Created by a Girl Scout troop, this 3.5-mile trail offers views of Grand Lagoon, Big Lagoon, several other public parcels and sights extending to the Gulf waters. The trail begins at the entrance / ranger station and meanders through a scrub oak forest offering little to no shade. Several varieties of berry bushes grace the pathway where feasting woodland birds including mocking birds and cedar waxwings like to congregate. As the trail approaches Grand Lagoon, look for a variety of wading birds spying a tasty morsel at water's edge. Species include herons, egrets, and ibis. Look overhead for nesting osprey. These enormous, loosely-woven stick nests are easy to spot. The trail meanders past Long Pond where hikers will see an intersecting boardwalk that originates from the large 75-site campground. The trail bears southbound, crossing a bridge then making a fork. Visitors can either bear right to reach West Beach or bear left to parallel the main park road, cross the short Grand Lagoon Trail and terminate at the East Beach parking area. Here, hikers will find a wide boardwalk that travels to a 40' observation tower that offers panoramic views of Big Lagoon, Perdido Key, and Gulf Island National Seashore. A covered resting bench at Long Pond offers a brief respite. It is wise to carry plenty of drinking water, wear bug repellent and sunscreen.
Much of the recreation at Big Lagoon State Recreation Area is centered on the lagoon and Gulf. Outdoor enthusiasts will find a variety of enjoyments including talks and programs throughout the year, snorkeling, fishing, swimming, camping, and picnicking. The 500-seat amphitheater with its additional meeting space and equipped kitchen is great for conferences and reunions.
Directions: From Pensacola, FL, Travel west along State Route 292 approximately 12 miles to SR 292A. Trailhead is located at the entrance / ranger station.
Elevation: Sea Level
Elevation Gain: Minimal
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Big Lagoon State Recreation Area, Alabama
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