We got some new exploring gear for Christmas which included binoculars and field guides, so we headed out to the University of West Florida’s nature trail boardwalk. The kids actually had the best time ever! They all enjoyed sharing the laminated field guides and even identified two types of mushrooms. The field guides on our area’s birds and butterflies weren’t much use this day, but the kids had fun looking through the binoculars anyway. We’ve since found some free field guide apps to use as well. Critters under the bridge never disappoint us; lots of panhandling fish and turtles showed up waiting for their rewards of bread and crackers.
Our mission was completed successfully. We had a nice time together in the great outdoors while getting exercise and we even learned a few things. After the nature walk we spent some time skateboarding before heading home.
There is so much to do at UWF for outdoor fun and it is centrally located for most people in Pensacola. The landscape is too beautiful not to enjoy time there. Whether you’re a student, a local or a vacationer, there are many activities from which you can choose. Here’s a list of activities to help get you motivated.
Whatever you decide to do, download the UWF Trail Maps for easy navigation and have a great time!
The cross country trail is near the multipurpose field on Campus Lane. There’s nothing like having a huge deer stand centered on the trail staring at you to wake you up on a morning run. That actually happened once. We also saw deer another time on the same trail while out geocaching with the family. Mostly you’ll hear lots of squirrels and birds and have a peaceful time.
You can get to the bike trails off of the boardwalk for some moderate terrain riding.
The whole campus is worth exploring. Walk the sidewalks on the weekend that meander through a variety of trees, shrubbery and flowers. Hike any of the wooded trails. Spend a morning bird watching and give yourself time for contemplation before getting back to the busyness of life.
There are geocaches all over campus. We’ve found a few geocaches during the day and even one night cache with friends.
Canoes are available to students for rental or bring your own kayak or stand up paddleboard and paddle through the marshes.
There aren’t any signs and there are few people on campus during the weekend, so we take our kids and our longboard down the smooth, hilly sidewalks.
More about UWF hiking and biking trails