Bayou Marcus Water Reclamation Boardwalk

**See the comments below.  Be aware that a reader left a comment about seeing lots of snakes on their walk on the boardwalk.  Be on the lookout if you are visiting.**

What:  a nature walk; Where: Bayou Marcus Reclamation Boardwalk; Cost: FREE

Last week after being stuck inside with chores, homework and other household items, I decided it was time to get out of the house!  A friend had told me about the Bayou Marcus Water Reclamation Boardwalk and we had been wanting to visit.  She said that she has been out there a few times and during their visits they have spotted all sorts of little critters…even deer!

We didn’t have much luck spotting too many animals but we did see lots of birds and a couple of lizards.  We went after Big S got off of school so we parked at the Fayal Drive entrance because the Alekai Drive entrance is closed at 3pm (we found the Alekai entrance while we were on the boardwalk).


I had a ton of trouble finding an actual address to the place to plug into the GPS or look up on a map.  On the website, it calls the boardwalk Northwest Florida’s Best Kept Secret.  I agree because you can’t find an address listed anywhere!  I did come across GPS points on a map on Outdoor Gulf Coast so it was easy to find after that!  When you drive down Fayal Drive you will see the gate to ECUA and to the right of you there will be a little gravel area where you can park.  You will see the entrance to the gate when you see the bright yellow sign that says the gates lock at 7pm. 

When you first walk through the gate, there are a few signs describing the wetlands as well as some birding trail pamphlets. 

The boardwalk is a lovely walk through the wetlands. 

Things to Know Before You Go:

  • Bring sunscreen and a hat for shade.  There isn’t much shade on the boardwalk. 
  • Bring water.  It got very warm and there wasn’t much of a breeze when we were there.
  • Don’t forget the Alekai Dr. entrance closes at 3pm.
  • Call the information number before you head to the boardwalk.  The website says they put closures and other announcements on the message line.

The Water Reclamation Boardwalk is located at the Bayou Marcus Reclamation Facility off of Blue Angel Parkway and Fayal Drive.  The information line is 850.458.1658.

Pensacola Family Vacation on raveable

Nature Rocks Day – September 25

Nature Rocks is a website that supports families heading outdoors and exploring nature.  Nature Rocks Day is September 25 and they have an activity guide with activity suggestions to help you get started!

Have fun and explore Pensacola!

50 Ways to Explore Nature in Your Own Backyard with Go Explore Nature

With my right foot broken, I am not really supposed to be driving unless it is absolutely necessary so we are spending a lot of time at home this week.  I had all sorts of fun last week of summer activities planned but since we are stuck at home I am having to go back to the drawing board!  I love to read Debi’s blog, Go Explore Nature, and was so excited to find one of her latest articles titled 50 Ways to Explore Nature in Your Own Backyard.  She lists great ideas like building a fairy house, creating rock art, and going on a bug hunt.  Hop on over there for some great ideas!

Also, stop by our Facebook Fanpage where we are gathering your favorite Back to School traditions to make the transition from summer days to school days as smooth as possible!

Arcadia Mill


Over the weekend, we decided it was time to get out of the house and wanted to try a new nature walk.  One of my children’s favorite things to do is find a nature trail and run up and down it for hours…and hours…and hours it seems!  We have explored the UWF Edward Ball Nature Trail (one of our favorite walks), the Tarkiln Bayou, and Big Lagoon


The Arcadia Mill is located in Milton and is very easy to find at the end of a residential street.  The Mill is part of Historic Pensacola and is a great nature walk.  The Arcadia Mill is “the largest antebellum complex in Northwest Florida” but the structures are no longer standing.  There was a silk cocoonery, the sawmill, railroad, textile mill, and much more on the grounds.  The Arcadia Mill site is rich in history.  To learn more before you go, read this teacher packet




My kids enjoyed walking the boardwalk. 


There are signs posted around the boardwalk that tell you what the area was used for or point out different things in nature. 


They also liked trying to spy wildlife. They spotted this little guy in the first few minutes.


 There is a small swinging bridge off of the boardwalk, but at the time it was practically underwater and definitely unsafe to cross.  There are no signs warning this so be sure to keep a close eye on your children so they don’t get ahead of you. 



There is a Visitor Center and Museum that are open Tuesday-Saturday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm but I must admit that we didn’t see either.  We were there when both places were closed and we didn’t really tour the grounds, just the boardwalk area.  Guided tours are available but call ahead for more information.  There is a shaded picnic area so if you go, you might want to pack a lunch or a snack to eat!


The Arcadia Mill is located at 5709 Mill Pond Lane in Milton, Florida.  For more information, the contact person is Laura Heyse at 850.626.3084.

Milton Things To Do