READY FOR AN OUTDOOR ADVENTURE?
Looking for an adventure beyond the Gulf of Mexico? Destin-Fort Walton Beach offers canoeing and kayaking for the perfect outdoor adventure. Rocky Bayou State Park and Turkey Creek Park in Niceville are great ways to get out on the water. Located just north of the Mid-Bay Bridge, Rocky Bayou State Park is a great place for kayaking or paddleboarding. Canoes and kayaks are available to rent for two hours, a half-day or a full day. They also offer kayaks that are equipped with detachable seats for comfort and back support. If you are looking for something even more adventurous, then head to the northern part of the county for great tubing.
ROCKY BAYOU STATE PARK
Rocky Bayou State Park offers visitors and locals a chance to enjoy the great outdoors. The park is popular for boating and fishing. You can also enjoy hiking, biking, canoeing. The park’s diverse wildlife communities will also give you a chance to enjoy mother nature at its best. Rocky Bayou is a fresh-to-brackish water system supporting a large variety of fish and shellfish, including the federally endangered Okaloosa darter. Several designated species, such as osprey and bald eagles, are known to nest within the aquatic preserve. Osprey, in particular, are often sighted by campers, kayakers, and locals. It only costs $5.00 per vehicle to enjoy the park.
For more information on Rocky Bayou State Park, check out this link.
TURKEY CREEK PARK
Want to enjoy the great outdoors even more, then you can enjoy canoeing, kayaking, or tubing down Turkey Creek. You’ll have an opportunity to eavesdrop on local turtles, ducks, wading birds and other wildlife beneath a spreading canopy of cypress trees. The nature trail allows two-way traffic to take in the sights and sounds while traveling on the three-fourths of a mile raised boardwalk.
Both Rocky Bayou State Park and Turkey Creek offer a great place to relax and get away from the beach crowds. Only a short drive from the beach, you will probably have your own slice of paradise.
For more information on Turkey Creek Park, check out this link.
BLACKWATER RIVER STATE FOREST: KARICK LAKE RECREATION AREA
Just north of Niceville, you will find even more spots to enjoy nature. North of I-10, Blackwater River State Forest offers two great opportunities for satisfying your adventurous spirit. While Karick Lake does not permit swimming, canoeists and kayakers are welcome, and there is a boat ramp. The lake is well stocked if you have a hankering for some freshwater fishing. If you’re camping, you can pick out a campsite right on the shore of the lake that will be good for the soul from sunrise to sunset.
BLACKWATER RIVER STATE FOREST: WILDERNESS LANDING
Wilderness Landing, also at Blackwater River State Forest, is a backcountry experience like no other. From Highway 4 in Baker, take Barton Road to Corduroy, then left again on Wilderness Landing Road. You’ll be rewarded with some wonderful and challenging hiking trails, as well as a boat ramp right on Blackwater River. There’s a small beach for tubing or splashing in the sun. If you’re RVing and into boondocking, this is an ideal spot with good amenities, including hot showers, nice bathrooms and running water. For a full- or part-day adventure, check out Blackwater Joe’s. These pro paddlers offer both canoe and tube rentals, as well as cabins and camping for a magical overnight experience.
If you want to take a step back from our beautiful beaches and water on the Gulf of Mexico, the Destin-Fort Walton destination has everything you want to do for a perfect vacation. From canoeing to beach fun, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.