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, Seashore
32.3 miles Navarre Beach & Pensacola Beach
The Seashore section, which includes Gulf Islands National Seashore as well as the Pensacola Bike Path, the Navarre Bike Path, and the wild and scenic UWF Dunes Preserve, is the southernmost National Scenic Trail with beach walking. The Florida Trail leads you onto the sparkling shores of Santa Rosa Island, a barrier island along the Gulf of Mexico between Navarre and Pensacola. This is one of the most beautiful beaches in Florida. The glistening sugar-white sands of Santa Rosa Island are a counterpoint to the emerald sea as you approach trail’s end, the northern terminus at Fort Pickens on Pensacola Bay, a fitting place to complete a grand adventure.
Pedestrian fee of $7, vehicle fee $15, good for 7 days, to enter Fort Pickens Unit of Gulf Islands National Seashore. If you are completing a thru hike or a section hike, check inside the Fort at the Gift Shop to sign the trail register.
Random camping is not permitted in this section. Make use of the free Bayview Campsite at mile 1086.1, and reserve a tent site at Fort Pickens Campground near the northern terminus. Hotels are available in Navarre and Pensacola Beach. Paradise Inn is a hiker favorite because of its funky vibe, tiki bar with live music, and low rates compared to area chains.
There is no fresh surface water on Santa Rosa Island. Obtain water at parks and stores. There are long stretches without any water available. There is no fresh water near Bayview Campsite, so be sure you bring plenty.
Dogs are not permitted on the beaches of Gulf Islands National Seashore, including Santa Rosa Area, Opal Beach, and Fort Pickens.
Most of the route has no shade and plenty of reflection from white sands. Sun protection is a must.
- Florida Trail, Fort Pickens- 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, 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 3.4-mile hike.
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 3.4-mile hike.
Sugary-white sand and emerald water are counterpoints on a hike that leads you through nearly 4 miles of pristine dunes – up and over and down, a true roller-coaster of a hike – at the UWF Dunes Preserve in Pensacola Beach. This linear segment of the Florida Trail is one of the prettier places to […]