Grayton Beach State Park
Over 40 percent of South Walton’s land is protected, and the majority of that acreage is part of the Point Washington State Forest system. A popular access point is the Eastern Lake Trail System, located along S. County Road 395. Over 40 percent of South Walton’s land is protected, and the majority of that acreage is part of the Point Washington State Forest system. A popular access point is the Eastern Lake Trail System, located along S. County Road 395. This particular trail system offers 3.5, 5 and 10-mile loops, ideal for both hikers and bicyclists. Pets are also allowed, if on a leash. The 15,400-acre forest is home to ten natural communities, including sandhill, cypress swamps, basin swamps, wet flatwoods and wet prairie. Overnight camping is allowed in special primitive areas of Point Washington State Forest. You can get more info and reserve a spot for only $10 by calling 850-373-1801. Check out this 30A Facebook Live video of the primitive camping sites: South Walton Campinga secret spot in South Walton for only $10/night?? 30A.com/camping Posted by 30A on Monday, November 7, 2016 You can also find wonderful (and affordable) camp sites nearby at Grayton Beach State Park and in Topsail Hill State Preserve‘s higher end RV Park. If you don’t mind getting your car a little dusty, feel free to turn down one of those little sandy roads and take a casual drive through the forest. But unless you’re in a 4-wheel drive, it’s probably best not to turn off the main corridors, as some of the smaller roads get pretty tight, pretty fast. For official information, visit Point Washington State Forest. Truman explores Point Washington State Forest: Best places to go off-roading: Read More
Whether you’re in a $1 million RV with flat-screen TVs and granite kitchen counter tops, or a 2-person pup-tent with a gas lantern and mosquito net, South Walton is truly a camper’s paradise. Routinely voted one of the best campgrounds in America, the Gregory E. Moore RV Resort at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park has gorgeous shaded lots, full hook-ups, cabins, exceptional amenities, vast miles of hiking and biking trails to explore and access to over 3 miles of state-protected beaches. Although the campground at Grayton Beach State Park features fewer amenities than Topsail, the waterfront sites on Western Lake are spectacular and the crashing waves of Grayton Beach are within easy earshot. This is also South Walton’s most affordable camping option (unless you’re camping in your backyard, which works just fine too). In the 15,400-acre Point Washington State Forest, primitive camping sites are available for only $10 a night. Enjoy over 10 miles of trails for hiking and biking and many miles of off-road paths perfect for your four-wheel drive. Call 850-373-1801 for more information and to reserve a spot. Just north across Choctawhatchee Bay, Live Oak Landing offers campsites, quaint cottages, guided fishing excursions and more, all along the gorgeous Black River. The mouth of the river is a gorgeous and untouched habitat, home to bald eagles, ospreys, alligators, dolphins and more. If you venture out here, you’re seeing something quite special that even most South Walton locals never get to enjoy! But perhaps the most unique camping experience in South Walton is found just a few miles west of 30A, in Miramar Beach. Just across the street from the largest designer outlet mall in the nation, you’ll find Camping on the Gulf, where you can not only camp close to the beach… you can camp on it. There’s not much shade here, but that direct Gulf breeze will certainly keep you cool on those long, hot summer days! Or you can have a beach bonfire on a cool, winter night.
