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.
A visit to Trout Point Nature Trail at Pensacola NAS provides scenic panoramas of the Big Lagoon and Perdido Key from a boardwalk atop a coastal scrub ridge.
Hiking through the Yellow River Ravines section on the Panhandle Trace Hike was a new experience for us all, as it’s a newly opened segment of trail near Milton.
It was a delight this year – Peggy Grantham’s last as hike leader – to join the Panhandle Trace and get to know the far northern reaches of the Florida Trail. It’s been 11 years since I hiked through Blackwater River State Forest and while some things remain the same, others certainly have changed. I …
Where to Stay in Pensacola
On our visits to Pensacola, we’ve both camped and found hotels at reasonable prices to use as our base camp while we hiked. Our favorite camping spots include Blackwater River State Park, Fort Pickens, and the campgrounds of Blackwater River State Forest, especially Bear Lake for its accessibility to many trails.
Lodging around Pensacola ranges from top-name beach resorts (yes, there is a Margaritaville right along the Florida Trail) to B&Bs and small mom-and-pops as well as dozens of chain hotels. Paradise Inn is a great bargain in Pensacola Beach, right along the Florida Trail / Pensacola Beach Bike Path.
Adventures Unlimited in Milton makes a good base camp for outdoor adventures, with tent camping, cabins, and the School House Inn. At Coldwater Gardens, bring your tent and camp along the creek, check into an eco-friendly cabin, or grab one of their unique glamping tents for a fun weekend in the woods.