outdoors

Blue Spring is a literal hot spot for manatees

Blue Spring is a literal hot spot for manatees

This is the first in a series of articles that will appear occasionally throughout the year on outdoor opportunities worth checking out, both in Florida and, every so often, outside the state. The first centers around my trip to Blue Spring State Park in Orange City. A line of cars forms along a road leading […]

Sutton embraces opportunity to enjoy the outdoors

Sutton embraces opportunity to enjoy the outdoors

Zack Sutton is usually busy with school. That comes with the territory of being in college. But his requirement to hit the books hasn’t stopped him from finding time to enjoy the outdoors. It beats staying inside to watch television. Read the full article in the Dec. 6 issue of Navarre Press. Visit www.navarrepress.com/subscribe to […]

Glamping offers a different take on camping

Glamping offers a different take on camping

Camping is a popular outdoor activity, but for those who don’t want to rough it in the traditional sense, there is an alternative. And that’s where Glamping, a buzzword coined in 2005, comes into the picture. Read the full article in the Nov. 15 issue of Navarre Press. Click here to subscribe for as little as […]

Hunting with dogs effective and efficient

Hunting with dogs effective and efficient

Lane Stephens is the president of the Southeastern Dog Hunters Association and has been hunting with dogs for most of his life. A lobbyist for the association as well, Stephens got hooked on hunting at a young age. “My family got me into it. It was just one of those traditions,” Stephens said. Read the […]

Hammel turns cycling into one of his passions

Hammel turns cycling into one of his passions

Bill Hammel wishes he could be outside riding his bike on this evening in early June. Cycling has become a passion of his, but these days, the voice of the Navarre Raiders football team is on the sidelines. He had total knee replacement in the spring and won’t have a chance to get back on […]

Orth making most of outdoor adventure opportunities

Orth making most of outdoor adventure opportunities

Charlie Orth probably felt a little bit like he was in a scary shark movie. Here he was, scuba diving off a reef in Cancun, swimming around a whale shark. No big deal. That is until he realized there was another whale shark in the vicinity. Read the full article in the April 5 issue […]

Garden club brings Arbor Day to Navarre Gardens

Garden club brings Arbor Day to Navarre Gardens

  On a cold but sunny Friday morning at Navarre Gardens, a new assisted living facility in town, several residents gathered for the Arbor Day ceremony put on by the Navarre Garden Club. A few even helped plant the tree, including Richard Knies, a World War II veteran. He took a shovelful of dirt and […]

Castro shifts from secretary role to job as ranger

Castro shifts from secretary role to job as ranger

Corliss Castro never imagined she would become a park ranger. Before getting into the career, she was in a job on the opposite end of the spectrum. “I was a secretary in a medical office and indoors all day,” Castro said. She applied for a secretary position at St. Andrews State Park in Panama City […]

Fort Pickens area back in business

Fort Pickens area back in business

Hurricane Nate closed the Fort Pickens area for more than a month. It reopened Nov. 30, and it didn’t take long for visitors to return and activities to resume as normal. “The second the gate went up, we had visitors in Fort Pickens,” said Brent Everitt, who handles public affairs for Gulf Islands National Seashore. […]

Blackwater State Park popular destination for outdoor lovers

Blackwater State Park popular destination for outdoor lovers

Mention Florida and sunshine and sandy beaches come to mind. But the Blackwater River State Park is far from a hidden treasure. Contrary to what some may think, it’s a destination hot spot. “We get quite a bit of attention,” especially in the hot, summer months,” Park Services Specialist Darryl Hatfield said.  “At the state […]

Area residents share their stories of hiking the Appalachian Trail

Area residents share their stories of hiking the Appalachian Trail

The Appalachian Trail is the Footpath for the People and spans nearly 2,200 miles from Georgia to Maine. It’s a bucket list item for the most serious of hikers. There are also sections that make for great day hikes for those with less experience. Famed travel author Bill Bryson summed up hiking the trail in […]

Duck hunting popular on national seashore

Duck hunting popular on national seashore

Duck hunting is a thing on Gulf Islands National Seashore. The numbers tell you as much. While hunting ducks has been allowed since the national seashore was established more than 40 years ago, the issuance of permits for it didn’t start until 2013. Over the last three seasons, more than 200 permits have been issued […]

Hunting creates memories, aids wildlife conservation

Hunting creates memories, aids wildlife conservation

Hunting season begins this week for deer and turkey in this part of Florida, and there is no shortage of opportunities for those who love to hunt. “Florida is blessed to have nearly 6 million acres of public hunting land, and even if you don’t have a quota hunt permit, there are still wildlife management […]

FWC officer honored for efforts to protect sea turtles

FWC officer honored for efforts to protect sea turtles

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Officer Phil Stone grew up in North Dakota, where summers are beautiful but winters are a downright brutal mixture of bone-chilling wind, air that makes your face hurt and up to 50 inches of snow a year. A friend of his who already lived in Florida inspired him to […]

Never-ending work along the Florida Trail

Never-ending work along the Florida Trail

Ed Williamson had no idea the Florida Trail existed, at least not until a chance encounter with people from the Western Gate Chapter of the Florida Trail Association. He came across a booth at an Earth Day event in Pensacola and the rest is history. “I was curious about it and asked some questions and […]

