Bay’s {re}View of Tarklin Bayou Preserve: One Mile Loop

This week, our wagging tails led us to Tarklin Bayou Preserve in Pensacola, FL! Spanning 4,290 acres, this preserve offers three dog-friendly trail options for us to explore. Today, we’ll take a leisurely stroll along the Tarklin Bayou Trail, also known as the 1-mile loop, which is the shortest of the trails.

Upon arrival, you’ll find plenty of parking spaces and room to gear up for your adventure. While there is a $3 parking fee, the area is clean and secure. As you start your hike, you’ll pass by a small picnic area and restroom (fair warning, it’s not the cleanest), and the trailheads begin in this welcome area. Head left for the shorter, paved trail or right for a longer hike.

The 1-mile loop (actually 1.3 miles to the end and back) features a partially paved terrain that transitions into a wooden boardwalk with railings, making it ideal for navigating after summer showers to avoid any standing water. Along the paved path, there’s a wide fire trail that provides extra sniffing opportunities for your pup. The trail concludes with a scenic boardwalk view overlooking the tranquil Tarklin Bayou, perfect for a peaceful moment to relax with your pup and take a water break.

This trail is well-suited for those seeking an easy, level terrain. It’s great for individuals and pups with mobility issues, or if you’re bringing a stroller or wagon along. You’ll find several benches along the way to rest or take in the view. If you maintain a steady pace, you can complete this loop in about 30 minutes, though your pup might extend that time with a leisurely sniffari.

I wouldn’t recommend this trail for dogs that are reactive, as the boardwalk doesn’t offer easy escape routes from triggers. It’s best explored with a normal-length leash due to the foot traffic and I would recommend some bug spray during the warm, rainy months.

Overall, we’re giving Tarklin Bayou Preserve 4 paws up as it has a nice human amenities, good cell service, safe & well maintained, & beautiful scenery! We hope this review helps you prepare for your next adventure!

Until next week,

Jess & Bay

Have you visited this park? Let us know what you think!

Check out the official site and download a trail map here.

Bay's reView of Tarklin Bayou Preserve