From the moment I first popped off the training wheels and learned how to ride a bike I could not get enough. My brother and I explored everywhere on our bikes. The tires on the old mongoose with rusty pegs were as smooth as butter. And, we loved it.
Since moving to Destin, FL, biking has become more of a passion. Luckily, there are plenty of scenic bike rides in and around Destin. I am SO excited to share my favorite 5 scenic bike rides around Destin, FL. So, put on the helmet, grab your handlebars, and get ready to ride.
1. Bike along 30A
If you want to explore a little further from Destin and want the perfect day on 30A, you’ll have to rent bikes and explore the Timpoochee Trail. The Timpoochee trail is an 18.6-mile pedestrian path that parallels the coast. The trail stretches from Dune Allen at its western end all the way east to the beautiful Rosemary Beach! This is definitely one of our favorite activities to take in the famous beach communities. But, make sure to take some pitstops along the way.
Stop by Bad Ass Coffee to get some fuel for your ride or Blue Mountain Beach Creamery if ice cream is more your speed. There is no shortage of shopping along your route. And, multiple awesome bookstores, such as Sundog Books in Seaside or The Hidden Lantern Bookstore in Rosemary will keep any bookworm happy!
2. Scenic Highway 98
I love the beaches in Destin. Really, they are the best of the best. However, one of my favorite non-beach activities is to bike Scenic Highway 98. The bike path is paved and is the best place to bike in the city of Destin.
The highway runs parallel to Hwy98/Emerald Coast Parkway along the water’s edge of the beautiful Emerald Coast. And, it is easy to find as you start just past Henderson Beach State Park, Scenic 98 runs 5 gorgeous miles before rejoining with Hwy 98. Along the way, take advantage of multiple beach accesses that do not allow parking, take in the beautiful pastel homes of Crystal Beach, grab a drink at The Crab Trap, or a meal at Camille’s Sidewalk Cafe.
If you need to rent a bike you can do it here! Trust me this is one scenic bike ride in Destin that you do not want to miss!
3. Ranger Camp Road
Ranger Camp Road is located 20 minutes from Destin in Fort Walton Beach. The Ranger Camp Road provides areas for road and mountain biking. So, it has a little bit of it all. An Eglin Range Pass is required. And, pass-holders can ride on a near traffic-free, smooth, paved road for up to 38 miles. If you would rather mountain bike, Timberlake Trails provide up to 15 miles of mostly single-track well maintained trails for mountain biking. Be on the lookout for wildlife such as bears, opossums, snakes, and spiders, as wildlife is plentiful on the road. Parking for mountain and road riding is just off of Lewis Turner Blvd.
4. Destin to Fort Walton Beach
The 7.5 mile stretch from Destin to Fort Walton Beach is another one of my favorite scenic bike rides around Destin! The 7.5-mile stretch (or 15-mile out-and-back) will cross over the Destin Bridge providing an epic view of Crab Island and runs along Okaloosa Island. The route has the Gulf of Mexico on one side and the Choctawhatchee Bay on the other! There is an entire lane on the north side of Hwy 98 that can be used by cyclists!
If you decide to make a day of it be sure to check out our blog post about Fort Walton Beach, FL here!
5. Blackwater Heritage State Trail
Located in Milton, FL, just northeast of Pensacola is the 10-mile Blackwater Heritage State Trail. Near the intersection of State Road, 87 and Hwy 90 is the Elva Street Trailhead which offers a visitors center, parking, restrooms, and picnic tables, and is our preferred spot to start the trail.
The Blackwater Heritage State Trail offers a flat, smooth, enjoyable ride across wooden bridges, through flat, rural, and urban areas. The trail is also open to equestrians so you may encounter some fecal horse bombs to dodge on the trail.
We are so lucky to live on the Emerald Coast and hope you come to visit us! If you need vacation tips besides these 5 scenic bike rides near Destin then you are in the right place! Check out some of our other blog posts such as The Best Recommendations from a Local | Destin, Florida, 5 Destin Day Trips: If You Need a Break From The Beach, and How to Vacation in Fort Walton Beach, Florida.