longleaf pine Google Map of Creek Path

Creek Path

The Creek Path for pedestrians and bicycles preserves the old growth natural landscape and waterways within the area developed for South Walton County community buildings. It stretches a couple of miles from the Bowman Bayou by the High School in the north on US 331 to the Tom Thumb service station in the south on Hwy 98. The forest path is partly paved and connects with other branches of the Greenway Trail system. There are three nearby parking locations. The closest access is from the Walton County Chamber of Commerce at the proposed Creek Path trailhead.

Take all or part of this two-mile path through the woods beside the creek to experience a little bit of native Florida nature. It provides an educational and healthy resource for the schools, college, county administration, Chamber of Commerce, Tourist Development Council with the Visitor Information Center, library, and health department workers and visitors. This movie shows what it is like and tells exactly where we are going.

Proposed sign locations

In the spring of 2011, while exploring nature around the Walton County Coastal Branch library, friends and I found the path. It needed care. The local County Commissioner was quick to provide maintenance and in the fall we enjoyed the path in good condition end-to-end. But do people know about it? Can they find it and understand how it traverses obstacles? I could not find a map or any documentation supporting the path or naming it.

Here is a proposal for where to put some signs. I've tried to imagine where signs would be needed and pasted them into the photos to see where they might go. They are blue letters on white to be visible in the photos. Sign design would be up to the people who finish this path and present it to the public; those who pay for sign creation and installation.

Sign location ideas for the middle and two ends of the path are on this page. They are a trailhead and sign locations 4, 7, and 13. See the next page for sign location ideas in between, an extra page for the alternative bridge, and examples of local signs. See project plans below. Here is a creek view: February, 2012.


Feb 2011 creek view

Access from parking lot near Chamber of Commerce Starting at the Walton County Chamber of Commerce, take the pedestrian walkway past what could be a trailhead to go either left or right (south or north) on the Creek Path. See it on the Google Map.


Suggested trailhead signageTrailhead location. The suggested trail head for the Creek Path is close to the County Administration buildings. There is a disabled parking space (handicap) and ample parking nearby. It is about in the middle of the path, enabling long or short hikes. The trailhead is in the foreground and a proposed Sign 4 location on the Google map is in the background. Coordinates: 30° 22.414'N 86° 10.855'W


arrow signs mark the pathSign 4 location. Metal arrows are used in local state parks and forests. The purpose is to show that the path goes either way here. Coordinates: 30° 22.410'N 86° 10.863'W


South end of the Creek Path, looking southSign 7 location. The name, nature, and location of the Creek Path could be displayed prominently for passers-by at both ends of the path where it intersects with US 331. The sign could indicate the length of the path. This end is prone to flooding when water is high.

alternative bridge A bridge connects the path to the sidewalk on higher ground about two minutes walk farther north on Hwy. 331. (See picture to right or more info on this page.)

 


End of Creek Path, looking west This is the south end of the Creek Path that is close to the Tom Thumb service station and food mart. Coordinates: 30° 22.014'N 86° 10.838'W


Creek Path entry to south end

The Creek Path is paved south of the S Greenway Trail road that leads to the Northwest Florida State College South Walton Center campus. Wind sweeps most of the pine needles from the pathway.

Access to the north End of the Creek PathSign 13 location. The north end of the Creek Path is on US 331, bordered by the creek that flows under the highway to Bowman Bayou to the east. South Walton High School is just to the north. It is labeled on the Google map. A double-sided sign here would be visible to drivers coming into south Walton from the bridge over the bay. It could indicate the length of the path. Coordinates: 30° 22.651'N 86° 10.757'W

Creek Path entry to north endThe creek widens and deepens considerably at the north end of the Creek Path. There is a large beaver dam near the bridge before the water flows to Bowman Bayou on the east side of US 331.

Project plans

1.Continue to collect various suggested signage solutions

2. List various considerations and related issues

3. Gather links to county resources

4. Contact locals


Links

See a Google map of the path, existing features, and proposed sign locations. See 3-minute movie. See the Walton Outdoors article with photos, "Explore the Creek Trail in Santa Rosa Beach". See examples of local trail signs. See the Walton County page.

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© 2011, 2012 Caroling All rights reserved. Created: 2011-11-09. Last modified: 2015-04-24