Getting outdoors in Florida's Panhandle (Northwest Florida)

Trails and public lands throughout Northwest Florida, the Panhandle region stretching from Pensacola east towards the Suwannee River.

Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park

Blooming season at Maclay Gardens

In late winter, azaleas create ribbons of bright color beneath the live oak canopy across the grounds of Maclay Gardens, a series of formal gardens along the hillsides sweeping down to Lake Hall.

Apalachicola

Apalachicola waterfront

Around Apalachicola, the “Forgotten Coast” is dotted with parks, forests, and refuges along US 98 and the barrier islands, none of which are easily accessed from Tallahassee or Panama City.

Apalachicola National Forest

Wright Lake Trail pitcher plants

The Apalachicola National Forest is the largest National Forest in Florida, sweeping around the southern edge of Tallahassee. It is noted for its botanical beauty.

Apalachicola River

Apalachicola River

There is something magical about the Apalachicola River, surrounded by deeply folded ravines at its upper end and wet pine flatwoods farther south, home to unusual plant species along its length.

Bald Point Beach Walk

Bald Point State Park

Where Ochlockonee Bay meets the Gulf, Bald Point State Park protects the tip of the peninsula. Off the beaten track, it’s a quiet place, perfect for a seaside stroll with a bit of estuarine exploration.

Bear Lake Trail

Bear Lake

At Blackwater River State Forest, each of the recreation areas offers access to hiking, and popular Bear Lake is no exception. A 4-mile trail loops around this impounded reservoir, which flows into Sweetwater Creek.

Big Lagoon Hiking Trails

Big Lagoon

Near Perdido Key, Big Lagoon State Park is best known for its (really big) lagoon, but the scenic trail system through the scrub is a delight for hardy hikers, involving much trekking through soft white sand.