Gulf Islands National Seashore (Florida) | BIKING

Biking through the Fort Pickens Area of Gulf Islands National Seashore

Biking through the Fort Pickens Area of Gulf Islands National Seashore

Biking in the Florida Unit of the Gulf Islands National Seashore is mainly relegated to the park roads, though bikes are allowed on the last three miles of the Florida National Scenic Trail in the Fort Pickens Area. E-bikes with motors less than 750 watts are permitted everywhere traditional bikes are allowed.

The Pensacola Beach Trail, a paved, multi-use path that is actually separate from the road, runs all the way from the National Park boundary at Fort Pickens to the western park boundary of the Santa Rosa Area of the park. Once inside the National Seashore property, the path reverts to a bike lane along the highway until reaching the eastern boundary at Navarre Beach, at which point it reverts back to a separate, multi-use paved path. This runs all the way to the Highway 399 bridge at the eastern end of Navarre Beach. Combined with the National Park bike lanes, you can ride continuously for approximately 25 miles.

FORT PICKENS AREA

A bike lane runs on both sides of Fort Pickens Road from the entrance to Langdon Beach, then abruptly ends. It is not a separate path alongside the main road, but simply the road shoulder with some bike lane symbols painted on it. Sand often encroaches onto the road and covers the bike lane, forcing bikers into the vehicle lane. However, speeds are kept low, and while I am no fan of riding a bike in traffic, this would be one of the places where I would feel comfortable doing so. When exiting the park you can continue riding east on the Pensacola Beach Trail.

Sand covers part of the bike lane at Fort Pickens, Gulf Islands National Seashore

Sand covers part of the bike lane at Fort Pickens, Gulf Islands National Seashore

As mentioned, the bike lane ends at Langdon Beach, but bikes are allowed on the final segment of the Florida National Scenic Trail, a 3-mile stretch that runs from behind Battery Langdon to Fort Pickens where the 1,300+ mile trail officially ends in the north (the southern terminus is at Big Cypress National Preserve by the Everglades). To avoid riding on the road from Battery Langdon to Fort Pickens, take a right on the dirt road located just before the battery, then left onto the Florida National Scenic Trail at the picnic pavilion. A sign marks the start of the portion of the trail where bikes are allowed.

Biking on the Florida Trail near Battery Worth, Gulf Islands National Seashore

Biking on the Florida Trail near Battery Worth, Gulf Islands National Seashore

SANTA ROSA AREA

A bike lake runs through the park along both sides of Highway 399. When exiting the park on the west side you can continue riding on the Pensacola Beach Trail, and when exiting on the east side you can ride on a multi-use path that continues to the eastern end of Navarre Beach at the Highway 399 bridge.


PERDIDO KEY

Bikes are welcome on the park road. There is no bike lane, so you must ride in traffic. As with the vehicles at the Fort Pickens area, speeds are kept low.


OKALOOSA AREA

The Okaloosa Area is only a small bayside beach and parking area. There is no biking here.


NAVAL LIVE OAKS AREA

A paved, multi-use path runs along Gulf Breeze Parkway, the major highway through the park. However, this really has nothing to do with Gulf Islands National Seashore and is just a city / country trail. The trail runs for 40 miles; 2.5 miles of it is on park property.

Multi-Use Path next to Gulf Breeze Parkway

Multi-Use Path next to Gulf Breeze Parkway

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Last updated on April 25, 2022
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