The Walton Area Chamber of Commerce recently announced they will host the second annual 2016 South Walton RUN/SUP Series event on Saturday, September 24, 2016, at Grayton Beach State Park from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. The after party and awards ceremony will be held at The Craft Bar 30A in Grayton Beach from 2 to 5 p.m. that day. Registrant packet pick-up will take place at The Craft Bar 30A on Friday, September 23, from 5 to 7 p.m. The race takes you on a two-mile run through beautiful Grayton Beach State Park followed by a two-mile paddle on Western Lake, one of the area’s rare coastal dune lakes. With four total races, a world-renowned venue and both Family and Competitive/Advanced groups, the 2016 South Walton RUN/SUP Series will continue to set a standard in the local and regional athletic communities for the future. With RUN/SUP once again sponsoring the event, they will offer a limited amount of their new RUN/SUP boards for rental on the day of the event, should a participant need one. Just be sure to select that you will need a board provided when registering. Board rentals are limited and available for an extra fee when registering online. Boards up to 12’6 are allowed. Participants in the first race can arrive as early as 8 a.m. with the races beginning promptly at 9 a.m. The event schedule will go as follows: Race 1: Competitive Division at 9:00 a.m. (Cash prize will be awarded in this category.) $75 entry fee Race 2: Recreation Division 1 at 10:15 a.m. $65 entry fee Race 3: Recreation Division 2 at 11:30 a.m. $65 entry fee Race 4: Family Division at 12:45 p.m. (This race includes youth participants age 8-12.) $55 entry fee *Please note that this race is shorter and is only a one mile run and a one mile paddle. Register now at Walton Area Chamber of Commerce or by clicking here. Day of event parking is available at Grayton Beach State Park. Overflow parking will be available at The Craft Bar 30A and Pandora’s Steakhouse & Lounge for those renting boards or for those strictly there to observe the race and cheer family and friends to the finish line. Parking instructions will be noted in all racer packets. The 2016 South Walton RUN/SUP Series is produced by Barber & Gall promotions in conjunction with RUN/SUP and the Walton Area Chamber of Commerce, the benefiting organization. Current sponsors and vendors include: Silver Sands Premium Outlets, Chelco, Insurance Zone, VIP Destin Magazine, SoWal, The Craft Bar 30A, RUN/SUP, Salt Water 30a, Gulf Wind Paddle and Surf, Sunrise Chair Company, Advance Media Group and Visit South Walton. For more info, sponsorship opportunities or to register, contact the Walton Area Chamber office at 850-267-0683.
Looking for some fun for the kids? Camp 30A is the only outdoors adventures camp for children in South Walton. Held at Grayton Beach State Park, the day camp gives kids ages 6-12 a chance to explore the sand and the sea, the longleaf pine forest and the coastal dune lakes. Camp leaders take kids on paddle board adventures, kayaking, hiking and even snorkeling. Book your day camp now. Michael Harrison, the camp’s director, has worked with kids camps for over 20 years and always dreamed of starting his own. The area around Scenic Highway 30A seemed like the perfect spot. “At Grayton Beach State Park, we have the Gulf of Mexico, but not only that, we have the lakes, we have hiking,” Harrison said. “It really lends itself to a great, unique camp experience.” Harrison has always loved working with kids, especially when he can introduce them to something they haven’t experienced before, like snorkeling or kayaking. “If you’re showing them something that’s maybe a little different, something they haven’t done before, they’re going to be really enthusiastic,” he said. “And kids are just fun to be around.” Learn more and book your day camp online.
Grayton Beach State Park has once again been named among the Top Ten Best Beaches in the 26th Annual Top 10 Beach List produced by coastal expert Dr. Stephen P. Leatherman, professor at Florida International University, better known to many as Dr. Beach. Grayton Beach State Park features sugar-white sand and emerald-green water where development has been restrained so big sand dunes still dominate the landscape. At the same time, all the amenities of great restaurants and accommodations are close by in the old town of Grayton Beach or bustling Seaside. Many people choose to camp in this wonderful state park that also features tidal lakes and freshwater ponds. “More attention is being paid to safety and management this year and extra credit is being awarded to beaches that prohibit smoking,” said Visit South Walton Director of Marketing Jon Ervin. “These changes allowed the list of best beaches to begin anew. This is why Grayton Beach, which has been recognized before by Dr. Leatherman, has once again made the list.” Check out this live tour of Grayton Beach State Park: It’s the first day of summer and we went LIVE from Grayton Beach State Park. Tune in again tonight around 5 p.m. C.S.T. for a very special announcement about some amazing news from The 30A Company! Posted by 30A on Monday, June 20, 2016 As “Dr. Beach,” Leatherman has selected the annual Top 10 Beaches since 1991. Fifty criteria are used for evaluation including water and sand quality, safety and management. Dr. Leatherman is an internationally known coastal scientist who has published 20 books and hundreds of scientific articles and reports about storm impacts, coastal erosion and ways to improve beach health and safety. For more info, visit Grayton Beach State Park.