Hiking & Biking
Panama City Beach is an ecotourist's paradise with plenty of outdoor activities beyond those found along the 27-mile stretch of beach. Home to dozens of marked bike and hiking trails that wind around protected wetlands, stay relatively flat, and serve as a pathway to the shore, PCB is a destination for every type of hiker or cyclist. No matter what season you visit, remember to bring plenty of water and sunscreen for whichever adventure(s) you choose.
For Hikers & Cyclists
PCB Conservation Park
With 2,900 acres of preserved wilderness, PCB Conservation Park is a dreamy escape for hikers and cyclists. The park is home to over a mile of boardwalks and 24-plus miles of unpaved trails that range from half a mile to 11 miles, weaving through cypress domes. The park’s 12 trails range from easy to challenging. Along the way, you’ll encounter wetlands, a pine forest, and wildlife, from birds to deer and alligators. Admission is free, and the park is open from dawn to dusk.
St. Andrews State Park
There’s something for everyone at St. Andrews State Park, which encompasses 1,200 acres. Surrounded by St. Andrews Bay, the Grand Lagoon, and the Gulf of Mexico, the park may be a popular destination for swimming and snorkeling, but you can have as much fun on land. The park features two half-mile hiking trails – Heron Pond, which takes hikers through the flatwood pine forest, and Gator Lake, where you may spot alligators and wading birds in the lake. Biking is allowed on the park’s two-mile paved road but prohibited on footpaths, the beach trail, and boardwalks. Bike rentals are available at the camp store, and the park is open from 8 a.m. until sundown. Admission prices vary. The park offers accessible amenities, from beach wheelchair rentals to elevated beach boardwalks.
Journey through several parks on Gayle’s Trails in Aaron Bessant Park and Frank Brown Park. With three routes totaling 19.5 miles roundtrip, these flat, paved trails are excellent for cyclists and hikers. You can stay in one park or explore both. One of the trails, 2.8 miles long, extends beyond the two parks and connects Frank Brown Park with PCB Conservation Park.
Camp Helen State Park
Find several paved and natural hiking trails, some suitable for biking, at Camp Helen State Park, a scenic 180-acre park bordered by Lake Powell and the Gulf of Mexico. The North Trail is a partially paved 1.8-mile loop along the lake and features posts identifying native plants, everything from prickly pear to saw palmetto. The Oak Canopy Trail is perfect for a short, leisurely hike as it’s only 0.5 miles long and unpaved. Both are easy to hike. And if the beach is your final destination, journey on a half-mile of sand, which makes this hike more challenging. You may encounter dunes, protected bird species, and perhaps the rare Choctawhatchee beach mouse. The park is open from 8 a.m. to sunset. Admission prices vary. The park offers accessible amenities, including a paved path with trail access and a beach wheelchair rental.
All parks highlighted above allow leashed dogs and feature public restrooms, picnic pavilions, and other amenities to make your hiking or bike excursion one to remember.