Panama City Beach
St. Andrew’s Park in Panama City Beach serves as the gateway for a myriad of great hiking trails. It encompasses 1,200 acres of perfectly preserved forests and sand dunes, along with miles of beaches. Here you can swim, snorkel, and even fish! Surfers also love St. Andrew’s Park for the big waves that crash near the jetty.
For a great view to accompany your hike, lace up your shoes and head to Gator Lake Trail. This half-mile trail takes you across St. Andrew Park’s highest point, with some rugged climbs for the experienced hiker. You’ll even be able to hear the nearby surf as you hike across the hand!
Meanwhile, experience one of the world’s largest coastal dune lakes when you visit Powell Lake at Camp Helen State Park. The dune lakes are only found on the coasts of Australia and Africa, but some are also found between Panama City Beach and Destin! At Camp Helen State Park, discover prime beach access and trails that take you through dunes and scrub oak forests. The park is open from 8 AM until sunset seven days a week, wish leashed pets welcome except for on the beach.
Cyclists looking for a great place to explore, be sure to pay a visit to Gayle’s Trails at Frank Brown Park. Two of the three routes are located along forested corridors between trailheads. A round trip totals out to 19.5 miles! You will certainly get a good workout as well as enjoy some incredible views when you visit here.
Did you know over 40% of Walton County’s total acreage is dedicated to preservation? Because of this, hikers and cyclists can explore the natural beauty of the area which includes rare coastal dune lakes and some of the nation’s most endangered bird species. One of the area’s most popular spots is Point Washington State Forest, which consists of 10 natural communities and three trail systems. It even has a horse trail! Hikers or cyclists can explore the 3.5, 5, or 10-mile loops offered on the trail at the Eastern Lake Trail System.
Additionally, the Watersound Trail is located not far away, connecting Walton County from the Watersound Origins Community. Hikers looking for a leisurely stroll or quiet bike ride through lush green scenery will love the Watersound Trail. The trail only runs five miles, allowing you to immerse yourself in the surrounding beauty. As an added bonus, leashed pets are allowed.
Grayton Beach State Park is a popular spot for visitors and locals alike. If you haven’t explored these, then you are missing out! The area is home to another rare coastal dune lake steps away from the beach. At Grayton Beach State Park, you can experience a variety of fun including bird-watching, camping, and fishing. There is also a trail system that stretches only 0.8 miles long, but also has a 4-mile linear hiking and biking trail through the park.