Some people need a vacation from their vacation. They may plan too many activities and don’t allow enough time for decompressing and rejuvenation. This is why more and more people are discovering the value of a visit to the Edward Ball Nature Trail in Pensacola when planning a visit to the Panhandle of Florida. Escape to a place of quiet contemplation that can reconnect you with nature. A place that will help you recharge. It is an area of solitude that is located in the middle of the college campus at the University of West Florida.
The Edward Ball Nature Trail is a part of the 1,400 mile Florida Trail that spans from the Pensacola area through the State of Florida to the Everglades. It is also part of over 5,000 miles of nature trails throughout the Sunshine State, providing exceptional opportunities for visitors to experience natural Florida from a front-row seat. You will not find thrill rides, flashing neon signs or loud crowds here. That is precisely the point. While families may still likely want to plan some of those more “thrilling” and action-packed activities during a visit to the Panhandle, there is joy to be found and memories to be made with a quiet family walk through the Edward Ball Nature Trail.
The journey starts with a visit to the University of West Florida campus in Pensacola. Get a parking pass when entering the campus. Find parking lot G and follow the sidewalk from the large building to a sign designating the start of the Edward Ball Nature Trail. It is here your quiet adventure begins. This hidden treasure is well-marked and much of the plant life is accompanied by descriptive signage.
Perhaps one of the best aspects of the Edward Ball Nature Trail is that you don’t have to be an experienced hiker or in top physical condition to enjoy everything the trail has to offer. It is about a one-mile loop, bringing you back to the starting point. The trail has plenty of benches to allow for a brief rest or just to sit back and enjoy your surroundings.
A trip through the Edward Ball Nature Trail takes you through wetlands, surrounded by soaring Cypress trees and abundant foliage. Much of the trail is a wooden boardwalk over Thompson’s Creek which is a tributary of the Escambia River. The trail travels around a series of ponds and the creek. Visitors will be exposed to a variety of ferns and plants. You may spot a turtle or other native wildlife.
– Many visitors are surprised at how quickly their trip can take. To make the most of your trip, take a leisurely stroll, look around, have a seat and take in your surroundings. Read available signage.
– The trail is located within a wetland and in mid-summer, insect repellant and sunscreen are recommended.
– The trail is an excellent family activity, but can also be a part of a romantic date for two or even a solo experience.
– Restrooms are available in campus buildings.
– Keep in mind that it is best to leave nothing behind and only take pictures with you when visit the Edward Ball Nature Trail.