Trout Point is presently restricted to military personnel.
A hidden treasure inside Naval Air Station Pensacola, Trout Point Nature Trail showcases fragile coastal habitats from an easy-to-ramble, accessible boardwalk.
This 1.5-mile round-trip walk offers extensive scenic views of Big Lagoon and Perdido Key and numerous benches and observation points for you to sit and enjoy the salt breeze.
Resources for exploring the area
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Length: 1.5 mile round-trip
Trailhead: 30.333349, -87.338438
Fees: Free. Requires check-in at NAS Pensacola gates.
Land Manager: NAS Pensacola
As this trail is on a military base, it is subject to closure at any time. Otherwise, the trail is open from 6 AM until a half hour before sunset. Pets and bicycles are not allowed.
From US 98 in Pensacola, follow CR 292, Gulf Beach Highway, west through Warrington to Bayou Grande. Turn left on CR 292A and left on Blue Angel Parkway. Pass through the NAS Pensacola gate. ID required. Tell them you are visiting Trout Point Nature Trail. Continue 0.7 mile to the turnoff on the right. Drive down a half-mile one lane sand route along the oceanfront to get to the trailhead.
To protect fragile dune habitats, this trail is entirely a boardwalk. Past the trailhead sign, a side trail comes in from the right from a nearby housing community.
Interpretive markers along the boardwalk explain the plants you see around you, like yaupon holly and coastal rosemary.
The boardwalk leads to a broad, open, and beautiful coastal scrub, with a needlerush marsh on the right providing a counterpoint along the edge of the pine flatwoods.
Big Lagoon sparkles to the left with Gulf Islands National Seashore beyond. An observation deck provides a sweeping view of the dunes of Perdido Key.
The distant end of the key was once topped with a Civil War era fortress, Fort McRee, which succumbed to erosion by the 1960s and toppled into the bay.
Passing a bench at a quarter mile, the boardwalk continues along a straightaway. In the distance, you can see condos along the shore beyond the pine forest.
There are many dead trees dropped across the sand by prior storms. The sand is so blinding white you need sunglasses. Small wildflowers and shrubs show up nicely against its sparkle.
The straightaway yields to a curve in the boardwalk towards the lagoon, right along the edge of an extensive needlerush marsh where yaupon holly sport bright red berries in the fall.
As you follow the boardwalk over the dunes, you hear aircraft activity in the area. This is the air base where the Blue Angels are based.
The next observation platform is on the wooded side of the trail, overlooking Davis Bayou. Not far in the distance are marinas and condos along the shore.
In the far distance you can see giant skyscrapers on Perdido Key, beyond Big Lagoon. After a half mile, you pass a bench.
The trail turns away from Davis Bayou and points directly towards the lagoon.
Trail’s end is an observation platform overlooking Big Lagoon, with a small sandy beach along Trout Point.
Trout Point is a beauty spot, preserved in an area where development has otherwise taken the shoreline by storm.
Enjoy the views across the lagoon to Perdido Key. This marks your turn-around point. Follow the boardwalk back the way you came.
See our photos of Trout Point Nature Trail
More worth exploring while you’re in this area.
Gulf Islands National Seashore
Stretching across three Gulf Coast states, Gulf Islands National Seashore protects portions of the barrier islands between Navarre Beach, Florida and Gulfport, Mississippi.
Big Lagoon State Park
Explore a sweep of coastal forest and wetlands along one of Florida’s largest lagoons, with panoramas that stretch to Perdido Key and the Gulf of Mexico.
Tarkiln Bayou Preserve State Park
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.
Perdido Key State Park North Trail
Florida’s westernmost nature hike, the little-known 1.8-mile North Trail is a leisurely stroll through the dunes on the Intracoastal side of this popular beach park.