • Greenway Multi-Use Path: 1 mile, easy

Now that you know where to hike and bike in South Walton, be sure that you also know and follow proper trail etiquette:

  • Yield to Pedestrians: Pedestrians always have the right-of-way.

  • Keep Right and Pass on Left: The trails are like US roadways.

  • Keep the Trail Clean: Make sure you leave the trail pristine by removing all trash and personal items you brought with you.

  • Be Safe at Night: Cyclists must use head and tail lights after dark.

  • Pets on Trails: Dogs should be kept on a short leash and pet waste must be cleaned from the trail.

  • Protect Yourself and Others: It’s the law that a bicycle rider or passenger under 16 years of age must wear a helmet, and bicyclists are not allowed to wear headphones at any time.