Conserving a vast swath of wetland habitats in low-lying areas along the Perdido River floodplain, Tarkiln Bayou Preserve State Park is home to four species of Sarracenia – pitcher plants – unique to the Gulf Coast.
Fees: $3 per vehicle
Open: 8 AM until sunset daily
From the small parking area, a paved barrier-free trail winds through dense pine flatwoods. A delicate lacy trumpet beckons just beyond the boardwalk’s edge. The network of thin veins of white help you in identifying a white-topped pitcher plant, Sarracenia leucophylla.
Unique to the Gulf Coast, this tall carnivorous plant is one of four rare pitcher plant species that thrive in these swampy prairies between the pines near the Alabama border. Starting in 1998, The Nature Conservancy assisted the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) with the purchase of this critical wetland along Tarkiln Bayou, known as the Perdido Pitcher Plant Prairie. Adjoining wetlands had already been bulldozed for housing.
The park is a passive preserve for botanical study, with a 7-mile loop of forest roads through the prairie and a wheelchair-accessible path leading to the Emma Claire Boardwalk of Hope, which crosses a spectacular pitcher plant bog on its way to an overlook over the bayou. Another nature trail loop explores pine flatwoods on the east side of Bauer Rd.
Explore the park
- 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.