The westernmost section of northwest Florida is considered the gateway to Florida. Here at Outdoor Gulf Coast, we consider it the gateway to all Florida adventures. Beginning in this area of Pensacola there are many hiking adventures awaiting you.
It’s in northwest Florida we have the beginning of the Florida trail system. In addition to the trail system, there are many areas to hike and explore. We hope you will discover new places to hike as we continue to expand our list, with Pensacola being the starting point for your hiking adventures. If you would like to contribute more places to the hiking areas we have listed, please let us know.
Trail Guide Map – click the icons in the map for hiking areas.
Jones Swamp Wetland Preserve and Nature Trail is part of the Bayou Chico restoration project. The preserve includes 1,300 acres within the Jones Creek Watershed. It was created to provide protection for Pensacola Bay.
Terrain: boardwalk | Park amenities: picnic table
3 miles of paved walking/biking paths along Bayou Grande.
Terrain: concrete walking path | Park amenities: park benches, playground, bathroom
Raised boardwalk through the wetlands in West Pensacola. This boardwalk is at the Water Reclamation facility. Nice place for walking and birding.
Terrain: boardwalk | Park amenities: none
Beautiful paved/boardwalk that winds through wetlands down to the bayou. There is a small pier on the bayou to enjoy the surroundings. In addition to the paved trail, there are many off-grade trails to hike.
Terrain: boardwalk & sandy trails | Park amenities: bathroom
Located on the Perdido River Fillingim Landing offers paddlers and hikers a nice setting for exploring the outdoors. Fillingim Landing includes a kayak/canoe launch, hiking trails, picnic table, BBQ grills, and bathrooms.
Terrain: sand | Park amenities: picnic tables, BBQ grills, kayak/canoe launch, bathrooms
Bay Bluffs Park is maintained by the city of Pensacola. The park is a 32-acre park along Escambia Bay located off Scenic Highway near Summit Blvd. The park has many boardwalks leading through the oak and pine forest along the bay.
Terrain: boardwalk | Park amenities: none
UWF includes over 20 miles of hiking and biking trails. A section of trails includes the Edward Ball Nature Preserve Trail. This boardwalk is an enjoyable half-mile hike through Thompson’s Bayou. Visitors will enjoy viewing many birds, fish, and reptiles.
Terrain: boardwalk & dirt trails | Park amenities: none
Good access point for the trails for hiking or mountain biking. This trailhead connects you to the red and green trail system.
Terrain: dirt trails | Park amenities: none, park on the side of the road
Pensacola Beach (less than 10 miles from Pensacola)
There are many trails to explore in Fort Pickens. Hikers will enjoy much wildlife. Parking at Battery Worth will give you access to many of the trails.
Terrain: sand, crushed shells | bathrooms, covered pavilions, picnic areas, BBQ Grills, Forts, Beach areas
Perdido Key (15 miles from Pensacola)
The Perdido Key Discovery Trail is located in Johnson Beach. This park is part of the Gulf Islands National Seashore. The boardwalk provides a unique setting to discover the natural beauty of the seashore. This is an easy walk and a great place for bird watching.
Terrain: boardwalk | Park amenities: covered pavilion at main beach, beach access, restrooms at main beach parking area
Bayou Marcus Nature Trail is located near Perdido Bay Country Club. The boardwalk gets takes you out over the wetlands.
Terrain: boardwalk | Park amenities: covered pavilion, BBQ grills, playground
Big Lagoon State Park is a beautiful place for hiking, camping, bird watching, or having a fun family picnic. There are many trails to explore throughout the park. The trails range from boardwalks to sandy trails.
Terrain: boardwalk & sandy trails | Park amenities: restrooms, picnic areas, playground, camping
Gulf Breeze (3 miles from Pensacola)
Shoreline park has both walking paths and hiking trails. This is a beautiful park to explore.
Terrain: Concrete walking paths & sandy trails | Park amenities: restrooms, picnic areas, playground, fishing pier, boat launch, dog park, pavilion.
