DeFuniak Springs is the county seat of Walton County, its historic residential district clustered around a perfectly round spring-fed lake exactly a mile in circumference.
Nearby: Crestview, Freeport, Niceville, Panama City Beach, Ponce De Leon
The town came to life when the Florida Chautauqua Association held its first assembly here in February 1885, establishing one of the first grand cultural centers of the Southeast. It is home to Florida’s oldest continually operating library.
Trails and Parks in DeFuniak Springs
- Florida Trail, Alaqua East - Take on some rugged terrain on this round-trip hike to Alaqua Creek to discover the beauty of the undulating landscape, including an ancient magnolia-beech forest cradled between floodplains.
- Florida Trail, Alaqua West - Experience a little bit of all of the best that the Florida Trail in Eglin has to offer with this scenic 6.6-mile round-trip hike across hilly terrain punctuated by the tributaries that flow into Alaqua Creek.
- Florida Trail, Eglin - 98.2 miles. Florida’s largest military reservation was once the Choctawhatchee National Forest, and thanks to more than a century of conservation, the Eglin section includes vast stands of old-growth forests and steephead ravines. Eglin East has a continuous long east-west segment of trail, while Eglin West offers a shorter segment through the sandhills near East Bay.
- Florida Trail, Eglin East - This 45 mile segment of the Florida Trail through Eglin Air Force Base traverses ravines and old growth forests, an excellent destination for backpacking in Florida's Panhandle.
- Florida Trail, Lafayette Creek - From a tricky traverse of the floodplain of Lafayette Creek to a roller-coaster of steep dips through wooded ravines, this scenic and surprisingly hilly section of the Florida Trail will give you a serious workout.
- Lakewood Park - In northern Walton County, Lakewood Park hides an unexpected draw that attracts thousands of visitors each year: Britton Hill, Florida's high point at 345 feet.
- Morrison Springs Park - Surrounded by a rim of old growth cypress, Morrison Springs is a beautiful swimming hole when open. It can also be enjoyed with a walk around the park or a paddle up the spring run.
- Ponce De Leon Springs Nature Trails - Two short nature trails, the Sandy Creek Trail and the Spring Creek Trail, follow the confluence of waters at Ponce De Leon Springs State Park.
- Ponce de Leon Springs State Park - In the quiet town of Ponce de Leon, the spring’s the thing. Chalky blue 68-degree water tempts swimmers in for a chilly dip in this first-magnitude spring, which gushes forth 14 million gallons of clean, clear water daily.