If exploring Panama City Beach is on your pup's barket list, then hitting Gayle's Trails is the way to go! Named for former mayor Gayle F. Oberst, this network of trails offers several paved and sand paths for hikers, runners, cyclists, and four-legged adventurers to enjoy throughout the city, and connects some of its major parks.
You and Fido may begin your hike at Frank Brown Park, Panama City Beach Conservation Park, the northern end of Gulf Boulevard, or the Colony Club subdivision. With the exception of Colony Club, all trailheads have parking, but Frank Brown Park is the most pawpular one thanks to its central location. Follow the trail east from here for a nearly 5-mile round trip to Colony Club.
Follow the trail west from the Frank Brown Park trailhead for another 5-mile trek, and you'll find yourselves strolling through the woods before reaching Highway 79. At this point, you and your pooch may head north to the West Bay Bridge on a paved path that runs beside the highway, or cross the road to get to Conservation Park. A favorite among locals and tourists alike, this 3,000-acre site is home to another 30-miles of dog-friendly trails and boardwalks that meander through cypress domes. Even further north, the trails continue up Highway 79 and over the West Bay Bridge.
If you head south from Frank Brown Park, you can enjoy the flatter fields of the Aaron Bessant Park along another 1.5 miles of trails.
If your pup still has energy left by the time you return to Frank Brown, continue your hike on the 3.5-miles of trails within the park, or have Fido run it off in the off-leash dog play area while you rest your feet.
Wherever you go on Gayle's Trails, be sure to keep your doggo on a leash or under voice command at all times. Have waste bags on hand, and clean up anything your pooch leaves behind. Human restrooms can be found in Conservation and Frank Brown Parks. Bring plenty of water to share with your pup along the journey.
There's more to Panama City Beach than its white-sand beaches. Enjoy the pawrific landscapes this puptown has to offer along Gayle's Trails with your dog today!
Some parts of the trail are not shaded, so wear a hat and sunscreen! You may also want to visit in the early morning or late afternoon when the sun isn't as harsh, so that Fido's paws don't get too hot.