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. The Naval Live Oaks park is located in Gulf Breeze and has over 7.5 miles of hiking trails to enjoy.
Terrain: Sandy trails | Park amenities: restrooms, picnic areas, BBQ grills
Brackenridge Nature Trail is a 0.3-mile boardwalk loop trail located in the Naval Live Oaks Park, a part of the Gulf Islands National Seashore.
Terrain: Boardwalk / earthen | Park amenities: restrooms, picnic areas, BBQ grills, wheelchair-accessible
Baker, Holt, Munson (30 – 47 miles from Pensacola)
Wiregrass Trail – Blackwater River State Forest
The Wiregrass Trail is located in Blackwater River State Forest and is part of the Florida National Scenic Trail. On this trail, hikers will enjoy some of the largest remaining longleaf pine/wiregrass found anywhere. The trail is 12.7 miles in length. Access this trail North of Hurricane Lake Recreation Area. For details, visit here.
Terrain: off-road trails | Park amenities: restrooms, camping
The Sweeterwater trail is located in Blackwater River State Forest. The trailhead is located at Krul Lake State Recreation Area. The first section of trail is handicapped accessible with a boardwalk. The trail includes a suspension bridge and a gristmill on the boardwalk. The trail is 1.3 miles and connects to Bear Lake.
Terrain: boardwalk and off-road | Park amenities: restrooms, picnic areas, BBQ grills, swimming area
Jackson Red Ground Trail
Get a bit of history as you retrace one of the earliest trade routes of the Indians and settlers in Florida. This trail is a 21.5-mile hike and is certified as a segment of the Florida National Scenic Trail. For directions, maps, and other information click here.
Terrain: off-road | Park amenities: primitive camping at Red Rock Road Primitive Area
Enjoy hiking along Juniper Creek. The trail is an unpaved trail that runs 8.8 miles. Juniper Creek Trails is certified as a segment of the Florida National Scenic Trail. The southern end of the trails joins up with Blackwater River.
Terrain: off-road | Park amenities: primitive camping at Red Rock Road Primitive Area (northern), picnic area at southern area
It’s time to go camping . . . or fishing or hiking! You can do all this and more at Karick Lake. Located in the Blackwater River State Forest, just 7.5 miles north of Baker tucked away in our little neck of the woods is this spectacular 65-acre spot. The park includes a 3.8-mile hiking trail around the lake.
Terrain: Sandy trails | Park amenities: restrooms, picnic areas, BBQ grills, camping
Blackwater River State Park has access to many hiking trails including Chain of Lakes Hiking Trail and Jackson Trail.
Ponce de Leon (90 miles from Pensacola)
Ponce de Leon is a beautiful State Park located in Northwest Florida that’s perfect for a day trip. In the park, there are two hiking trails where hikers will enjoy a lush hardwood forest. The park also includes Includes a beautiful spring for swimming for those hot summer days.
Terrain: off-road trails| Park amenities: restrooms, picnic areas, BBQ grills, swimming area
Milton (20 miles from Pensacola)
Garcon Point Trail has a 1.7-mile loop and a 1.2-mile spur off that trail. We hiked the 1.2-mile spur then walked back another 1.5 along Garcon Point Road.
Terrain: off-road trails| Park amenities: none
Enjoy history and the great outdoors as you visit Arcadia Mill. This site once included a water-powered sawmill, lumber mill, textile mill, and more. There is a handicap boardwalk and off-road hiking trails at this location. The off-road section of trail includes a suspension bridge over Mill Pond Creek.
Terrain: Boardwalk & off-road trails | Park amenities: Visitor Center and Museum, restroom, historical displays
Fairhope, Alabama (50 miles from Pensacola)
Weeks Bay includes two boardwalks. There you will enjoy viewing the natural surroundings around Weeks Bay and Fish River.
Terrain: Boardwalks | Park amenities: Free educational interpretive center, restrooms
Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, Alabama
The Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail includes over 15 miles of trails in Orange Beach and Gulf Shores, Alabama. These trails are perfect for hiking, biking, or jogging.