Volunteers press on with Great Scallop Search

Volunteers press on with Great Scallop Search

While severe weather conditions have canceled parts of this year’s Great Scallop Search in Santa Rosa Sound, volunteers with the UF/IFAS Florida Sea Grant Extension Santa Rosa County office will take to the surf again Saturday in hopes of finding seagrass-dwelling bay scallops. The Great Scallop Search is an annual event put on by the […]

Rain doesn’t put damper on YCC experience

Rain doesn’t put damper on YCC experience

Gulf Breeze student Grant Landry is a Boy Scout, so he is used to being outdoors. On that note, it made sense for him to take a shot at landing a job with the Youth Conservation Corps. “We use the campsites a lot (at Gulf Islands) and this was a chance to do work around […]

FWC putting added emphasis on boating safety as holiday approaches

FWC putting added emphasis on boating safety as holiday approaches

With Memorial Day weekend fast approaching, it is an appropriate time to highlight boating safety with National Safe Boating Week. Florida is known as the boating capital of the world, with nearly a million vessels registered across the state, and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, along with the Coast Guard and other search […]

Inside the life of a shark researcher

Inside the life of a shark researcher

Inspiration comes from a lot of different places. Dr. John Carlson, a Research Fish Biologist for NOAA Fisheries, has always loved ocean life. Seeing the movie “Jaws” as a child pushed his inspiration to get involved in shark research over the top. Read the full article in the May 18 issue of Navarre Press. Subscribe […]

Rowing not nearly as easy as it looks

Rowing not nearly as easy as it looks

As the eight-man shell glides away from the dock in Bayview Park, the adventure on Bayou Texar is only beginning for those taking part in a Learn to Row class offered by the Pensacola Rowing Club on a hot April afternoon. Check out the sport on television or watch others row across the water from […]

Program kindles conservation interest among Florida kids

Program kindles conservation interest among Florida kids

Seven years ago the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission launched a program to generate interest in the outdoors among youth in the state and establish within them a lifelong love for fish and wildlife conservation. Read the full article in the March 9 issue of Navarre Press. Subscribe online at navarrepress.com for as little […]

Camping still worth enjoying in the winter months

Camping still worth enjoying in the winter months

Missy Smothers used to work at Denali National Park in Alaska, where camping isn’t exactly among the most popular activities in winter months. Yet, the story is different in Florida and other warm weather climates, where many still flock to area parks in their recreational vehicles or set up their tents in order to enjoy […]

Thanksgiving hunting tradition provides wide range of benefits

Thanksgiving hunting tradition provides wide range of benefits

Thanksgiving Day isn’t just about turkey for many. Deer hunting is also popular in Florida, with hunters hitting the great outdoors throughout the holiday weekend now that deer season is underway. “White-tailed deer are the most popular game species in Florida,” said Tammy Sapp of the Division of Hunting and Game Management for the Florida […]

Fall festival wishes Great Pumpkin happy 50th

Fall festival wishes Great Pumpkin happy 50th

It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown has become a staple of fall tradition for families throughout the country, and this year the iconic movie turns 50 years old. To celebrate the anniversary, the Sweet Season Farms Corn Maze and Fall Fun Festival transformed their 8 acre corn field maze into a Charlie Brown themed adventure. […]

Gulf Power helps energize regional trail idea

Gulf Power helps energize regional trail idea

Gulf Power is stepping up to help promote the outdoors. The Atlanta-based company, which serves more than 400,000 customers in Northwest Florida, sponsored a forum and two-day workshop that focused on the development of a regional trail that can be used for walking, hiking and biking. The trail would connect South Alabama to Blackwater State […]

Safety key to successful hunting trips

Safety key to successful hunting trips

Learning about hunting safety can make all the difference in the world. Tony Young, the media relations coordinator for the Division of Hunting and Game Management for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, said incidents in the field have been reduced significantly in the last 25 years. “Hunting is a safe activity and hunter […]

Volunteers play critical role in operation of national parks

Volunteers play critical role in operation of national parks

Paula Lamont strikes up a conversation with a couple who are on vacation in Florida while inside the visitor’s center at Fort Pickens Friday morning. The couple discusses the trip they are on and how they plan to head north next to hit a few more historical sites. Lamont mentions her experiences at some of […]

Navarre caught up in the Pokemon Go craze

Navarre caught up in the Pokemon Go craze

Zachary Hamm is sitting in the grass with his back resting against the outside wall of the restrooms at Navarre Park on a sun-splashed Monday afternoon, his eyes locked on his phone, his mind caught up in the world of the latest phenomenon. Hamm is asked if he is playing Pokemon Go and his answer […]

Butler living a big kid’s life as a park ranger

Butler living a big kid’s life as a park ranger

Will Butler visited several national parks while growing up but never made it to Fort Pickens. But the historical military installation, one of the highlights of the Gulf Islands National Seashore, is where Butler now works as a ranger. He figures if he had traveled to Florida as a child he would have felt the […]

Gardening for spring

Gardening for spring

With the last chance of frost behind us, it’s time to begin that beautiful home garden you’ve always dreamed about. In exchange for a small monetary investment and some elbow grease, you can have amazingly fresh vegetables, herbs and fruit. Even for those who have little or no experience, growing your own garden can be […]