From the Blackwater, Yellow and Shoal Rivers south to Choctawhatchee Bay and the Gulf of Mexico Okaloosa County’s 935.65 square miles encompass a diverse natural environment that plays a vital role in preserving our wealth of outdoor activities. The Okaloosa County beaches are some of the most beautiful in the world with its sugar white crystalline sands drawing tourists from far and wide. Fishing and boating enthusiasts can choose either fresh water rivers, the saltwater Gulf of Mexico or the brackish Santa Rosa Sound and Choctawhatchee Bay and have quick access to them by the free boatramps scattered throughout the County. Birdwatchers thrill to the variety of shore and inland species that call our County home or that pass through along the Great Florida Birding Trail.
Besides preserving the natural environment, Okaloosa County provides other opportunities for adventure and activity. The Baker Block Museum is an important source for geneology research and local and regional history. The Baker Arena draws rodeo and equestrian participants from across the country to numerous events throughout the year. Baseball, softball, football, soccer and cheerleading leagues keep the athletic fields busy with local teams. The smaller parks provide play areas and picnic tables for families to walk or bicycle to from the neighborhood. Tennis courts and basketball courts are available for a quick pickup game. Walking trails provide another opportunity to get outside for a bit of exercise. Miles of sugar white sand beaches provide the setting for sand castle building, board surfing, kite flying, volleyball tournaments and even quieter activities like shore walking and beachside weddings.
The County Parks Department is always seeking to improve park services that provide a better quality of life for the residents of and visitors to Okaloosa County. The Parks Department maintains a variety of park facilities including small neighborhood parks, playground facilities, beach accessways, boatramps and multipurpose sports fields.
The Parks Department continues to follow the guidelines of the Parks Master Plan in developing new parks to service the growing population of the County with 180,822 residents in the year 2010.