If you're in search of a unique outdoor experience, Panama City, Florida is the ideal destination. From ancient dunes to restored wetlands, the area offers a variety of trails that will take you to some of the highest points in the state. At Anastasia State Park, the Ancient Dune Trail is a short tour of relict dunes in the shade of old living oak trees. The Big Oak Trail is one of the most picturesque hiking trails in North Florida and is located near the Suwannee and Withlacoochee Rivers.
In St. Petersburg, two circular trails in the Cockroach Bay Nature Reserve run through restored wetlands and a viewpoint known as Mount Cukroach. The pavement edges need to be repaired and the wooden bridge near the end of the trail corresponding to the park is closed due to unsafe conditions. For an even more unique experience, head to Florida Caverns State Park where you can find Florida's only hiking trail that goes through a cave.
The Disappearing Creek ring road also offers a great view of Camp Branch crossing rapids and cascading into a gigantic sinkhole. The highest elevation trail in Panama City, Florida is located at Anastasia State Park and reaches an elevation of about 900 feet. This hill was originally governed by the American military when the United States occupied it. If you're looking for a less visited area, there are plenty of options for cross-country terrain without any trails. Over the past few years, as I ran out of popular hiking trails in my area, I started looking for less visited areas and hiking in them. No matter what type of outdoor experience you're looking for, Panama City has something for everyone.
From ancient dunes to restored wetlands, there are plenty of trails that will take you to some of the highest points in the state.