The northern terminus of the Florida Trail is at Pensacola Beach, but the wonders of this region extend far inland.
One of Florida’s largest state forests, Blackwater River State Forest is a playground for backpackers, day hikers, and paddlers alike. Bayou hikes are particularly interesting here, especially in spring when vast fields of pitcher plants are in bloom in the marshes. Bike trails connect communities, and boardwalks offer easy access for birding and photography.
Trails in Pensacola
- 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.
- Big Lagoon Hiking Trails- 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.
- 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
- 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, Fort Pickens- 6.9 miles. At the westernmost tip of Santa Rosa Island, the Florida Trail comes to its Northern Terminus in the shadow of the most important historic sites in Northwest Florida, Fort Pickens.
- 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, UWF/SRIA Dunes Preserve- At the UWF/SRIA Dunes Preserve on Santa Rosa Island, the Florida Trail traverses a series of coastal habitats cradled by the sweeping dunes, providing a one-of-a-kind 3.2-mile hike.
- 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.
- 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
- Naval Live Oaks Preserve- Naval Live Oaks Preserve outside Pensacola was our nation’s first tree farm, established in 1828 by President John Quincy Adams to protect a significant coastal stand of live oaks for military use
- Pensacola Bay Bluffs Park- After a lunch with my friend Jeff, I headed to the Pensacola Bluffs to see what the fuss was all about. Jeff had strongly recommended the bluffs as a potential site to include in my hiking guides, and after a few moments scramble, I found out why. The trail is only a mile or so […]
- Perdido Key State Park- With sand so white you'd think it was fresh-fallen snow, Perdido Key State Park tempts with a slice of natural beach amid condos and hotels crowding the Gulf Coast at Florida's westernmost point.
- Tarkiln Bayou Trail- Tarkiln Bayou Preserve State Park offers several trails - including an accessible boardwalk - leading to pitcher plant bogs along a bayou on the Alabama border, west of Pensacola.
- Trout Point Nature Trail- A hidden treasure inside Pensacola Naval Air Station, Trout Point Nature Inside Pensacola NAS, Trout Point Nature Trail showcases fragile coastal habitats from a 1.5-mile boardwalk hike with scenic views of Big Lagoon and Perdido Key
Nearby communities: Crestview, Milton, Navarre