Maybe the best thing about hiking in Navarre Beach is you don’t have to do it hardcore. So whether you think of it as hiking or simply strolling, we have dozens of trails of various types, from the backwoods to the beach. Pretty much all of them are Florida-flat.
A lot of these trails aren’t only for hiking/strolling/jogging; most of them you can ride bicycles on.
To get you started, here are a few trails we like:
- The Florida Trail, Seashore
This is the only section of the National Scenic Trail that runs along a beach. And there’s lots of it — more than 32 miles worth (not all of it in Santa Rosa County). Whether you do a mile or 20, this is one of the most remarkable waterfront hikes you’ll find.
- Jackson Red Ground Trail
This north-county trail is a 22-mile section of the Florida Trail. It follows a historic Indian and settler trade route that was used in 1818 by General Andrew Jackson and his troops. You’ll get folded into longleaf pine forests and sand pine scrub, come across farmland, and the occasional stream or wooden bridge. Boardwalks are interspersed throughout, and spring and fall wildflowers bloom abundantly.
- Blackwater Heritage Trail
This paved 8-mile trail runs alongside the old Florida/Alabama Rail Line and connects Historic Milton to Naval Air Station Whiting Field. Walk, jog or rollerblade. Wooden bridges cross several creeks, and there are a variety of entry and exit points.
- Garcon Point Trail
This 1.7-mile loop a few miles south of Milton is full of fabulous views. This grass path runs through pines and scrub, prairie grasses and, depending on the season, some amazing wildflowers. You’re apt to run into white-topped pitcher plants that poke up through the footpath. The loop splits off north into a 1.4 straight miles of pine forest.
- Bear Lake Trail
Part of the Blackwater River State Forest, Bear Lake — 25 miles northeast of Milton — loops around this picturesque reservoir. The 4-mile trail takes you through pine flatwoods; in bluff forests, Southern magnolia and hickory trees provide shade. Bear Lake Trail is known as a superb place for birding.