Camp Helen State Park is hosting their 20-Year Anniversary Celebration on Saturday, March 25 in The Lodge at Camp Helen State Park. The celebration will have a wide variety of presentations, walking tours and special guest Elam Stoltzfus – producer of Coastal Dune Lakes: Jewels of Florida’s Emerald Coast will be there to discuss the film. Be sure and check out the trailer below.
Camp Helen State Park is bordered on three sides by the Gulf of Mexico and Lake Powell, which is one of the largest coastal dune lakes in Florida. Walton County is home to 15 named coastal dune lakes along 26 miles of coastline in Northwest Florida. Coastal dune lakes are bodies of water found in dune ecosystems within two miles of the coast. They’re typically shallow, irregularly shaped permanent water bodies, but their water levels fluctuate substantially since they create transitory interchanges with the Gulf of Mexico. Coastal dune lakes are extremely rare worldwide; in the United States they occur only along the Gulf Coast of Florida and Oregon.
From 1945 until 1987, Camp Helen was a company resort for employees of an Alabama textile mill. Within a few years, Robert E. Hicks purchased 185 acres of land in Inlet Beach, where he built a summer home for his wife, Margaret, who named the compound Loch Lomond. Construction of the historic lodge and associated buildings was completed before the 1940s. In 1945 Avondale Textile Mills of Sylacauga, Alabama purchased Loch Lomond from the Hicks family, renamed the property Camp Helen, and for 39 years operated a resort destination for their vacationing employees. During that time, 12 duplex cottages and a recreation hall were built. These historic buildings still exist today, so be sure and check them out next time you are there!
Schedule of Events:
Explore birds on the park’s nature trails with Bay County Audubon Society.
Photo journey by Emily Ellis, Lake Powell Community Alliance
Presentation by Elam Stoltzfus, award-winning producer, to discuss his documentary Coastal Dune Lakes: Jewel of Florida’s Emerald Coast.
11:30 -12:00 pm
Camp Helen State Park 20-Year Celebration
12:00 pm-12:30 pm
Walking history tour
Camp Helen State Park is located at 23937 Panama City Beach Parkway, just west of the Phillips Inlet Bridge on the Bay County and Walton County line.