A variety of nature trails await the explorer at Conservation Park in Panama City Beach

April 29, 2018

Boardwalks span over the cypress ponds at Conservation Park. Lori Ceier/Walton Outdoors

Panama City Beach Conservation Park offers opportunities for a variety of outdoor recreation.  The City has established the Panama City Beach Conservation Park in cooperation with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection for the enjoyment of hikers, bikers and nature lovers. Encompassing over 2,900 acres, the Conservation Park has 24 miles of trails and over a mile of boardwalks that lead thru Cypress domes.  The trails range anywhere from 0.6 miles up to 11 miles, with 12 different trails to choose from. Parking and public restrooms are located at the Trail Head building along with picnic tables and a covered pavilion available for rent. Hours of operation are dawn to dusk 7 days a week. Be sure to bring your binoculars and cameras for bird and wildlife watching

A variety of trails to choose from at Conservation Park. Lori Ceier/Walton Outdoors

With more than 24 miles of trails, the park offers a variety of choices suited for both the bicyclist and hiker. There are several marked trails along with way finding kiosks to point the hiker in the right direction. More than a mile of boardwalks offer overlooks into the wetland areas with great views of pond cypress trees towering above. The park also boasts shaded picnic areas, an outdoor amphitheater, restrooms and ADA access. Dogs are permitted, but must be kept on leashes. No more than 2 dogs per person.  Click here to download conservation park map

Spiderwort blooming along the trail. Lori Ceier/Walton Outdoors

Formerly a pine plantation, native habitat includes 800 acres of sand pine scrub and pine flat woods, with the remaining wetland areas boasting several large cypress domes.

The park project began as an alternative to routing treated wastewater into West Bay. The 3,000-acre parcel was purchased by Panama City Beach from St. Joe Company to create a dispersing basin.

More than 14 miles of pipes disperse the water in four separate areas throughout the park. Outfall structures release the treated water at ground level in a natural setting.

14 outfall structures return treated waste water to the ground. Lori Ceier/Walton Outdoors

The park is a part of a network of trails and connects to Frank Brown Park, Aaron Bessant Park, and WaterSound. Plans are to connect to Northwest Florida Water Management District’s 700 acres of preservation land adjacent to the park as well.

Conservation Park can be accessed just north of Back Beach Road (U.S. Hwy. 98) off of State Road 79, or off of Back Beach turning on to Griffin Blvd. ::MAP::