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Why Mother Nature Calls Pensacola Home

From pristine beach vistas to unspoiled marshlands to serene coastal woodlands, Pensacola boasts a wealth of parks and trails that highlight the natural beauty of our environment. Visitors are never far from an example of why we believe Mother Nature calls Pensacola home.

Pensacola Beach

The key to the Gulf Islands National Seashore’s appeal is its unspoiled simplicity and the feeling of isolation it provides, which many beachgoers crave. This national park features miles of Gulf-front roadway sided only by rolling white sand dunes, sea oats and endless horizon. Fort Pickens, part of the GINS, includes the historic military installation, built in 1829 as part of the fort system to protect Pensacola. It offers guided tours, a museum, a snack bar, camping and more.

Perdido Key

Along with Johnson Beach, Perdido Key and the southwest corner of Escambia County offer hidden gems of natural beauty at several parks. Big Lagoon State Park features an amphitheater, fishing, wildlife, swimming and more to take in. It also serves as a prime location for crabbing. Tarkiln Bayou Preserve State Park, located on Perdido Bay, offers the unique environment that is home to four rare, carnivorous pitcher plant species. The park offers a 6.5-mile Perdido Bay trail as well as the 1.5-mile Tarkiln Bayou Trail, which is wheelchair accessible. Perdido Key State Park – located on the island itself -- also offers undisturbed access to both the Gulf of Mexico and Old River. It provides picnic facilities, fishing opportunities and more.

Pensacola

On Escambia Bay, Bay Bluffs Park features a network of wooden boardwalks and trails that descend from the aptly-named Scenic Highway to the shoreline below. On the north side of Pensacola, the University of West Florida offers a variety of woodland and wetland trails, including the Edward Ball Nature Trail, which includes a half mile of boardwalk on Thompson Bayou, a beautiful hardwoods swamp. Just off the boardwalk like a web of bike paths. Wherever you walk in Pensacola’s picturesque natural parks, be mindful of your step – that’s Mother Nature’s backyard you’re exploring.

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