Florida Trail: Scott Road to Devil's Hole Recreation Area (Econfina Creek Segment) and Trap Pond Spur Trail, Panama City, Florida
Traverse dozens of ravines, view fast streams and tumbling cascades, visit bluffs with excellent views of a a creek gorge - sounds like a perfect hike for your mountain vacation, right? Oh wait! It's right in Florida. The Econfina Creek segment of the Florida Trail is as unique as a hike could get in Florida, and you would barely be able to tell that you're in Florida, if the palmetto wasn't there. This spectacular section of the FT first descends into the Econfina Creek valley, passing some rapids on the creek, before following this waterway for many miles with a number of scenic sights along the way. This hike occurred on Friday, August 19th, 2016. My plan was to hike the Florida Trail out and back from Scott Road to Devil's Hole Recreation Area. Along the way, I would also hike the side trail to Trap Pond.
Topsail Hill Preserve State Park: Turpentine Trail, Deer Track Trail, Morris Lake Trail, and Old Growth Trail, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida
The coastal Florida Panhandle is well-known for its outstanding beaches. You have probably at least heard names such as Fort Walton Beach, Destin, and Panama City Beach. What most people don't know though is that not all of the beaches between Pensacola and Panama City are developed. A number of state parks, such as Topsail Hill State Park and St. Andrews State Park, are placed along the coast here to protect the fragile ecosystems that are found near the ocean. This part of Florida's coastline is home to fifteen coastal dune lakes - a very rare ecosystem that is found only in four other places: Oregon, Australia, Madagascar, and New Zealand. These lakes are one of the reasons that there is so much conserved land along the shoreline in Walton County. Out of the variety of state parks here, Topsail Hill State Park is the king of them all. This large park has several hiking trails that visit two dune lakes, a remote beach, and a landscape spotted with dunes of all shapes and sizes. This hike occurred on Tuesday, April 19, 2016. My plan was first to follow the paved Beach Tram Path to the Campbell Lake Bike Path, This is where I would take the south side of the Turpentine Trail past a view of Lake Campbell and then to the Deer Track Trail. I would follow the Deer Track Trail's south side to the Morris Lake Trail. After making a side trip to the beach, I would hike the Morris Lake Trail's loop counter-clockwise. Then, I would hike the Old Growth Trail, before hiking the Deer Track Trail's north side. I would finish the hike by following the north side of the Turpentine Trail.
Mark Oleg Ozboyd
Dear readers: I have invested a tremendous amount of time and effort in this website and the Georgia Waterfalls Database the past five years. All of the work that has gone in keeping these websites updated with my latest trip reports has almost been like a full-time job. This has not allowed me to pick up a paid job to save up money for college, and therefore, I I've had to take out loans. If you find the information on this website interesting, helpful, or time-saving, you can say "thanks" and help me out by clicking the button above and making a contribution. I will be very grateful for any amount of support you give, as all of it will apply toward my college tuition. Thank you!
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