United States

Pensacola, FL

The Best Places to Run in Pensacola. See Also our Guide to Nearby Gulf Shores (AL)

Flickr: David Henderson

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.

Editor's Picks

Some of our favorite runs in Pensacola, FL

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Navy Point Waterfront Path

Pensacola, FL

An attractive waterfront run in the Navy Point neighborhood, located about 5 miles east of downtown. A multi-use path winds its way along the waterfront, for a 4.5 mile out and back. Add on with pleasant residential streets.
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Scenic Hills Neighorhood

Pensacola, FL

The neighborhood just west of the Univ. of West Florida campus features quiet, bucolic road running. There are long, winding, tree-shaded roads with fairly light traffic. Recommended: Scenic Hills Dr., Foxrun Rd., golf course perimeter.
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Pensacola has a lovely climate for running, except for the super hot and humid months of June through September — average high temperatures in summer are 90F (32C), with sultry nights. Winters are delightfully mild, with daytime highs near of 60F (16C) and lows around 40F (4C). Spring and fall are delightful. It’s a fairly wet climate, with 67 inches (1700mm) of average annual rainfall. There are no particularly dry months. Summers can have monsoonal rains, with downpours and near daily thunderstorms.

Running Stores

Running Wild is the main indy running store in the area, with a location in downtown Pensacola. They have an extensive calendar of group runs.

Group Runs

The Running Wild store has an extensive calendar of group runs.

This calendar has a list of the signature races in the area.

Key running events:

Big Beach Marathon and Half Marathon. January.