- Find a Trail
- My TrailLink
- Explore Trails
- About Us
- Get Involved
Find the top rated birding trails in Fort Walton Beach, whether you're looking for an easy short birding trail or a long birding trail, you'll find what you're looking for. Click on a birding trail below to find trail descriptions, trail maps, photos, and reviews.
|Trail Image||Trail Name||States||Length||Surface||Rating|
In Milton, just northeast of Pensacola, the nearly 10-mile Blackwater Heritage State Trail is the rewarding result of a partnership between Florida's Departments of Transportation and Environmental...
Gayle's Trails is part of a growing greenways and trails system that will eventually span the entirety of Panama City Beach. Already, Gayle's Trails connects Frank Brown Park to the 3,000-acre Panama...
This is a multi-use trail that runs along Via de Luna Drive and Fort Pickens Road in Pensacola Beach, Florida. It mostly runs along the two roads but does offer some great ocean views along the way -...
The Timpoochee Trail traces the Gulf of Mexico shoreline and Scenic Highway 30-A as it travels through beachside communities and state forest lands. Trail-goers will enjoy scenic views of the sea,...
The Pensacola Beach Trail is part of my favorite Florida rides. What really makes this ride special is the additional mileage you can do on both ends of the trail. If you start at the eastern most point and continue east, you are on wide bike lanes which are extensions to the road. This takes you through Gulf Islands National Seashore park. All you see on both sides is sand and water. Since Santa Rosa island is about 2 miles off the Florida mainland, you have the sound to your left and the Gulf of Mexico on your right. This is totally undeveloped. You can take this all the way into Navarre Beach. The road speed limit is only 35 MPH so passing cars don't speed by you. It is also a low traffic road so most of the time you are by yourself. The park has some facilities but you must pay to use them.
If you follow the trail west, you will end just outside Fort Pickens which is also part of the Gulf Islands National Seashore park system. You must pay to enter the park, but the ride to the Fort is again beautiful and has little traffic. This Civil War fort is the only one (from the original 3) that still survives. It was the only fort in this area that the Confederates did not overrun. It was also a temporary holding ground from Geronimo after he was captured. There are rest room here and a convenience store right outside the campgrounds. Be sure to watch the movie about the fort. It will give you a lot of background to the area. If you are lucky you will see the Blue Angels practice because you right next to the Naval Air Base.
If you include the two side trips, the total round trip ride is around 55 miles. Quite pleasant and FLAT!!! However, being next to the water, you will always be dealing with wind. Wear LOTS of sun blocker because there is NO SHADE.
If you're training for the Tour d'Anything, this isn't the trail for you. If you want to park your car in one of the towns and use the bikes to Gary around, they're great.
We ride "hybrid" bikes (something in between road bikes and mountain bikes). We found them pretty ideal for this trail.
We parked at Seaside and rode east to Camp Helen State Park. The park itself isn't a bad ride.
Another day, we went west to Grayton Beach. We ran into trail construction there, but we rode south to the beach, and around town. We later found that we probably could have re-entered the trail on the west side of town, and continued westward. The construction looked almost complete, so it is likely to be a non-issue soon after this review is posted.
The trail is ideal for exploring the towns, and goes close to lots of shops and restaurants.
There were a few other trails heading north toward hwy 98 that were in the final stages of construction. These were interesting, and we may explore them next year.
Two days after riding from Rosemary Beach to Seacrest and back (see "Not Close To Its Potential"), we returned and rode the section from Watercolor to Grayson Highlands State Park and back. This section has been significantly improved. Although still too narrow and unlined, the asphalt is smooth and adequately separated from the roadway, with new bridges. Someone needs to pay for similar improvements from Watercolor east. If they do, this would be a 4 or 5 star ride.
We rode 8 miles of this "trail", from the unmarked east end in Rosemary Beach to Seaside Beach, and back. This "trail", for most of the distance we rode, is just a very narrow glorified sidewalk, ill-maintained and in places downright dangerous. Parts of the "trail" are simply road shoulders, with no more than a few feet of separation from opposite direction vehicle traffic. That some vehicles have in the past entered the "trail" was evident from the bent-over rubber posts supposedly delineating the edge of the "trail" / road.
We passed at least a dozen bicycle rental outlets, each with hundreds of bikes. We were told that during peak vacation periods most of those bikes would be out on the "trail", with many very young and at times unsteady riders capable of veering into oncoming bicycle or vehicular traffic. While it was not busy during our ride, we saw no one else wearing helmets.
Between the bicycle concessionaires, the owners of the very valuable adjoining properties, the restaurants and other business profiting from trail users, the municipalities through which 30A passes and the county road commission, sufficient funds should available to (1) widen the trail to a minimum of 10', (2) repave the entire trail, (3) add appropriate paint markings and a center division line, and (4) install guardrails between the highway and the trail where the trail cannot be moved away from the road.
Given its premium location, this "trail" has the potential for perfection. At present, it isn't even close.
I rode this trail the entire length. It is not a bicycle trail for serious bike riders. While it wanders through some beautiful terrain, it is compromised by many driveways and road crossings not to mention the multitude of pedestrians. In Rosemary Beach area it is a concrete sidewalk about 4 feet wide. In many places the trail is very rough with pots and bumps due to the many cuts and patches.
If you are into a slow touring ride you will be OK.
I was greatly disappointed in this trail. An 18-mile, paved trail sounds so wonderful, but the reality was a different story. It has so much potential, it is a shame that it wasn't better designed and isn't better maintained. Mountain bikers, walkers and joggers might find this trail ok, but there is a reason all the road-bikes were on the road and not on the trail, and someone on inline skates would not be able to use most of the parts of the trail we experienced (the 6.5 miles on the southeast section).
