Explore the extensive trail network and discover new places in the Key’s Great Outdoors!
On Perdido Key, you’ll discover nature at its most beautiful- a world of nature trails, endangered birds, marine life, and 16 breathtaking miles of dazzling white coastline. The pristine island is surrounded by a state park system that was voted “Best in America; for its federal parks, hiking trails, and iconic wildlife. Here, your outdoor excursions may range from an easy day trip to an extended nature weekend of campfires, stargazing, and nighttime discovery.
More than 60 percent of the Key is preserved for public use, giving nature lovers the year-round opportunity to explore wildlife refuges, natural wetlands, sanctuaries, and nature parks. The Key is a renowned habitat for nesting birds, newly-hatched sea turtles, butterflies, dolphins, rays, and more, and many species are endangered and protected under federal law.
Several sites in Perdido Key are listed on Florida’s Great Birding and Wildlife Trail (FGBWT) a 2,000 mile, self-guided trail encompassing 500 sites including one of the FGBWT’s premier Gateway sites, Big Lagoon State Park. Covering 655 acres, the spectacular park separates Perdido Key from the mainland and beckons visitors to camp, swim, fish, boat, canoe, and hike, or try crabbing in the shallow waters of Big Lagoon (also a great wading spot for toddlers).
Climb the three-stories-high observation tower there and watch for dolphins, but stop by the ranger station first-binoculars are available to loan there.
Perdido Key Area Nature & Walking Trails
- Sand Pine Trail is 35 miles long and traverses Flatwoods, wetlands and rare scrub habitats.
- Estuary Trail is two miles long and traverses wetlands, scrub, and coastal habitats. Tarkiln Bayou Preserve State Park (Bauer Road between Sorrento Road and Lillian Highway)
- Tarkiln Bayou State Park is a haven for botanists and nature lovers of all stripes. It has long been a favorite spot for hiking and birdwatching, or even just a family picnic in the pavilion area. It is only a 10-15-minute drive from Perdido Key. The 4,290-acre park is home to nearly 100 rare carnivorous plants, once you arrive a wealth of rare native plants and animals await.
- Perdido Bay Trail is 6 ½ miles long and winds through communities of long leaf pine, oak. mixed hardwoods and wet prairie.
- Wet Prairie Trail Is 2 ½ miles long and winds through a wet prairie ecosystem.
Gulf Islands National Seashore (Johnson Beach Road off Florida Route 292)
- Gulf Islands National Seashore is home to a popular boardwalk trail that starts at Florida Route 292, southwest from Pensacola; tum east on Johnson Beach Road.
- Johnson Beach Discovery Nature Trail is a nice hike Oust (under ½ mile) over a raised boardwalk through dunes, pine trees, and salt marsh outlooks leading to a beautiful view of Grand Lagoon.