Panama City Beach is a paradise for nature lovers, boasting more than 24 miles of trails on its 2,900 acres of protected forest and wetlands. From short walks with children to more ambitious hikes, there are plenty of trails to explore in this beautiful area. Camp Helen State Park and the West Bay Bridge are two of the region's top destinations for outdoor enthusiasts. Camp Helen State Park offers a 1.8-mile-long North Trail that begins with a paved path along Lake Powell and leads to a one-mile circuit full of dirt. Along the way, visitors can learn about native plants such as nopal, sandstone pine and saw palmetto with the help of numbered poles and a brochure found at the beginning of the circuit or in the visitor center. The West Bay Bridge has 5 miles of trails on State Highway 79. With circular trails ranging from 0.6 to 11 miles, the park encompasses nearly 3,000 acres of protected land with mostly flat trails, boardwalks, restrooms, picnic areas, and outdoor classrooms.
The Walt Oberst Trail's boardwalk and paved trail and the trail that runs through the picnic area are wheelchair-friendly. For those looking for an even longer adventure, Farout Apps offers complete logistics and offline maps of the Florida National Scenic Trail (1500 miles), the Florida Keys Heritage Trail (108 miles) and the ECT Florida Connector (92 miles). Walt Oberst Way connects the entire trail system to the Gayle Trails, paved bike trails that stretch to Frank Brown Park and beyond. When exploring Panama City Beach's trails, be sure to bring flip flops and sunscreen as well as hiking shoes. Some of the sidewalk edges need to be repaired and the wooden bridge near the end of the trail in the park is closed due to unsafe conditions. With so many trails to explore, Panama City Beach Conservation Park is an ideal destination for nature lovers looking for a unique outdoor experience.