Best known for its beaches, bike paths, and barrier island parks, Panama City Beach is also a launch point for backpacking and long day hikes. Vast tracts of land to its north include the state’s oldest state forest, Pine Log State Forest, and the beautiful Econfina Creek watershed.
Nearby: Blountstown, Destin, Ebro, Marianna, Port St. Joe, Wewahitchka
Trails and Parks near Panama City Beach
- Buttonbush Marsh Overlook - Less than a mile from the strumming waves of the Gulf of Mexico, Buttonbush Marsh provides an important habitat for wildlife at the end of the barrier island at Panama City Beach.
- Camp Helen State Park - Haunted by a sea monster sighted in one of the largest ancient coastal dune lakes on Florida's coast, Camp Helen State Park offers seaside relaxation and historic interpretation.
- Conservation Park Green Trail - In Panama City Beach off US 98, Conservation Park is a vast pine plantation and cypress dome restoration area with loop trails from 1.8 to 11 miles long.
- Deer Lake State Park - At Deer Lake State Park, the coastal flatwoods ecosystem hosts rare pitcher plants, Gulf Coast lupine and stately magnolias along a coastal dune lake, with beach access along the Gulf of Mexico at Alys Beach.
- Econfina Nature Trail - On the Econfina Nature Trail, discover rugged climbs, steep drop-offs, bubbling springs, and deep crevices into the earth as you walk between two major springs where you can swim.
- Falling Waters Sinkhole Trail - Iconic as the home of Florida’s tallest waterfall, Falling Waters State Park is a showcase for Florida geology just south of I-10 in Chipley. Follow the Sinkhole Trail to see the waterfall and some very deep sinkholes.
- Florida Trail, Central Panhandle - 99.3 miles. Crossing the Apalachicola River, the Florida Trail enters the Central Time Zone. Public lands are scarce through this section so there is a lot of connecting roadwalk and some multi-use trails like the Blountstown Greenway, but the trail does show off the beauty of places like Econfina Creek, Pine Log State Forest, and Nokuse Plantation.
- Florida Trail, Econfina Creek - Surprisingly rugged and delightfully diverse, this 17.7 mile hike along Econfina Creek is one of the top segments of the Florida Trail for scenic beauty. Scrambling through ravines, stepping carefully along sidehill, and looking down over sheer bluffs along this spring-fed creek, you'll marvel that this hike is in Florida.
- Florida’s Best Urban Parks - When you live in a tightly packed space, you need somewhere green as your go-to place nearby. These are our top picks for parks in Florida's urban areas, chosen for their diversity of outdoor activities and/or their unique green spaces.
- Frank Brown Park - The primary recreational complex in Panama City Beach - with aquatic center and ballfields - Frank Brown Park also provides access to biking on Gayle's Trails.
- Gator Lake Trail - At St. Andrews State Park, the Gator Lake Trail is only a half-mile but hits the park's high point with panoramic views in the scrub forest and great birding along an established rookery.
- Gayle’s Trails - A network of paved trails north of US 98, Gayle's Trails connect two major parks in Panama City Beach with nearby neighborhoods.
- Grayton Beach Nature Trails - At Grayton Beach State Park, the nature trail system introduces you to a coastal dune lake and its surrounding habitats, as well as showcasing the beauty of the beach
- Grayton Beach State Park - Grayton Beach State Park protects one in a chain of rare coastal dune lakes with freshwater mere yards from the Gulf of Mexico. Nature trails introduce you to the rugged barrier island dunes and the pine flatwoods around the lake.
- Heron Pond Trail - At St. Andrews State Park, the interpretive Heron Pond Trail is a walk through coastal history, starting with a mockup turpentine distillery at the trailhead.
- Jetty Beach - One of Florida's most popular beach destinations, Jetty Beach at St. Andrews State Park offers both wild and mellow surf on either side of the jetty.
- Oaks by the Bay Park - In the old waterfront village of St. Andrews, Oaks by the Bay Park is a quiet place under the shade of ancient oak trees, including The Sentry, thought to be more than 250 years old.
- Pine Log State Forest - Florida's first state forest, Pine Log State Forest north of Panama City Beach offers a variety of loop trails as well as a segment of the statewide Florida Trail
- Sandy Point - One of the secrets of St. Andrews State Park is its gentle, sweeping beach along Sandy Point, a natural extension of the barrier island that divides Grand Lagoon from St. Andrews Bay.
- St. Andrews State Park - St. Andrews State Park is a pristine getaway on this coast that you won't want to miss. It's one of two bookends of natural wonder along the shoreline of Panama City Beach.
- Tucker Bayou Trail - At Eden Gardens State Park, the Tucker Bayou Trail starts and ends at the Tucker Bayou picnic area and leads you through dense forests above the bayou