Nature & Outdoors

Explore parks and trails in the Pensacola Bay Area

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The Pensacola Bay Area offers wonderful experiences for nature lovers.
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Enjoying the outdoors comes naturally in the Pensacola Bay Area, named a "hot spot for biodiversity" by the Nature Conservancy.

Check out these Pensacola area parks and trails for great ways to enjoy the great outdoors while on vacation.

Adventures Unlimited Outdoor Center and Blackwater Canoe Rental & Sales offer lodging, camping, canoeing in nearby Milton, the "Canoe Capital of Florida."

Blackwater River State Park offers biking, camping, boating and nature trails, also in Milton.

Bay Bluffs Park along Scenic Highway and Escambia Bay sit atop the only natural bluffs in the state and provide the highest natural elevation in the city.

Big Lagoon State Park offers a fabulous view from its 40-foot observation tower and ample opportunity to explore terrestrial and marine ecosystems.

Edward Ball Nature Preserve at the University of West Florida is home to Captain Thunder, a 10-foot-long, three-legged alligator. Visitors can enjoy one of the many nature trails within the 1,000-acre preserve on campus.

Fort Pickens at the Gulf Islands National Seashore was originally designed to protect against invading armies. The massive brick fort stands across Pensacola Bay from Fort Barrancas at Naval Air Station Pensacola. Each fort was held by opposing forces during the Civil War.

Gulf Islands National Seashore was the second national seashore upon its creation in 1971. It's the largest tract of protected shoreline in Florida, providing a safe home for flora and fauna.

Naval Live Oak Preserve at Gulf Islands National Seashore is home to the timber renowned for its strength to build famous ships such as the USS Constitution, a.k.a. "Old Ironsides."

Johnson Beach, located on Perdido Key is part of Gulf Islands National Seashore and provides miles of undeveloped, pristine shoreline to explore and hike. It's a great place to spend some time on the beach and the bay.

Perdido Key State Park offers biking, camping, swimming, and a picnic area.

Tarkiln Bayou Preserve State Park (formerly Perdido Pitcher Plant Prairie Preserve) offers an up-close view of an endangered native plant species on elevated boardwalks.

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