The Fort Pickens and Naval Live Oaks areas are the two best sites
to view wildlife in Florida's portion of this national seashore.
The Fort Pickens area is located on the western end of Santa Rosa
Island amidst the ruins of Fort Pickens. The Naval Live Oaks area
is located near the town of Gulf Breeze on the mainland. Both sites
offer interpretive centers, trails, ranger-led walks, and excellent
birding during spring migration. Fort Pickens includes beach, dune,
salt marsh, and scrub upland habitats, while Naval Live Oaks is
covered mostly by hammocks of live oak, magnolia, hickory, and red
cedar. An observation platform at the west end of the trail from
the interpretive center at Naval Live Oaks provides a scenic view
of Santa Rosa Sound.
At the Fort Pickens area, look for raccoons, opossums, skunks,
rabbits, snakes, beach mice, great blue herons, egrets, and
bitterns. From the beach, you may see bottle-nosed dolphins, brown
pelicans, gulls, terns, and other shorebirds. On the shore of Santa
Rosa Sound at Naval Live Oaks, watch for great blue herons,
black-bellied and snowy plovers, willets, and other shorebirds. In
the winter, red-breasted mergansers and northern loons often
frequent the sound.
National Park Service
From Pensacola Beach, travel west to Fort Pickens park
entrance. Naval Live Oaks is just east of Gulf Breeze on U.S.
Other North West
Florida Wildlife Sites