Having read the reviews of how busy and crowded this trail tends to be, we set out early on Christmas morning to enjoy this trail. We started at the southeast end of the trail, planning to ride our Trikkes at least 10 miles before turning around. The trail was so poor, we gave up in frustration at 6.5 miles, and Trikked back to the car. Perhaps further on the trail we would have encountered better conditions, but we were too tired of trying to navigate bad conditions to find out.
The trail is amazingly inconsistent. Some areas are narrow sidewalks, others are wider asphalt. A few sections are smooth, but too many sections are bumpy, with cracked asphalt that is heaving.
Much of the trail is below the level of the road, with little-to-no vegetation to stop the runoff of sand, dirt, rocks and debris, across the trail. Some sections are actually the shoulder of the road, with only flexible plastic pipes, sticking up perpendicular from the road, to divide the trail from the roadway, with cars and trucks flying by.
At various points, the property owners are watering the trail with their underground sprinkler system, creating puddles as deep as 2 inches. The design of the trails did not provide for drainage.
The one real plus is that in the morning, most of the trail is shaded, which would be wonderful on hot summer mornings.
The area near Alys Beach was beautiful. While I understand the money isn't available to have all 18 miles that nice, there is a lot that could be done with this trail to make it more enjoyable.
Today we drove up to Port St. Joe's to ride the Loggerhead Run Bike Path. This trail is not fancy, but it is more consistent, well designed for drainage and sand control, and a delight to ride, albeit with little shade. Those who designed and maintain the Timpoochee Trail could take some lessons from them. I only wish we had booked our accommodations near Port St. Joe's- but now we know for our next trip to the region.
First, before I give the negative about this ride, let me state I am very grateful that we have trails like this one in the United States where we don't have to risk getting run over by a car. This trail is very bumpy. If you have 38 or larger tires, then air them down for comfort. If you are a roadie with 23 or 25mm tires, I think you may not be happy about this ride. If you want to go fast, it may be a problem as the trail can be very crowded at times and the people walking or riding seem to be inconsiderate about sharing the trail. Many times I had to come to a complete stop because no matter what bell I rang or what words I said had no affect, the people made no attempt to clear a path for us to get through. The beaches were right next to us, but you cannot see them for all the buildings. Not a scenic ride as you would expect. But I did get to burn a lot of calories. There are stops along the way for food, drinks, etc. Just chill on this ride and you can enjoy it. I would ride it again if I visit this area in the future.
In town for a meeting decided to ride the trail. Parked at the trail head behind the Spokin' Bike shop. Not exactly a safe feeling, and we were panhandled on our return. Better to park at the Milton library (although when we rode by the Visitor Center it was closed where I suspect you'd find restrooms). The trail is very nice and well maintained. Yes, there are several small road crossings and one major one before you get to the more rural area (the stop sign for bicyclists was down here--very dangerous! We righted it but it needs to be repaired). For a short (9 miles each way) ride it was quite pleasant.
Started at the parking area on Tar Plant Road on the south end. Very quiet and off the beaten path. Restrooms are there and are very clean. Rode south about a quarter-mile before it ended and had to turn around and go north.
The ride through Milton is slow as there are several road crossings as has already been stated. The one at highway 90 can be a bit challenging. All the other crossings are mainly side streets with less traffic. I did see a few of what appeared to be homeless people around Milton, but never felt threatened.
The trail farther north gets less busy the farther out you go. By the time I got to Whiting Field, I really didn't see anyone using it (although it was a Tuesday morning). I saw some guys with the base preparing to do some work on the path, so maybe the areas where the tree roots were tearing up the asphalt will get repaired.
It's a nice ride. There are restrooms along the way. I think I saw 3 or 4 of the latrines. It is fairly shady most of the way except the northern 2 or 3 miles. I'm sure that can get very hot in the summertime! It was also well maintained, grass cut, etc. when I went.
On the way back, I detoured off the path and rode down to the riverfront in Milton. They have a really nice boardwalk that's worth taking a look. You can return back to the parking area via Pine Street and Old US 90.
I ride this trail often with friends. We park at the turnaround behind the Truly Spokin bike shop. We ride low and slow as this isn't really an ideal setup for people on high zoot road bikes wanting to maintain speed. It's more of a trail for the leisurely crowd, families, kids and the like. That's not to say there aren't sections when you can get up to pace, there are, but most people wanting to ride for sustained levels won't like all the road crossings they'll have to stop for. The trail is maintained well enough and has restrooms about midway and at the Whiting Field end. Also at the Whiting end is a covered picnic table where you can rest and recharge for the ride back. All in all a very nice trail to have in our area.
Spent the week riding on the Timpoochee Trail/30A Trail and loved it. Recommend that you get out early to avoid the traffic. It is a multi-use trail (bike and peds) so please be aware of this when riding on the trail. Trail is perfect for a fixie, mtn bike or a cruiser. Not recommend for a road bike. Did like that there are many stops for a water bottle refill or a bite to eat. Highly recommend checking out the food trucks in Seaside just below Watercolor. There are also some trails in the Watercolor/Seaside beach area that are a nice way to see the development. All in all enjoy my rides on the trail and recommend it.
I did about 18 miles of this trail on a Thursday. It is the most crowded trail I've ever seen. People walking, running, families with strollers, groups of people walking slowly drinking coffee, eating ice cream and oblivious to the fact that it is a bike trail. The trail itself is rough in spots and poorly maintained.maintained
TrailLink is a free service provided by Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (a non-profit) and we need your support!