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, Blackwater - 45.5 miles. The Blackwater section of the Florida Trail walks you through Atlantic white cedar and longleaf pine forests, pitcher plant bogs and titi swamps en route to the Alabama border.
- Florida Trail, Eglin - 98.3 miles. One of the most compelling sections of the Florida Trail for backpackers, Eglin offers rugged elevation changes and crystalline waterways.
- Florida Trail, Jackson Red Ground Trail - 16.6 miles. On the Jackson Red Ground Trail, the very first trail built in Blackwater River State Forest in the 1970s, the Florida Trail rises up from the red clay bluffs of Juniper Creek and enters rolling clayhills topped with longleaf pine forests.
- Florida Trail, Juniper Creek - 7.3 miles. Also known as the Juniper Creek Trail, the Florida Trail at Juniper Creek is a gorgeous place to explore, with its panorama at Red Rocks and botanical delights along and above the creek basin.
- Florida Trail, Weaver Creek - 14.3 miles. Bordered by the tangled floodplain forests of the Yellow River to the north, the Weaver Creek section of the Florida Trail traverses the western side of Eglin Air Force Base on high, dry sandhills topped with longleaf pine forest and planted pine.
- Florida Trail, Wiregrass Trail - 12.3 miles. On the northernmost segment of the Florida Trail, connecting to the greater Eastern Continental Trail at the state line with Alabama, the Wiregrass Trail immerses you in longleaf pine forests northeast of Pensacola.
- Florida Trail, Yellow River Ravines - 11.1 miles. For an acrobatic adventure on the Florida Trail, the Yellow River Ravines section between Holt and Harold 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
- 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.