WCBCC opens newest park facility: Choctawhatchee River Paddle Trail at Cowford Landing

Walton County Board of County Commissioners cut ribbon opening Choctawhatchee River Paddle Trail at Cowford Landing. From left, Danny Glidewell - District Two Commissioner, Mike Barker - District Three Commissioner, Matt Algarin - Tourism Director for Walton County BCC, Boots McCormick - District One Commissioner, Trey Nick - District Four Commissioner, Cliff Knauer - Dewberry Engineers, Inc., Melinda Gates - Environmental Coordinator for Walton County BCC and Bill Crittenden - HG Harders & Son, Inc.

On Wednesday, Aug. 10, the Walton County Board of County Commissioners hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony at the county’s newest park facility, Choctawhatchee River Paddle Trail at Cowford Landing. The new facility is located approximately 100 yards past the existing Cowford Boat Launch located at SR20 and the Choctawhatchee River at 55 Big Cedar Road, Ponce De Leon, FL 32455.

The new facility includes two screened-in pavilions for overnight camping, a restroom facility, picnic tables and benches, canoe/kayak racks, handicap accessible canoe/kayak launch and associated boardwalk, and parking facility.  The construction of the site was funded by the Land and Water Conservation Fund through the US Department of Interior, the National Park Service, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, and the Walton County Preservation Fund.

“This is part of the job I love the most. It’s when we get to give back to the citizens. You don’s have to be a kayaker, just come down here with your family and have a picnic . . . just bring your families out and ya’ll enjoy this,” said County Commissioner Boots McCormick.

The new park is at the end of the 64 mile Choctawhatchee River Paddle Trail which begins at SR 2 near the Alabama border. The trail has been designated by the Office of Greenways & Trails as an official state Blueway. Visit the website below to view the Choctawhatchee Blueway Guide, including a listing of 18 access points: https://floridadep.gov/sites/default/files/Choctawhatchee_guide_0.pdf

See video of the opening on Facebook: @DefuniakHeraldBeachBreeze