With the roar of the nearby surf in your ears and sand in your shoes, it’s hard to believe that the glimmering body of water at the bottom of this ancient sand dune is called Gator Lake for good reason: you’ll find its namesake alligators there.
Location: Panama City Beach
Length: 0.4 mile
Lat-Long: 30.128450, -85.732967
Fees / Permits: state park entrance fee
Restroom: at Jetty Beach
From US 98 in Pensacola Beach, follow SR 392 east to where it ends at the park entrance. Continue along the park entrance road and make a right at the store. The parking area for Gator Lake is on the left.
Although less than a half-mile in length, this interpretive loop offers some rugged climbs, panoramic views, and a diminutive coastal scrub forest to explore, with patches of rare rosemary scrub. It’s one of two interpretive trails you’ll find at one of the most popular state parks in Florida.