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Property Management Blog

Pensacola area State Parks

Pensacola area State Parks

Nestled along the picturesque Gulf Coast in Northwest Florida, Pensacola offers a treasure trove of natural wonders waiting to be explored. From pristine beaches to lush forests, these parks not only showcase the diverse ecosystems of Northwest Florida but also offer fantastic recreational opportunities for nature enthusiasts to enjoy. The amount of picturesque, natural land we have in the Florida Panhandle is one of our most beloved aspects of our hometown and we’re excited to share it with you today. Join us as we provide a brief introduction into some of our favorite Pensacola area state and national parks!

Big Lagoon State Park

Located off Gulf Beach Hwy near Perdido, Big Lagoon State Park offers lots of outdoor activities from hiking, kayaking, swimming, fishing, camping, boating, and paddling. There are several covered shelters for events and picnicking including the Governor’s Pavilion and the Amphitheater. There are many lookout points at the park including the observation tower looking out over the lagoon and beyond Johnson’s Beach to the Gulf of Mexico. You’ll also find a children’s playground and kayak rentals. Open daily from 8 AM to sunset, with the admission as $6 per vehicle, Big Lagoon State Park has something for everyone to enjoy.

Blackwater River State Park

Blackwater State Park is 600-acres and is in Milton, FL. It is open year-round from 8 AM to sunset. The Blackwater River is the best feature of this area which is a popular kayaking and canoeing spot. You can bring your own flotation device or pick from several watersport rental companies for a lazy float down the river. With numerous nature trails, it’s also a popular place for hiking as you can adventure into Blackwater River State Forest through Juniper Creek Trail. Our favorite spot to venture on Juniper Creek Trail is the Red Rock Trailhead, where you’ll find red clay cliffs. It has also become a popular campground area with both RV and tent camping spots available. Your GPS may give you trouble when trying to locate the park, so we suggest reaching out to the ranger station at 850-983-5363 for turn-by-turn directions in the event you get lost. Entrance fees are low at only $4 per vehicle.

Gulf Islands National Seashore

The Gulf Islands National Seashore encompasses Pensacola Beach to Destin in addition to Johnson’s Beach in Perdido. Pensacola Beach offers tons of public beach areas including a few that are dog friendly. You’ll find many restaurants and activities for people of all ages to enjoy on Pensacola Beach. There are many condos, hotels, and beach houses to book for vacation. Drive far enough east for a more relaxing beach atmosphere away from all the hustle and bustle.

Fort Pickens in Gulf Islands National Seashore

Fort Pickens is the perfect day time adventure, but it also offers campgrounds if you’d like to extend your fun. Parking is a breeze with several parking lots to choose from. There are also multiple beach access points and different points of interest such as Battery Cooper and Battery Worth. Langdon Beach is also located within Fort Pickens which is a perfect place for beachgoers that desire a covered area and bathroom facilities. Explore this historic fort on your own or opt for a very informative guided tour with one of their knowledgeable rangers. The park is open from 8 am to sunset year-round. Entrance fees are among the highest of local state parks with a $25 charge per vehicle or $15 charge for a pedestrian or cyclist or purchase an annual pass for only $45. Before heading out there, check for any possible road closures, as weather sometimes prohibits access to Fort Pickens.

Naval Live Oaks Nature Preserve

Located off Hwy 98 in Gulf Breeze, Naval Live Oaks offers features trails on both sides of Hwy 98. The headquarters building has a lot of educational information and as well as gifts and souvenirs. Most of the trails are sandy and there is active wildlife present. Stay aware and look out for snakes. Naval Live Oaks has bike trails, lookout points, and picnic areas too!

Perdido Key State Park

Perdido Key State Park is located on Perdido Key Drive between Pensacola and Orange Beach, and it is mostly known for its untouched, beautiful white sandy beaches. There are also bathroom facilities available. Like all the other parks they are open from 8 AM to sunset daily. There's a $3 fee per vehicle which is to be left in the honor box.

Tarkiln Bayou State Park

Located off Bauer Rd in SW Pensacola, this park is only open during daylight hours year-round. Tarklin Bayou State Park spans over 4,000 acres with nature trails on both sides of Bauer Rd. Parking is limited, so you may find yourself needing to park on the side of the road. Admission is only $3 per vehicle or $2 per pedestrian. This park offers some concrete pathway trails as well as dirt walking trails with some boardwalks to walk over wetlands. This pet-friendly park is a local favorite for dog owners! Take in some great views of the water from the dock while you explore one of the area’s most low-key state park.