Get Outdoors! Hiking Trails Near Panama City Beach
Yes, the beautiful beaches are a no-brainer. But did you know Panama City Beach has some great hiking trails? Nature lovers will enjoy exploring the beautiful and diverse ecosystems.
ECONFINA RIVER STATE PARK
Nestled along the northern Gulf Coast, this park protects a mosaic of diverse landscapes.
The Econfina River meanders like a dark ribbon through pine flatwoods and oak-palm forests, to broad expanses of salt marsh dotted with pine islands.
Nature lovers can explore the scenic beauty by foot, off-road bicycling or horseback on 14.8 miles of wooded trails – or drift along the river in a kayak, canoe or boat. Trails lead to a panoramic view of coastal Florida where lush islands and sand dunes left from a bygone era dot the horizon.
The Econfina River empties into the Gulf of Mexico 2.2 miles south of the park’s boat ramp. Picnic facilities are near the boat ramp, and the park offers numerous opportunities for wildlife viewing and bird-watching.
Native Americans took advantage of the great fishing and hunting that the Econfina River and the Gulf Coast provided. Since then people continue to enjoy the park’s easy access to the bountiful Gulf of Mexico fish and natural resources.
In 1989, the property opened as a state park to forever preserve the natural areas found within this 4,528-acre park.
4741 Econfina River Road, Lamont FL 32336
Open 8 a.m. until sunset, 365 days a year
More info: https://www.floridastateparks.org/parks-and-trails/econfina-river-state-park
PINE LOG STATE FOREST
Over 13 miles of hiking trails have been developed on Pine Log State Forest. These trails include a segment of the Florida National Scenic Trail, which covers approximately 8 miles. The Dutch Tieman Trail and the Campground Loop begin and end in the recreation area.
The Florida National Scenic Trail enters the forest in the northwest corner and leads into the campground area. It then crosses State Road 79 at Pine Log Creek and continues through the forest and exits to the east. This trail continues on private land eastward to State Road 77. The Florida National Scenic Trail is blazed in orange rectangles and covers approximately 8 miles through Pine Log State Forest.
The Dutch Tieman Trail covers approximately 4 miles and is marked with blue blazes. This trail is named for Mr. Edgar “Dutch” Tieman, the forest’s first park ranger. This multi-use trail is open to hikers and off-road bicycles. Bicyclists are asked to please use caution when approaching hikers.
The Campground Loop Trail covers 2 miles and is marked in red blazes. This trail loops from the campground around a cypress pond. Only foot traffic is allowed on the Campground Loop Trail.
The Crooked Creek Trail is a multi-use 9-mile loop trail that has been established on the east side of Highway 79. Parking is located on Highway 79, 1 mile south of the recreation area. This trail was developed for off-road bicycle use; however, foot traffic is welcome.
5583-A Longleaf Rd., Ebro, FL 32437-1227
More info: https://www.fdacs.gov/Forest-Wildfire/Our-Forests/State-Forests/Pine-Log-State-Forest
A favorite destination for locals and tourists, the Panama City Beach Conservation Park offers opportunities for a variety of outdoor recreation. The City of Panama City Beach has established Conservation Park in cooperation with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection for the enjoyment of hikers, cyclists and nature lovers. In addition to the functionality of the park, there are many trails on site from which you can observe native wildlife roaming freely. Encompassing over 2900 acres, the Conservation Park has 24 miles of trails and over a mile of boardwalks that lead through Cypress domes. The trails range anywhere from 0.6 miles up to 11 miles, with 12 different trails to choose from (Trail maps listed below). A 4,400 square foot building is at the southeast corner of the Park to function as a shelter for park users, garbage disposal, public restroom facilities, parking, picnic tables, and a drinking water station. Be sure to bring your binoculars and cameras for bird and wildlife watching!
100 Conservation Drive, Panama City Beach, FL 32413.
Open dawn to dusk 7 days a week.
Trail Map1 Trail Map 2
More info: https://www.pcbeach.org/panama-city-beach-conservation-park/
ST. ANDREWS STATE PARK
With the Gulf of Mexico on one side and St. Andrews Bay on the other, visitors who crave swimming, snorkeling or surfing will be more than satisfied.
Theodore Tollofson evidently liked what he saw when he shipwrecked on what is now St. Andrews State Park during a 1929 hurricane. He homesteaded in his derelict boat for the next 25 years.
Now, state park visitors can experience what kept “Teddy the Hermit” at St. Andrews — sugar white sands, emerald green waters and a vast array of ever-changing winged creatures.
The park is a popular migratory stopover for numerous bird and butterfly species.
Besides boasting a mile-and-a-half of pristine beaches for fishing and swimming, St. Andrews also offers the chance for visitors to stroll through pines and along dunes and coastal plant communities or stay overnight in the campground.
4607 State Park Lane, Panama City Beach FL 32408
Open 8 a.m. until sundown, 365 days a year
More info: https://www.floridastateparks.org/parks-and-trails/st-andrews-state-park
Ferry to St. Andrews Park: https://standrewsshellisland.com/