Panama City Beach Conservation Park - Hiking

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About

Summary

The Panama City Beach Conservation Park is a great place to go for a hike and to get away from the busy beach. It is very quiet and offers many different trails and boardwalks through wetlands and pine forest.

Written by

Kelsey Kalinski

Distance

6.0 miles

With about 25 miles of unpaved trails in the park, there are many possibilities for doing a shorter or longer hike. You can turn around at any time for a short, easy out-and-back hike. There are many loops varying in distance from 0.6 mile to 11.2 miles.

Destination Distance From Downtown

8.1 miles

Difficulty

2 of 5 diamonds

The Panama City Beach Conservation Park trails have very little elevation change but most of the trails have little shade. Heat and biting insects are challenging during the summer. There are 25 miles of trails so there are many possibilities for a challenging hike or trail run.

Time To Complete

1 hours

This park is great for anyone wanting a workout of any length. You can turn around at any time to do a short out-and-back hike or you can do one of many loop hikes and spend as long as you want in the quiet woods and wetlands.

Seasonality

All Seasons

The park is open year-round. The weather is much more pleasant in the fall, winter and spring. Carry water at all times and consider insect repellent in the summer.

Dog Friendly

On Leash Only

Dogs are welcome on the trails on a leash. Drinking water is only available at the restrooms at the parking area so be sure to carry enough water for your dog.

Fees Permits

No

This is a city park and there is no fee for using the trails.

Review

Intro

The Panama City Beach Conservation Park protects over 2,900 acres in the city of Panama City Beach. The city’s treated water from the wastewater treatment plant is now sent here to rehydrate the wetlands on this land, rather than being sent to the bay like it was in the past. The park has 24 miles of unpaved trails and over one mile of boardwalks through these wetlands. This area is home to many animals, including reptiles, black bears, wild boar, bobcats, deer, and many different bird species. It is a quiet refuge from the loud, busy, developed beach area and it will feel like you have traveled into the wilderness when really you are only a couple of miles away.

What Makes It Great

The Panama City Beach Conservation Park has 12 different trails that can be made into several loops. Several of the trails travel through planted pine forests, but the park management is working on restoring the ecosystem to native species which should provide more shade in the future. 

There is a building next to the parking area which has information about the park and where you can get a map of the possible loop hikes. The trails are very well-marked and the loop hikes are color-coded. The map will tell the distance of each color-coded loop trail so you can pick the distance you wish to do and follow the signs with the corresponding color. Each individual trail also has a name and there are signs at each intersection with the trail name as well, so you will have an idea of how far you have gone around the loop.

The loop hikes range in distance from just over half a mile to 11.2 miles. There are restrooms and a water fountain at the building at the parking area but you will need to carry water with you because there is no drinking water available out on the trails. Insect repellent is recommended during the summer as there can be many mosquitoes and biting flies.

Who is Going to Love It

Anyone that loves nature and solitude will love this park, whether it is for a short walk or a long hike. It is a perfect way to escape the crowds on the beach. Bird watchers will enjoy bringing a pair of binoculars and sitting on a bench on one of the many boardwalks, listening to and watching the birds. It is a perfect place for a walk with your dog in the woods. It is also a great place for families with children to get outside and burn off some energy. Photographers will find many opportunities for beautiful shots and may be lucky enough to spot a bear or bobcat on the trails.

Directions, Parking, & Regulations

From Panama City Beach, travel west on Panama City Beach Parkway approximately 1.2 miles past Highway 79. Turn right (north) on Griffin Blvd and continue until the end of this road. The park entrance road, Conservation Drive, will be on the left.

There is only one designated parking area for this park. Restrooms, a water fountain, and picnic tables are located around the parking area. There is no drinking water available beyond this area.

Dogs are welcome but must be on a leash at all times. There should not be more than 2 dogs per person. There is no fee required to use the trails here.

Location

Panama City Beach Conservation Park

100 Conservation Drive
Panama City Beach, FL, 32413
30.278178, -85.915006

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