Unexpected Florida Adventures latest issue of AWAYN magazine


Hillary Cape Romano Photography

Seeing Cape Ramano wash into the sea is a sad reminder just how strong Mother Nature is and just how impossible it is to defeat her They are worth the visit and hopefully that an be used to create a wonderful underwater reef for marine life for many years to come.

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Activities: BoatingBoating
Amenities: Bike Parking Bike Parking


Nicola LianeM Blue Cypress Lake

Blue Cypress Lake is a fishing paradise for freshwater. Many species of fish, including large mouth bass, catfish, crappie (speckled perch), bluegill and chain pickerel, are home to clean, protected water. But at Blue Cypress, the fish are not the only thing to catch. If you arrive early in the morning, you will catch nature-nirvana as the rising sun casts rays on the surface of the lake, causing the cypress trees along the western shore to shine in a bluish hue. And if that wasn't enough, shutterbugs can catch some delightful photos along the lake's edge as hundreds of osprey families ' nest.


Put-in at the boat ramp at Middleton's Fish Camp to start your Blue Cypress Lake adventure. Head below the bridge and exit the lake channel. Turning north will take you along the most picturesque part of the lake, and in the cypress trees you will be sure to see a lot of osprey. There are several small creeks feeding the lake in the first mile north of the fish camp. The first you will see is Thum Creek, followed by Blue Cypress Creek 1/2 mile later. These make interesting side trips and a chance to explore the swamps of cypresses, complete with subtropical ferns, alligators and mosquitoes.


At approximately 2.5 miles you hit the lake's north end. Eastern paddling takes you to Moonshine Bay for another mile. Head southwest for 3 miles across the lake to Middleton's Fish Camp after a quick break and assuming the wind is calm. To guide you home, you should be able to see reflections off the cabin roofs.


If you still have burning energy, the scenery is dramatically changing south of Middleton, with Kissimmee grass replacing the cypress trees. You're going to come to Fisher Creek and a small canal at 2 miles south.

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Activities: BoatingBoating FishingFishing KayakingKayaking RaftingRafting RowingRowing
Amenities: Child Friendly Child Friendly Dog friendly Dog friendly Handicap Accessible Handicap Accessible Picnic Area Picnic Area Parking Parking Restrooms Restrooms

AWAYN Editorial

Photographer: Roberto Alegria


Roberto Alegria images have taken skateboard photography to a place where the line between fine art, portraiture and action sports have beautifully dissolved into amazing works of art. Awayn had a pleasure of chatting with Roberto this week! 

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Roberto, what first drew you to this kind of action photography specifically skateboarding?


I started skating when I was 11 years old and photography came 4 years later thanks to my sister as she was doing a photography course. I was just playing with her camera and it come out I was quite good at it.

To be honest at the beginning I was not really mixing these two passions but one day I took a good skate shot and a magazine published it as a cover. It was really inspiring and encouraging to see my first skate publication in a cover, that was the beginning of the skateboard photography era for me and this is also when I started to make a living out of my work.After so many years, you learn how to do it the best as possible. And to be honest, the less accessible the spot is the better image you are gonna end up taking. Its a constant challenge: Look for undiscovered places and do it as fast as possible always producing high quality work. 


Skateboard photography there is never an ideal situation. How do you produce images you would be happy with?


In the skateboard photography there is never an ideal situation, because you have to do it in the street and always dealing with neighbors and police, sometimes you haven’t more than 5 minutes to take a picture.  


After so many years, you learn how to do it the best as possible. And to be honest, the less accessible the spot is the better image you are gonna end up taking. Its a constent challenge: Look for undiscovered places and do it as fast as possible always producing high quality work.  

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What is the most memorable trip you have had in recent memory? What kind of hidden places did you get to explore?

Probably the country of Oman, I went with the Volcom team and Red Bull in the hottest season of the year (104ºF during the day) you literally can drop an egg in the middle of the street and it will get cooked.

It was the first time that a skate team went to this country. We managed to skate during the night and luckily we produced a lot of footage so we could give ourselves a ‘day off’ (so weird in a skate tour) so we decided to go on an adventure, visit some Wadis (canyons) and sinkholes.

The whole trip was memorable and fun, the culture of Oman and the landscapes are amazing and the people are some of the most friendly in the world.

What equipment’s do you use to captures your footage? What are some of the challenges of using them?

I have a Canon 1D for sequences and a Hasselblad with a digital back for stills, 3 Elinchrom ranger flashes. 

The challenge is that the whole equipment is very heavy and many times I have troubles traveling but it ’s worth it when you see the final work


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How do you think photography and traveling has changed your view of the world?

I think it changed a lot of the perception I have on the world, many years ago before the internet era all the info about countries and so on was limited.

The power of pictures is so strong that just one single image can be the trigger to decide on a trip. 


