Known as Florida’s Canoe Capital thanks to the rivers and creeks of Blackwater River State Forest, Milton is a major destination for outdoor recreation. Santa Rosa County, of which Milton is the county seat, is well known statewide for its hiking, bicycling, and paddling trails.
Trails and Parks in Milton
- Arcadia Mill - An archaeological site in the woods between Milton and Pace - just east of Pensacola off US 90 - Arcadia Mill showcases ongoing work to uncover Florida's first "modern" industrial complex.
- Bear Lake Trail - 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.
- Blackwater River State Forest - At Blackwater River State Forest near Milton, immerse yourself in the largest state forest in Florida: 190,000 acres surrounding the Blackwater River and its tributaries.
- Blackwater River State Park - With sandy beaches tempting on every curve of the river and trails for paddlers and hikers to enjoy, Blackwater River State Park is the gateway to thousands of acres of public lands stretching northward to the Alabama border.
- Chain of Lakes Trail - At Blackwater River State Park, the Chain of Lakes Trail provides access to sandy beaches along the river and meanders along oxbow lakes out to pine flatwoods in a loop
- Clear Creek Nature Trail - Imagine a wonderland of bright red blossoms and lacy white-veined trumpets reflected against reflections of the sky, where everywhere you turn, beauty surrounds you. You'll find it near Milton at the Clear Creek Nature Trail
- Coldwater Gardens - A private nature retreat north of Milton, Coldwater Gardens is a study in serenity, melding camping, gardening, and enjoyment of natural habitats along the Coldwater Creek basin.
- Edward Ball Nature Trail - At the University of West Florida, the Edward Ball Nature Trail offers an escape for quiet contemplation beneath the shade of old cypresses on a 1 mile loop.
- Florida Trail, Eglin West - Bordered by the tangled floodplain forests of the Yellow River to the north, this 14.3-mile segment of the Florida Trail traverses high, dry sandhills topped with longleaf pine forest and planted pine.
- Florida Trail, Juniper Creek - The Florida Trail along Juniper Creek (also known as the Juniper Creek Trail) is a gorgeous place to explore in springtime, when mountain laurel blooms in both pink and white and the dogwoods put on a show
- Florida Trail, Yellow River Ravines - For an acrobatic adventure on the Florida Trail, the 7.9-mile Yellow River section near Holt tosses both tricky swamp traverses and creative creek crossings your way.
- Garcon Point Trail - On a peninsula separating Blackwater Bay and East Bay, Garcon Point Preserve presents an open landscape of wind-swept prairies punctuated by oak hammocks and tall longleaf pines
- Jackson Red Ground Trail - Connecting Karick Lake Recreation Area with the Red Rocks area of Blackwater River State Forest, the Jackson Red Ground Trail is part of the Florida Trail near Milton
- Wiregrass Trail - An excellent overnight backpacking trip which is also a segment of the Florida Trail, the Wiregrass Trail immerses you in longleaf pine forests northeast of Pensacola.
- Yellow River Marsh Preserve State Park - East of Pensacola, Yellow River Marsh Preserve State Park is a sweeping panorama of wet prairies, home to the largest concentration of pitcher plants in Florida.