Panama City Beach, Florida is a great destination for outdoor enthusiasts looking to explore nature trails. With an abundance of parks, forests, and trails, there are plenty of opportunities to get out and enjoy the natural beauty of the area. From the No Name Lake Trail to the Point Washington State Forest, there are plenty of trails to explore. Whether you're looking for a short stroll or a more ambitious hike, there's something for everyone.
The Panama City Beach Conservation Park is one of the region's top destinations for nature lovers. Spanning 2,900 acres, it offers 24 miles of trails that provide access to the smallest of several dune lakes within the park's boundaries and showcase the area's impressive ecological diversity. The Andrews State Park Loop is another great option for those looking for a nature trail experience. This park covers almost 3,000 acres in the West Bay ecosystem and features more than 20 miles of trails divided into approximately a dozen separate routes.
These trails traverse pine groves, cypress domes, and other upland and wetland environments. The Point Washington State Forest is another great destination for outdoor recreation on the Emerald Coast. Its pine-sand hills, flat forests and humid meadows include many delightfully quiet and wild corners, giving hikers a pleasant taste of solitude and adventure that is felt worlds away from the busy beaches. Hiking options include the Eastern Lake Trail System, which includes several circuit options, including an 11-mile circuit that allows you to exercise outdoors and a study of native habitats and the natural landscape of the forest.
Check out the beauty of the wetlands at the Buttonbush Swamp Lookout and stroll through the coastal scrub and look for alligators along the Gator Lake Trail. For those who want to follow a smoother, less challenging path than those found in the Conservation Park, Gayle's trails are an excellent choice. Biking around Panama City Beach is a great way to explore and see things that just fly by in a car. If you're lucky enough to spend the day on Shell Island in Panama City Beach, make sure to bring your family, a camera and your sense of adventure! At Camp Helen State Park you can explore a chain of cypress trees and pine forests along an easily accessible trail that is a must on a visit to Panama City Beach.
The park also offers nature trails that intersect with a rich diversity of coastal plants and wildlife. There are two trails in the park to choose from: The Heron Pond Trail takes you on a hike through a pine forest and past a historic turpentine still; while the Gator Lake Trail offers a panoramic view of the lake shore and sometimes a chance to see Florida's state reptile. For those looking for something more adventurous than hiking or biking, stand-up paddle surfing (SUP) is another great way to explore Panama City Beach's open and protected waters such as Gran Laguna or St. Andrews Bay. Farout Apps provides comprehensive logistics and offline maps for Florida's National Scenic Trail (1500 miles), Florida Keys Foreign Heritage Trail (108 miles) and ECT Florida Connector (92 miles).No matter what type of outdoor activity you're looking for in Panama City Beach, there are plenty of nature trails to explore! From short strolls to ambitious hikes, there's something for everyone.