Pin on the map of Florida showing the location of Destin

Best Places to Go Hiking Around Destin, Florida

While most families come to South Walton and Destin, Florida for the soft, sugar-white sand beaches, the Destin area is also a great place to go hiking. With five state parks and Point Washington State Forest, the area’s natural lands feature miles of trails and geological gems such as rare coastal dune lakes—only found in South Walton, Africa, Australia, and Madagascar. The best part is that hiking is a great activity that allows for social distancing, and provides hikers fresh air and fun.

From Henderson Beach State Park to Eden State Gardens, we’ve highlighted some of the best places to go hiking in the Destin area.  Watch our highlight reel of the Best Places to Go Hiking here.

Here are our top picks:

Henderson Beach State Park

Henderson Beach State Park – Destin, Florida

Located in Destin, Henderson Beach State Park overlooks a mile of beach and features a three-quarter mile pet-friendly trail that winds through the dunes and natural vegetation. Consider bringing a picnic lunch to eat at one of the six picnic pavilions. Children will love the playground that overlooks the Gulf of Mexico. Click here to learn more.

topsail beach

Topsail Hill State Preserve – Miramar Beach, Florida

Located in Miramar Beach, Topsail Hill State Preserve features three miles of white-sand beaches that are bordered by dunes that tower more than 25-feet over the glistening emerald green waters of the Gulf. Named for these dunes, which rise like ships’ sails over the Gulf of Mexico, Topsail Hill features 15 miles of marked trails through old-growth pine forests, sandy scrubland, dunes, and wetlands, where hikers may see some of the 13 imperiled species that find refuge in this park, including the gopher tortoise, the Choctawhatchee beach mouse and carnivorous pitcher plants. Topsail Hill offers a great Geocaching program as well. Participants use location coordinates to find caches. The park has a special 13 waypoint geocaches and you can pick up the coordinates at the Ranger Station. Sign up for free at Learn more about Topsail Hill State Preserve here.

Eden State Gardens sm

Eden State Gardens – Santa Rosa Beach, Florida

Located along the Choctawhatchee Bay, local history and nature beautifully intertwine at Eden Gardens State Park, which features the historic Wesley house and ancient oak trees. Walk through the gardens to learn about South Walton plant and wildlife species. Pack a picnic to enjoy under the shade of a tree at one of the many picnic tables. The focal point of this park is a beautifully renovated two-story house with elegant white columns and a wrap-around porch within a setting of moss-draped live oaks. The 1897 mansion sits among forests of longleaf pine and cypress that were exhausted in this part of the state. Hikers can view the Wesley House, meander through the gardens, bring a picnic, or go fishing off the dock in Tucker Bayou. Learn more about Eden State Gardens here

Grayton Beach State Park Trail sm

Grayton Beach State Park – Scenic Hwy 30-A

Located along Scenic Highway 30-A in South Walton, Grayton Beach consistently ranks among the most beautiful and pristine beaches in the United States by Dr Beach. The nearly 2,000-acre park features a boat ramp that provides access to Western Lake, one of the rare coastal dune lakes in South Walton. A nature trail winds through a coastal forest where scrub oaks and magnolias stand, bent and twisted by the salt winds. Hikers and bicyclists can enjoy more than four miles of trails throughout the pine flatwoods. Visitors to the park can also paddle a canoe, stand-up paddleboard, or kayak on scenic Western Lake to get a closer look at a salt marsh ecosystem. (Tandem Kayak Rentals are $35 half day/$50 full day.) Learn more about Grayton Beach State Park here. 


Plan Your Natural Getaway

Now is the perfect time to start planning your next South Walton or Destin vacation. View our collection of Destin vacation rentals online or call one of our friendly vacation specialists at 1-800-225-7652. Remember to always book direct with Newman-Dailey for our best rate guarantee.

(Pro tip: Don’t forget your supplies. Be safe and take a cellphone, hat, sunscreen, bug spray and plenty of water with you so you can enjoy your hike safely and enjoyably.) 

See you @ the beach!