Pensacola Beach is a lovely white sand beach on the barrier island of Santa Rosa. It’s part of an extensive series of beaches that heads west to Fort Pickens and east to all the way to Destin Beach. Our recommendations for running here:
Boardwalk, Piers, and Trails. This is a great option for those who don’t want to run on the beach or the road. The first 3/4 miles starts on the Boardwalk on the north side of RT. 399/Via Luna Dr., and jaunts out to the pier. Then, cross to the south side of Rt. 399, and run along the Pensacola Beach Gulf Pier (1/2 mile out and back). The next section is on the Pensacola Beach Trail, a paved multi-use path that runs along the north side of Fort Pickens Rd. for 2 miles to Park West Beach and a parking lot. It’s not on the water, but a good off-road running option. Return to the start. This would be a 5.5 mile run. Add-On: To add a nice 2 miles, take Sabine Dr. to the Sabine Inlet. It’s a pleasant, quiet road with nice homes out to a point with nice views.
Beach Run. Pensacola Beach is a long, wide, white sand beach. The sand is soft, with some firm sand near the water and at low tide. You can run seemingly forever along the beach. From the Pensacola Beach Gulf Pier, it’s 10 miles west to Fort Pickens, 17 miles east to Navarre Beach Pier, and another 20+ miles to the Destin Harbor Boardwalk.
Fort Pickens. Interesting running around the battery, fort, and several miles of walking/hiking trails. See our route there.