Perdido Key Beach
Spanish for “lost island,” Perdido Key encompasses federal and state parks abundant with wetlands, estuaries and wildlife. It’s so peaceful, it’s easy to get lost in the beauty. Visitors will find plenty to do on Perdido Key, ranked among the nation’s top 20 beaches by “Dr. Beach.” The barrier island features several world renowned parks, including Perdido Key State Park, Big Lagoon State Park and Johnson Beach at Gulf Islands National Seashore.
Perdido Key is also home to the legendary Flora-Bama bar, which straddles the state line, as well as Lost Key Golf Club, a designated Audubon Signature Cooperative Sanctuary golf course. Known for its out-of-the-ordinary celebrations, Perdido Key is home to the New Year’s Polar Bear Dip, Martini Festival, Interstate Mullet Toss and the Frank Brown International Songwriters’ Festival.
Big Lagoon State Park
12301 Gulf Beach Highway
Pensacola, FL 32507
5 great miles of hiking and nature –
•Sand Pine Trail – 3.5 miles long, traverses flatwoods, wetlands, & rare scrub habitats. Trail is mostly sand based with some grasses; it can get wet with heavy rains.
•Estuary Trail – 2 miles long, traverses wetlands, scrub, and coastal habitats. Trail is mostly sand based, but does follow the main park drive and boardwalks for portions.
Tarkiln Bayou Preserve State Park
Pensacola, FL 32507
This preserve offers hiking, wildlife viewing and picnicking along the half-mile trail. The elevated boardwalk meanders through prairie, cypress and titi forests. Benches along the trail provide areas for reflection. When the trail ends, the observation area provides a scenic view of the bayou.
•Tarkiln Bayou Trail – 1.5 miles round-trip, goes through communities of long leaf pine, titi, and cypress ending at an observation deck overlooking the bayou. This is a paved/boardwalk trail and fully accessible for persons with disabilities.
•Perdido Bay Trail – 6.5 miles long, goes through communities of long leaf pine, oak, mixed hardwoods, and wet prairie. This trail does cross seepage streams and muddy areas – two feet of standing water is common on this trail throughout most of the year!
•Wet Prairie Trail – 2.5 miles long, goes through a wet prairie ecosystem. Standing water is common on this trail throughout the year.
Gulf Islands National Seashore
The Perdido Key Area is off Florida Route 292, southwest from Pensacola; turn east on Johnson Beach Road.
Johnson Beach Discovery Nature Trail
Johnson Beach Discovery Nature Trail is a nice hike for the entire family. The hike takes you on a raised boardwalk through dunes, pine trees, salt marsh outlooks, and brings you to a beautiful view of Grand Lagoon. The hike is just under 1/2 a mile long-just long enough for a fun time of exploring with young kids.