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Walton County

Walton at a Glance

Coastal Cities

Miramar Beach

Popular Spot

Grayton Beach State Park

Sandy Beaches

26 miles

Public Accesses

55

Great Florida Birding & Wildlife Trail

4 sites

State Parks & Lands

Acres

Deer Lake State Park

1,995

Eden Gardens State Park

162

Grayton Beach State Parks

2,162

Ponce de Leon Springs State Park

387

Topsail Hill Preserve State Park

1,643

Point Washington State Forest

15,399

Federal Lands

Acres

Eglin Air Force Base (Santa Rosa, Okaloosa)

463,448

Pensacola Beach

66,550
Bays & Inlets

Choctawhatchee Bay, Grassy Cove, Basin Bayou, Bunker Cove, Jolly Bay, Alaqua Bayou

Rivers & Paddling Trails

Choctawhatchee River, Florida Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail, Gulf Intracoastal Waterway

Walton County attracts visitors worldwide to its white sand beaches and dunes, emerald waters and rare coastal dune lakes. It claims the highest point in Florida at 345 feet - the lowest high point of any state. One of the most biodiverse areas on the continent, more than 40 percent of its 26-mile coast is in preserves and parks.

The county proudly showcases 15 coastal dune lakes found in only a few other places in the world - Madagascar, Australia, New Zealand and Oregon. These rare, fragile lakes were formed by wind 2,000 to 10,000 years ago. Each lake is unique, varying from fresh to salty depending on its source of water - a stream, groundwater, rain or saltwater. These shallow (5-feet-deep) lakes are separated from the gulf by dunes up to 30 feet high, but connect intermittently with gulf waters.

Three state parks on the gulf have coastal dune lakes. Topsail Hill Preserve State Park features Morris, Campbell and Stallworth lakes that span 196 acres. Western, Alligator and Little Redfish lakes in Grayton Beach State Park cover more than 200 acres. Deer and Camp Creek lakes spread over 53 acres fed by blackwater streams in day-use-only Deer Lake State Park. These parks have miles of secluded, pristine beaches, up to 25-foot-high dunes, nature trails, and excellent fresh and saltwater fishing. Topsail and Grayton provide RV campsites and furnished cabins.

The Beaches of South Walton are 16 diverse beach communities dotted along the county coastline between dune lakes and state parks. These communities have historical and cultural festivals, art galleries, shopping, fine-to-casual dining, vacation rentals, and water activities for visitors.

Springs and creeks feed the 27-mile-long Choctawhatchee Bay, an estuary that rims most this coast, rich with forested wetlands, patches of oyster beds, endangered Okaloosa darters, bony-plated Gulf sturgeon, alligator, gar, rare snails, reptiles and amphibians. The huge bay along with the Choctawhatchee River, Intracoastal Waterway and Gulf of Mexico offer excellent grouper, trout and snapper fishing. Overlooking Choctawhatchee Bay, Eden Gardens State Park offers a glimpse into the area's past of lumbering, turpentine production, agriculture and fishing. Its special attraction, Wesley Mansion, once a lumber baron's antebellum home, is surrounded by camellias, azaleas and butterfly gardens.

Eglin Air Force Base, the largest military installation in the country, spreads over a vast portion of Walton County. This huge conservation area and other conservation lands safeguard almost a quarter-million acres of land and more than 50 threatened animal species, including sea turtles and red-cockaded woodpeckers and more than 200,000 acres of longleaf pine.

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Last Modified:
February 10, 2020 - 1:04pm

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