Thursday, December 21, 2017

A Hike at Grayton State Park

Live Oak Landing
December 10, 2017
Freeport, FL

Grayton State Park is located between Panama City Beach and Destin on CR 30A.  It's 2,200 acres first opened as a state park in 1968.  Joe and I enjoyed a few miles of this gorgeous park on a hike that took us through a forest, a salt marsh, and over the crystal white sands along the Gulf.  

The hike we chose was Hobbit Hole so called because the trail leads you through the dunes where you find yourself inside an alcove of sand live oak trees. 


 Slivers of light and shadows danced on the sandy trail as we meandered quietly enjoying the chatter of birds and soft whispers of the leaves.   

The next section of trail took us beside Western Lake. It's the largest of the coastal dune lakes at about 220 acres.    













Eyes and ears were open wide hoping to see some of the shore birds that live in/visit the marsh year round.  Maybe next time...insert sad face !




Salt grass as tall as I am lined a lot of the lake.
Then came the section of trail through a Slash Pine forest.  I would have mistakenly called these long-leaf pines.  It seems these trees have been quite beneficial over the years producing pine sap.  

Turpentine was a chief source of income here many years ago.  There were remnants of dead trees with "slash" marks along the trail. 



  






















Scattered among the pines were magnificent southern magnolia trees...one of my favorite trees.  Of course there were no sweet smelling, huge white blooms, but I was surprised there were just a few of the pods with the brilliant red seeds...I guess the birds and squirrels have been busy !   
Lots of berries from Yaupon Holly trees...





... Dahoon Holly trees... 
...and an unknown bush added lots of pop along the trail.
Last, we enjoyed a nice stroll on the beach which we had all to ourselves except for a few Snowy Plovers.

Grayton SP is a gem that showcases natural beauty and diversity.  



What a great day of exploring !  The trail was easy and we walked about 4 miles with a lunch stop on the beach.





So until next time, 

















HAPPY TRAILS !         

13 comments:

  1. The park and the Hobbit Trail look like a great way to spend some time getting to know the area, such variety!

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  2. Looks like a wonderful place to spend a little time. I love the beach and the beachie walks.

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    1. Grayton SP has a lot to see and explore Jeri!

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  3. Looks like a pretty area. We're just east in East Point and it has been really foggy here.

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    1. Foggy mornings around here to...rain starts back up tomorrow for the week-end 😩!

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  4. Love that area in the Florida Panhandle, looks like you had a wonderful day too.

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  5. Beautiful photos! Love all the different textures of green.

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  6. Beautiful Gay! The trail through the dune forest reminds of dune forests on the Oregon coast...just with different plants!

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    1. Thanks Lisa! That’s so cool...sure hope to see the dune forests in Oregon one day!

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  7. I would love to do that hike! Beautiful photos! We should be there next winter, and Im taking notes of all your FL state park camping.

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