Pensacola is located in the Florida Panhandle, on Pensacola Bay and protected by the barrier island of Santa Rosa and connects to the Gulf of Mexico. The city is an important seaport, and site of a major Naval air station and the University of Western Florida. For a relatively small city, there’s a good variety of running in Pensacola, owing to the waterfront location and unique geography. Note that we also have an extensive running guide for Gulf Shores (Alabama), which is just to the west.
The best places to run in the downtown Pensacola area are a pleasant waterfront route, and a loop around Bayview Park and the Bayou Texar. A multi-use path in the Navy Point also runs along the water. For beach running Pensacola Beach is one of a series of beaches stretching for 40+ miles to the east and west. Gulf Shores National Seashore includes some more undeveloped beach sections, as well as some interesting and scenic running around Fort Pickens and the Naval Oaks Nature Preserve. We also recommend the area around the University of Western Florida north if downtown, where there are some extensive trail running options and scenic residential neighborhoods.
Runners should note that summers in Pensacola are very hot and humid, and that the beaches and beachside roads are open and exposed.