Throughout most of the country, February is a cold and damp season at best and an icy season at worst. It’s not the best weather for hiking. In South Walton County, however, the same rules don’t really apply. Here we still have highs in the 60s and 70s and mostly sunny days, so you can enjoy a brisk hike even in February. And there are several beautiful hiking trails along the 30A area for you to enjoy, lush with flora and fauna and beautiful views of the ocean. Here are some of our favorites:
Deer Lake Trail
Deer Lake Trail in WaterSound is a short, easy hike — just a 1.5 mile hike with flat, paved trails as well as sandy hills. It’s perfect for stretching your legs before settling down to a picnic with family or friends. It’s also a great hiking trail if you want to spot a wide variety of birds and butterflies. The natural flora and fauna of this place is enough to give you pause and help you enjoy the natural scenery of 30A as well.
Point Washington State Forest
Point Washington State Forest, however, is perfect for the avid hiker, athlete, or nature lover. Located in Santa Rosa Beach, this is a state forest, not simply a park, with 15,000 acres that have been carefully conserved since 1992. You’ll also find sandhills, cypress swamps, and wet prairie in this forest. There are over 30 trails which can be hiked or biked, with more trails on the way. They vary in terms of length and difficulty. Some are 3.5 miles while others are as long as 10 mile loops. All trails are accessed easily from the parking lot and trailhead.
Topsail Hill Preserve State Park
“Pristine” is typically the word used to describe Topsail Hill Preserve State Park. Pristine beaches, lakes, and white quartz sand dunes will make your breath catch as you take in the scenery here. There are lush wetlands which make this park perfect for birdwatching, as well as challenging hiking trails for those who are truly hiking enthusiasts, both hilly and very sandy. Like Point Washington, Topsail Hill Preserve is located in Santa Rosa Beach.
Grayton Beach State Park
Grayton Beach State Park is mostly known for, well, the beach. However, there are also nature trails to be found here, moving through the coastal dunes and lovely wooded areas. There’s the Barrier Dunes Nature Trail where you can walk slowly and take in the beauty around you, and Pine Woods Loop with its lake views and boardwalk for ease of hiking. Both of these trails are very short, easy, and refreshing, much like Deer Lake. There’s also a lower chance of bug bites here than along some other trails.
The hiking trails of South Walton County will be here no matter what time of year you choose to visit, and they’re just as invigorating in February as throughout the year. Come see for yourself, and check out our blog for more information on attractions and activities for your next 30A vacation.