What Is It?
Tarkiln Bayou Preserve State Park is 10 miles southwest of Pensacola. It takes its name from the bayou that empties into Perdido Bay. The preserve is 4,290 acres large and home to almost 100 rare plant and animal species.
Plants You Can’t See Elsewhere
The Preserve is famous for being the home of multiple species of carnivorous plants, including four varieties of endangered pitcher plants. The white-topped pitcher plant is only found on the Gulf Coast, between the Apalachicola and Mississippi rivers.
Trails and Hikes
Tarkiln Bayou Trail is a half-mile Americans with Disabilities Act-accessible walk along the park’s boardwalk, ending with an overlook of the bayou. This is a perfect trail for all ages to see the expansive land and the rare plants, which grow right by the path. For a more strenuous hike, Perdido Bay Trail is a 6.5-mile trek with bayshore beach access.
When To Visit
The park is open 365 days a year, 8 a.m. to sunset. For visitors looking for something to do during the holidays, the park offers annual guided tours on December 25 and January 1. These tours are a chance to learn more of the history of the area and get an up-close look at the wildlife—with less bugs!
Entry fees are $3 per vehicle; $2 for pedestrians, bicyclists and extra passengers. For more information, call 850-492-1595 or visit www.floridastateparks.org/parks-and-trails/tarkiln-bayou-preserve-state-park.