Bay’s {re}View: Bayou Marcus Birding Trail

Welcome back to another Bay’s {re}View! I hope you and your pup have been loving the adventures we’ve been sharing.

This week, we’re diving into the Bayou Marcus Birding Trail in Pensacola, FL. It’s part of an innovative program utilizing wetlands created by the ECUA wastewater treatment plant. Trust me, it’s a fantastic use of land that might otherwise be ignored.

This trail is straightforward: a simple there-and-back boardwalk stretching just over 3 miles. It’s an easy trek, and you can even bring a stroller or wagon if needed. The first 1/4 mile is a gravel path, but it’s packed well, and I’ve seen plenty of moms push strollers here without breaking a sweat. Spend a little extra time in this area before hitting the boardwalk to make sure your dog does their business.

Now, if your pup is reactive, this might not be the best hike. The railings can feel a bit confining, and while there are a few sitting/viewing areas where you can move to the side, they’re spaced about 100 to 200 yards apart.

The trail has decent coverage from the heat but can still get pretty warm, especially with the humid wetlands. This is prime mosquito territory, so BRING BUG SPRAY for both you and your pooch. And make sure your pup is up-to-date on heartworm, flea, and tick prevention. No one wants a fun adventure turning into a health issue.

Only walk this trail as far as you’re willing to walk back. There’s a second entrance at Alekai Drive halfway along the trail, but it closes at 5 pm daily. Make sure you get back to your car well before then if you use this entrance. The main entrance on Fayal Drive is open from dusk till dawn, even though the sign says it closes at 5 pm. Heads up: as of June 1st, 2024, the boardwalk is closed for repairs right after the Alekai Drive entrance.

When you’re looking for a peaceful trek that feels like you’re in nature while still being in the heart of Pensacola, this trail is a great option. It might not have many bells and whistles, but it’s a nice alternative to the usual neighborhood walk so we’re going to give it 3 paws up! So grab your leash, your pup, and get exploring!

So how does it stack up for fur family photography?

Unfortunately this place is not in my recommendations as a great photo session location. Glad we found it to explore but will not be in my regular location rotation for my clients.

Until next week, wags & wiggles,
Jess & Bay

Bay's {re}View of Bayou Marcus Birding Trail