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More ADVENTURES highlights


Michael Folks Cypress Springs, Vernon

A paddle down Holmes Creek to Cypress Springs is a great day trip.

Pack a picnic lunch with a few drinks. Bring lots of sun lotion to your trip.  We're going to furnish all you need, but spray your lunch and your bug!  Spend a few hours or the whole day. Remember Cypress Springs can only be reached by canoe, kayak or paddleboard, so rent one from us. Throughout the summer we get busy, so call forward. Then the fun is all you need to worry about!


Cypress Springs is one of the most beautiful springs in Northwest Florida with its strong current, lush banks and deep sapphire waters. The spring discharges at the bottom of the spring pool from two vents in the calcareous boulders. The spring pool has a diameter of about 150 feet and a maximum depth of 29 feet. In both winds, a large surface boil is visible. A constant 68 degrees Fahrenheit is the cool, clear water. Heavily vegetated with cypress and tupelo trees are the banks surrounding the pool.


The Cypress Spring run enters Holmes Creek from the west, about 25 miles downstream from the head spring.


Since the land surrounding the spring is private property, traveling up the spring run from Holmes Creek by boat, kayak, canoe or paddle board is the only public access to the spring.


April–August 9 to 5 hours of operation Monday through Friday. Saturday and Sunday from 8 to 5. TODAY IS NO LATER THAN 6 PM. Because of the weather, river conditions and seasons of the year, we reserve the right to change time schedules.


September–March Only by booking.


At 2 p.m., the last boat is put out.

There are several outfitters in the area for canoes, kayaks and paddleboards. Beautiful, crystal clear water that is extremely cold--pick a warm, sunny day to explore. There are still two rope swings, and a small beach perfect for a picnic. Even after getting caught in an afternoon rainstorm, we still had a great time with the kids.

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Activities: ChillingChilling KayakingKayaking Standup PaddlingStandup Paddling
Amenities: Child Friendly Child Friendly


Branislav Milinković Grand Lagoon in Big Lagoon State Park

Think of a gateway for Big Lagoon State Park. It not only offers swimming, boating, fishing, camping, hiking and paddling, but it also allows adventurers to start or end a 1,515-mile sea kayaking trip across the entire state on the Florida Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail. The top half of a kayak embedded in sand along with a box containing a weathered log book marks the launch site.


The park is also a gateway to the Birding and Wildlife Trail of Great Florida. For more than 23 wood-warbler species and a variety of ducks, sandpipers and black-bellied plovers, the park is a stopover. Bring binoculars or borrow a pair from the ranger station and roam the shore and wide coastal forest, or climb the observation tower for a bird's eye view. The campground and group / youth camp for Big Lagoon State Park will be CLOSED from Tuesday 14 January 2020 to Thursday 30 January 2020 (campground reopening Friday 31 January 2020). This closure is designed to enable park staff to conduct prescribed fires and perform annual campground maintenance.

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Activities: BackpackBackpack BoatingBoating CampingCamping KayakingKayaking OverlandingOverlanding
Amenities: Bike Parking Bike Parking Child Friendly Child Friendly Dog friendly Dog friendly Food Nearby Food Nearby Hotel Nearby Hotel Nearby Lodge Nearby Lodge Nearby Picnic Area Picnic Area Restrooms Restrooms RV Parking RV Parking


Loyd L Barrow Everglades National Park

Experience Camping in the Backcountry!

Campers can gainallows at the Flamingo Visitor Center and the Gulf Coast Visitor Contact Station daily, from 8:00AM to 4.30PM. Campers ought to resister in person. Permits are currently free and available no more than a day in strengthen of the begin of a trip. Start plam=nning your day out these days wih our Wilderness Trip Planner pages!

Practice leave No Trace concepts and layout to pack in and pack out all waste. Be conscious that many websites do no longer have restrooms and these that do are no longer in a position to serviced regularly.

Permits are required for ALL backcountry camsites. Permits many additionally got from both the Gulf Coast Visitor Contact Station or the Flamingo Visitor Center Prior to back country camping.

Reminder: All Sites

All backcountry camsites are open backcountry campsites are only available by using water.

Updates on Backcountry

! Board Creek and “The Nightmare” between the Broad river chickee and Harney River chickee are impassable. Check back for updates on campsite status. Hazard clenup and repairs are ongoing in the backcountry. Please proceed to use caution as there are underwaer hazards and lacking or damaged navigational markers.

Best Times to Camp

Winter is the pleasant season to go. Summers are hot, muggy and mosquitoes are plentiful.

Feeding wildlife somewhere in the park is prohibited. Use caution around campsites the place alligators or different natural world may additionally have been fed or won get entry to human food. If flora and fauna accomplice humans with food, they can also exhibit greater assertive behaviors.

