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Gulf Islands National Seashore Nature Trails

Fort Pickens Area

    Florida Scenic Trail
    The western end of the Florida Scenic Trail is located at Fort Pickens. This trail extends 4.7 miles along the Gulf coast beach to Battery Langdon and then another 2.0 miles in the shaded forest of the island's interior along the bike trail and terminates at Fort Pickens.

    Blackbird Marsh Nature Trail
    Located on the northern edge of the maritime forest, this half mile easy walking loop trail encircles a section of marsh that usually hold fresh and salt water. Depending on the current weather conditions the marsh can dry up. A variety of plants live there from gnarled sand live oaks and scrubby sand pines to more common marsh plants such as cattails, sawgrass and duck potato. Native animals include raccoons, opossums, and a variety of frogs. Wear comfortable walking shoes and bring insect repellent. Accessed from Campground Loop A or E.

    Dune Nature Trail
    Dune Nature Trail Take a stroll down a (.25 mile) short section of boardwalk and discover how the flora and fauna of Santa Rosa Island have adapted to survive the sometimes harsh conditions present there. From the twisted pines and oaks stunted by the cloud of salt spray carried by wind coming off the Gulf of Mexico, to the light coloration exhibited by the beach mice and ghost crab, which service to camouflage in the white sand as well as reflect the sun's intense rays. Evidence of the effects of life on the island abounds. Rising to cross the sea oat crowned primary dune the trial terminates at the beautiful quartz sand beaches. Accessed on Fort Pickens Road across from Campground Loop A.

Perdido Key Area

A self-guided nature trail begins at the boat launch. It winds past a salt marsh an through a maritime forest.

    Perdido Key Discovery Trail
    A self guided nature trail begins at the boat launch. It winds past a salt marsh and through a maritime forest. Good walking shoes are recommended.

Santa Rosa Area

    The eastern section of the Florida Scenic Trail is located at the Santa Rosa Area of Gulf Islands National Seashore, 3.5 miles west of Navarre Beach on SR 399. From here the Trail proceeds generally westward along the Gulf coast beach to the Santa Rosa Area's west boundary.

Naval Live Oaks Area

Unlike the other trails in the park, the trails located in this area offer a nature experience with good possibilities of encountering wildlife. The natural community includes a variety of birds, reptiles, small mammals and vegetation types. Commonly seen animal residents are five-lined skinks, gray squirrels, birds like the osprey, belted kingfisher and woodpeckers. Native plants like the red basil and conradina are plentiful along the trails.

    Visitor Center Trail
    The trail consists of a "figure 8" path (a 1/4 mile loop, with a 1/2 mile loop beyond). The trail travels through the mainland forest communities of plant and animal life. Exhibits along the trail identify typical plants and how live oaks were used in shipbuilding. An observation deck is at the west end of the trail.

    Pensacola-St. Augustine Road
    This trail runs parallel to U.S. 98 along the northern section of Naval Live Oaks, approximately 2.2 miles. The trail offers a variety of sand pine, longleaf pine, and live oak communities, including pignut hickory, southern magnolia and scrub oak.

    Beaver Pond Trail
    The trail, approximately 1.0 mile, runs north and south through large areas of longleaf pine and some oak stands.

    Old Borrow Pit Trail
    This trail intersects the Old Quarry Trail and Pensacola-St. Augustine Road, approximately .9 mile through large stands of longleaf and sand pine communities.

    Old Quarry Trail
    This trail intersects with the Old Borrow Pit Trail and connects with the Beaver Pond Trail, .3 mile through Sand and Longleaf pine communities.

Pensacola Forts Area

    Fort Barrancas Woodland Trail Onboard the Naval Air Station, this (.25 mile) trails is a loop through the mainland forest bordering Pensacola Bay. Trail begins at the Fort Barrancas Visitor Center.

Information provided by:
National Park Service