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Tarkiln Bayou Preserve State Park

Tarkiln Bayou Preserve is a 4,200-acre state park in Escambia County, southwest of Pensacola.  The park was initially purchased in 1998 as the 900-acre Perdido Pitcher Plant Prairie and has since been expanded to its current size.  The wet prairie habitat protects many species, including the rare white-topped pitcher plant.  The park is named for Tarkiln Bayou, which flows into Perdido Bay.  During the 1800s, tar kilns were built on the adjacent peninsula to process tar produced from the area's yellow pines.  The park offers hiking trails and wildlife viewing opportunities for visitors.

Contact Information:

2401 Bauer Road
Pensacola, FL 32507

Phone: (850)-492-1595

Directions:

From west Pensacola, take US-98 west for 7.5 miles and turn left on Bauer Road.  Go 1.7 miles and the parking area for the park will be on the right.

Map:

Trails:

Perdido Bay Trail:

Perdido Bay Trail is a 6-mile partial loop trail, starting from the end of the parking lot.  Shortly, there is a split where Tarkiln Bayou Trail goes left.  Go right and the trail follows old roads and is quite muddy in some places.  Just before reaching Perdido Bay, the trail splits to form a loop.  Going counterclockwise, the trail runs parallel to shoreline of the bay.

The trail continues until reaching DuPont Point, where it turns left and heads away from the bay.  A spur trail to the left leads to Tarkiln Bay and then the loop portion of the trail finishes up.

Tarkiln Bayou Trail:

Tarkiln Bayou is a half-mile trail that leads out to an observation deck on its namesake.  It starts following Perdido Bay Trail and shortly comes to a split, where Tarkiln Bayou Trail goes left.  The trail is paved for about half way and then follows a boardwalk over a wet prairie, ending at the observation deck on Tarkiln Bayou.  This trail is handicapped accessible.

Wildlife:

The wet prairie habitat at Tarkiln Bayou Preserve is home to a number of species of carnivorous plants, including the rare white-topped pitcher plant (Sarracenia leucophylla).

These pitcher plants produce deep crimson flowers.

Saw palmetto (Serenoa repens) grows in dense clumps in the beneath the pine trees.

Along the small beaches on Perdido Bay, sea oats (Uniola paniculata) are important in building dunes and protecting the beach.

Blog Entries:

07-Mar-2018: Gulf Coast Hikes

External Links:

Florida State Parks website: https://www.floridastateparks.org/park/Tarkiln-Bayou