Review our Wilderness Trip planner web pages to help you graph your backcountry adventure!

Call either the Gulf Coast (236-695-3311) or the Flamingo (239-695-2945) Visitor Centers for specific information to assist with your day trip planning.


Reservations are now not time-honored for any backcountry site.

Fees and Permits

A Backcountry allow is required for all desert campsites and issued the day earlier than or the dayof your trip.

During the wintry weather season (mid-November through mid-April) backcountry lets in must be received in character at the Gulf Coast Visitor Center or at the Flamingo Visitor Center between the hours of 8:00Am – 4.30PM. A permit processing fee of $15 will be charged as nicely as a $2 per individual per day camping fee.

During the summer season (,id-April through mid-November) permits are free but are still required. They are accessible 24 hours 7 days per week. Follow self- registration instructions at both tourist center.

Permits are no longer issued over the smartphone expect for visitors coming in from the Florida Keys to camp at North Nest Key, Little Rabbit Key, Shark Point Chickee, Johnson Key Chickee and Cape Sable. Please name 239-695-2945.

Note: The maximum backcountry stay in 14 days.

A few recommendations on getting backcontry permits.

For websites the place solely one or two campers are allowed, human beings have to arrive at the ranger station a day in boost to secure allows on busy weekends. If you are seeking for a permit for the day you arrive, layout to be bendy and have choice sites in mind.

There are a excessive number of permits allowed for seaside camping alongside Cape Sable, So its generally viable to snag a allow for these on the morning of your departure.

A few backcountry websites are accessed by way of Florida Keys and you can deserve these by phone the day before.


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Activities: BackpackBackpack CampingCamping HikeHike
Amenities: Accepts Credit Cards Accepts Credit Cards Bike Parking Bike Parking Child Friendly Child Friendly Dog friendly Dog friendly Food Nearby Food Nearby Handicap Accessible Handicap Accessible Hotel Nearby Hotel Nearby Lodge Nearby Lodge Nearby Picnic Area Picnic Area Parking Parking Restrooms Restrooms RV Parking RV Parking Wireless Internet Wireless Internet


Kurt Zoglmann Camping and swimming at Ginnie Springs

Ginnie Springs is a privately owned park in Gilchrist County about 6.5 miles northwest of High Springs, Florida, USA. It is a located on the south side of the Santa Fe River, to which it is connected. Some of the most beautiful springs you will ever see. This is a world mecca for divers, but it is great for regular swimmers, tubers, and snorkelers as well. You can rent tubes, snorkeling equipment and more, and you can float from spring to spring on the Santa Fe river. There's a snack bar where you can get hot dogs, burgers, and subs. it's a little pricey but worth it to be in that magical place. Ginnie springs is great for a weekend college trip with friends, but I would stick to Icketucknee Springs or others if you are with family.

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Activities: Scuba DivingScuba Diving SnowboardingSnowboarding
Amenities: Child Friendly Child Friendly Food Nearby Food Nearby Picnic Area Picnic Area


Federica Alfonzo Timelapse photography on Playa Punta Paloma

Punta Paloma is the headland name just north of Tarifa, which separates Tarifa's expansive beaches from Bolonia's. Playa Punta Paloma is an untouched beach of paradise.


Over 100 m from the beach just north of Playa Valdevaqueros, dramatically high sand dunes rise. Energetic visitors will climb to the top of the sand dunes, take in the views and then race back down.


The dunes are the result of sand blowing up the headland from the beach, burying all the vegetation and even the trees. If you're standing on the top of the dunes, you'll get fantastic beach views all the way down to Tarifa town, across to Morocco's straits. Looking down the dunes, in the loose golden sand you can see dead tree branches and you realize you're standing on the tops of the trees.


In the 1990s, the local authorities unsuccessfully tried to prevent the movement of the sand by building a series of wicker fences — environmentalists called for the fences to be removed as they are now buried, with only spikes left sticking out of the sand.

The A-2325 road is behind the sand dunes-a less energetic way to get to the top of the dunes. The road is constantly covered with sand, so you have to drive with care.

If you are looking for some great kite surfing ( at season) or doing some time-lapse photography Playa Punta Paloma is the place you should to be at! Fantastic sandy beach with curved bay that helps protect those learning to kite surf from disappearing out to sea! You can easily turn off the main road towards Paloma and after a short distance it's like driving through Sahara. There are huge sand dunes leading from sea to half way up a big hill. The road goes though middle. Lots of windsurfing and kite surfing going on. Beautiful views over sea to Africa and tarifa.

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Activities: ChillingChilling Kite SurfingKite Surfing PhotographyPhotography
Amenities: Bike Parking Bike Parking Child Friendly Child Friendly Dog friendly Dog friendly Food Nearby Food Nearby Parking Parking Restrooms Restrooms