Posted on 10/14/2022
Today the beaches of South Walton are known around the world. Though getting here for some can only be achieved by air travel, for most folks, the journey involves packing up an SUV with beach towels and suntan lotion and heading south - but more on that later. The famed beach highway of Scenic 30A is loved more for its nature and the feeling one gets from getting away from at all than any of its other amazing features. Simply going to the beach, listening to the waves, and watching the birds overhead is more than enough to relax just about anyone. But for those looking for an even more remote South Walton experience, you'll want to enjoy the off-road trails of 30A.
Back to that SUV that you've got packed up. The paths for off roading here are actually very accessible. Almost any car, er um, SUV, with a ground clearance of 7+ inches, can be packed up with any manner of lunches, picnic blankets, and beverages in an effort to enjoy the great outdoors in a whole new way.
The auto-friendly, off-road public trails north of 30A are a beautiful nature experience just waiting to happen. They cut through untouched, never-developed lands, where wildlife abounds all around you. These plants, grasses, insects, birds, and small animals, make up the unique ecosystem of this very natural area. Seconds after you drive off the main drag and onto the lightly-graveled sand and dirt roads, you'll start to see the natural topography take shape. Looking at your navigation, you may see rivers and wetlands, oftentimes framed in dense low tree lines. This is a good indication that there's a water system nearby, and that's definitely something that you'll want to enjoy as you traverse the true wilds of the 30A area. Pine forest, scrub oaks, and sand dunes make for idealistic vistas in every direction; here, the greenery is as soothing to the eye as it is to the spirit.
The best Point Washington State Forest roads to take when you go off roading here are Route 28 and Route 22. There are numerous paths and trails that wind through the forests of South Walton, but these two are the most easily accessible and fun trails for a brisk trip or the perfect departure point for a plethora of hiking trails. To get there, head south, down Route 83, to Blue Mountain Beach.
About halfway to scenic Highway 30A, you'll see the entrance of Forest
Road 28 on your left. This is a beautiful trail from which to start your
adventure. It winds up, down, left, and right through the forest, and
along the way, you'll enjoy some of the best views of trees and wildlife
around. At a distance of 3 1/4 miles and a speed limit of just 15 miles
an hour, you'll be sure to enjoy the view along this route that
casually lets you off at Route 283. This road goes from Highway 98 and
Point Washington down to Grayton Beach, Seaside, and 30A.
Take a pit stop in Seaside:
Again the best path, Forest Road 22, intersects 283 at the halfway point. You go through the Point Washington State Foest and over some beautiful wetlands onto Highway 395, which cuts from Highway 98 down to WaterColor at 30A. There are other paths in the woods, but these two are the widest and easiest and have clearly defined entrance and exit points. You'll seriously enjoy all of the views of the wetlands as you drive through rivers, streams, and small ponds around every corner. Stopping off here is the best place to have a picnic, get away from the hustle and bustle of the beach, and maybe even find the wilder side of 30A.
Ocean Reef offers a wide array of 30A vacation rentals from which you can plan your own off-road adventure. To dial in on the great roads we specifically mentioned above, you'll want to limit your search to the South Walton beach towns of Dune Allen on the west to Seagrove on the east. Wherever you decide to stay, you'll be by some of the most beautiful beaches and forests in the country!