Experiencing Nature at Naval Live Oaks

Bench on Breckenridge Nature Trail

Bench on Breckenridge Nature Trail

Looking to experience nature in Gulf Breeze, Florida? The Gulf Islands National Seashore Naval Live Oaks Park located in Gulf Breeze is the perfect place to enjoy some quiet time of hiking, picnicking, or relaxing by the water.

We’ve spent a few afternoons at the Naval Live Oaks in Gulf Breeze. This is a great park for hiking, swimming, fishing or having a picnic. For our getaway we packed a lunch and enjoyed the breeze from Santa Rosa Sound. The Naval Live Oaks park is located in Gulf Breeze and has has over 7.5 miles of hiking trails to enjoy.

The park has a large selection of picnic tables and barbecue grills. In addition there is one large covered picnic area for large groups. This past weekend, we found a nice picnic table just a few steps away from the water to enjoy a picnic lunch.

After lunch, we hiked the Breckenridge Nature Trail. This was a perfect hike for the kids considering it’s only .8 of a mile. Along the trail we enjoyed beautiful views of Santa Rosa Sound from the overlook, climbed in a big oak tree, and enjoyed seeing the many sites along the trail. The trail weaves around large Oak trees, Magnolia, Red Cedars, and Pine trees. I especially enjoyed this hike because of the variety of trees along the trail. Color is added to the view by wild flowers and the American Beauty Bush berries.

Flower along the trail

Flower along the trail

At the end of the hike, we spent a few minutes in the visitor center. The kids always enjoy the playing with the exibits in the visitor center. The visit center has a model oak tree, handsets for listening, and a few other exhibits which explain the history of the oak in constructing Navy ships. If you go for the first time, don’t forget to greet the center’s host, Edwin Woods. He will be glad to answer questions or show you a 12 minute slide presentation of the changes that have taken place for us to be able to enjoy the area.

If you have little kids you’ll enjoy the beach area. Once we were able to lure the kids from the visitor center we put on our swim suits and enjoyed a nice relaxing time in the water. The sand is sugar white and the water is very shallow. While we were swimming we saw people fishing and kayaking along the shoreline.

Pictures from our time at the park

Oak tree at Naval Live Oaks Park

Oak tree at Naval Live Oaks Park

Trail

Trail

Lindy & Kids

Lindy & Kids

Up in an Oak Tree

Up in an Oak Tree

Mushroom

Mushrooms

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4 Responses to Experiencing Nature at Naval Live Oaks

  1. Erika September 8, 2009 at 11:51 am #

    Looks like a great weekend. We love the Gulf Coast and spend a lot of time in Venice. Do they have camping?

  2. Shawn September 8, 2009 at 12:38 pm #

    It was a great weekend. The only campground at the Naval Live Oaks is a group campground. The group campground is located across highway 98 located on Pensacola Bay.

  3. Joe Caridi October 1, 2009 at 4:01 pm #

    Doesn’t your family ever wear shoes ! Great shot.

  4. Shawn October 1, 2009 at 7:54 pm #

    No shoes allowed! 🙂