Northwest Florida in springtime is the perfect place to be.
The weather is mild and the bugs are still hibernating, so it’s the best time of year to venture out before the summer heat and humidity kick in. Here are some local eco-adventures that can get your blood pumping and body moving.
The Friends of Topsail Hill Preserve State Park invite you to experience a sunset and moonrise paddling tour Friday, March 30 from 5 to 8 p.m. Check out the secluded Campbell lake on this ranger-guided tour.
Paddlers must be experienced canoers or kayakers over 12 years of age, and cost for the program is $40 per person.
Cost includes watercraft rental, park admission fee, tram ride to Campbell Lake, juice/water and a donation to the Friends of Topsail Hill Preserve State Park.
Pre-registration is required at least three days before the paddle date. To book tickets or find more information, visit https://www.topsailparkfriends.org/.
Florida Trail Association
Ready for a good hike? The Florida Trail Association leads several guided hikes in the area for those interested in a bit of outdoor exploring.
• Point Washington Hike: Saturday, March 24
This hike at the Point Washington Trails in Santa Rosa Beach is just over 4 miles and is between Highways 393 and 83. There is a $2 fee at the Trailhead Kiosk for each hiker. Activity host is Bruce Varner. Call 614-218-0137.
• Alaqua Mountain Laurel Hike: Saturday, March 31
This hike is on the Eglin reserve in DeFuniak Springs. An Eglin recreation permit is required by every individual participating. The Alaqua Section hike will be to view the Mountain Laurel blooming. Activity host is Keith LeFevre. Call 850-689-8528.
• Florida National Scenic Trail: Saturday, April 14
Enjoy a hike in the Econfina Section of the Florida National Scenic Trail and look for wildflowers blooming. Activity host is Mary McKinley. Call 850-729-0344.
Pickin’ and Pedalin’
Emerald Coast Hydrobikes: Wednesdays 8 a.m. – noon.
Do like bike riding and water? Why not bike ride on the water with Emerald Coast Hydrobikes? March through September, join in on a weekly pedal cruise from Western Lake in Grayton Beach to Red Bar.
The four-hour tour costs $75 per adult and $40 for kids under 8 years of age. For more information, visit http://www.emeraldcoasthydrobikes.com%20 or call 850-598-7949.