Hiking Johnson Beach, Perdido Key Florida


Preparing for a thru-hike can be rewarding in itself. We recently purchased a place on Perdido Bay on the Gulf of Mexico. While they aren’t any mountains or even hills in this area, there are outstanding scenic nature trails. A gem that I have come to love to hike is Johnson Beach on Perdido Key, Florida.

This beach is seven miles long to the tip from the National Park parking lot. At the end are the remnants of an old Confederate Fort. Across the Bay is the Fort Pickens National Park which gives the history of both Forts. The first two miles of the hike offers a beach on the bay side, a beach on the Gulf of Mexico side, and a hardtop road down the middle which is closed to cars at this time. A lot of walkers use the road for the 1st 2 miles. After the hardtop ends, so do the people. The next four miles on the beach are always pretty much secluded. This is where the mind can drift amid the beauty of the beach.

There are three breaches near the end. The first two, I have always been able to cross. The third one, could be crossed as the breach is typically thigh-high, but it is just too cold this time of year to do so. This breach is 6 miles from the Parking lot and is my destination when I leave out. There is an old keelson of a boat buried into the sand that makes a great seat for a lunch spot. Six miles in, Six miles out, 12 miles a day makes great preparation to hike the A.T.

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Comments 4

  • Avatar
    Jhon : Jan 14th

    Fort McRee “the old Kornfederate fort” was a US Fort built along w/ Pickens and Barrancas. The Kornfederates took it over for a couple of months before being blasted out and running away.

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    • Avatar
      Orville Story : Jan 14th

      Pretty much everything us Southerners had was US built. You are correct it was held by Confederate troops for 10 months, and being bombed by both naval and Fort Pickens was abandoned. Walking the beach, I think about the difficulty in supplying the Fort. I imagine they had to supply it by boat.

      Reply
  • Avatar
    Steve B : Feb 4th

    Six minutes from our doorstep to the Johnson Beach parking lot, and we’ve not yet done this hike, but it’s now in our list! The breaches you refer to didn’t exist before September 2020 when hurricane Sally created them. Sounds like a kayak or Hobie could make it through from Grand Lagoon to the Gulf!

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    • Avatar
      Orville Story : Feb 5th

      You will enjoy it. If you have ever collected shells this will be you’re best opportunity.

      Reply

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