Walton County’s Hidden Gems: Scenic Springs, Rivers, and More

Jun 20, 2024 | Communities, DeFuniak Springs, Freeport, Walton & Beyond

Lake Jackson is located in north Paxton in Walton County.

Walton County is so much more than the beach. It is home to springs, rivers, lakes and some of the most beautiful scenery in all Northwest Florida. A wide variety of aquatic adventures await just above the Choctawhatchee Bay in Authentic Walton.

Encompassing Freeport, Paxton and DeFuniak Springs, these communities are filled with incredible historic treasures and pastoral landscapes. Every experience here just feels genuine, with a friendly vibe that makes all visitors feel welcome.

Outdoor adventure is a way of life in Freeport, and it’s all centered around the Choctawhatchee Bay. Stretching about 30 miles from end-to-end and between 4 to 6 miles across at any given point, Choctawhatchee Bay is ideal for boating, fishing, paddleboarding and swimming. The shores are lined with parks and green spaces for enjoying a picnic or just enjoying the view. Whether you’re kayaking, fishing or feasting at Nick’s Seafood, there’s a bevy of things to do on the water. Grab a canoe and start paddling at Grady Brown Park or charter a fishing boat and hit the waves with an expert guide.

Paddle Boarding on the Bay

At the northernmost edge of the county, amid the pastoral beauty of rolling pastures and woodland areas, you’ll find the quiet little town of Paxton. Paxton is nestled right against Lake Jackson, which straddles the Florida-Alabama line, providing an ideal outlet for leisure time and nature appreciation. Perhaps the best way to fully enjoy the lake is by getting out on the water. Bring a canoe or kayak to paddle around in search of local wildlife.

No trip to DeFuniak Springs is complete without a stroll along the shores of Lake DeFuniak. From the historic homes of Circle Drive to the oldest continuously operating library, this perfectly round lake is steeped in local history. Explore one of 40 homes on the National Register of Historic Places, or pay a visit to the time-honored Chautauqua Institution for a taste of old DeFuniak. But it’s not just about heritage – the lake is also a dynamic hub for more modern community events, like the annual Sprint Triathlon and recreational LakeFest.

Aerial view of historic buildings in DeFuniak Springs

Located just east of DeFuniak Springs in Walton County, Morrison Springs is a diver’s paradise.

Acquired by the state of Florida in 2004, it has become one of the most popular diving sites in the Southeast, drawing visitors from across the nation.

Boasting crystal-clear water that provides virtually perfect visibility, the 250-foot main pool is one of the area’s most unique diving expeditions. Morrison Springs produces roughly 48 million gallons of cool water every day, with ice-cold water rising from a below-ground aquifer through three underground chambers. The deepest cavity is nearly 300 feet below the surface, above an even larger, lower cavern, the size of which remains unknown.

Take in the sights and plan your next outdoor adventure at www.AuthenticWalton.com.

aerial view of Morrison Springs


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