Pine Log State Forest

Location | Natural Features | Recreation | Contacts

Pine Log State Forest, purchased in 1936, is Florida's first state forest. Using an ecosystem management approach, the Florida Forest Service provides for multiple uses of the forest resources. The forest is managed for timber, wildlife, outdoor recreation and ecological restoration.

Location

Pine Log State Forest is located near Ebro, Florida, in northwestern Bay and southwestern Washington counties. The forest is 14 miles north of Panama City Beach, on State Road 79. Access to Pine Log State Forest is available on Highway 79 or on open forest roads. Travel is allowed throughout the forest on open forest roads. Please refrain from blocking any closed roads or firebreaks.

Natural Features

Pine Log State Forest is home to a diverse mixture of animal and plant species, including the following endangered and threatened species and species of special concern: flatwoods salamander, gopher tortoise, southern milkweed, white-top pitcher-plant and Chapman's crownbeard.

There are various natural communities found on the forest. They include sandhills, flatwoods, cypress ponds and titi swamps. Pine Log State Forest has three named streams (Pine Log Creek, Little Crooked Creek and Ditch Branch), as well as several small lakes and ponds.  

Recreation

Pine Log State Forest offers many recreational opportunities for the outdoor enthusiast, including camping, wildlife viewing, picnicking, hiking, bicycling, swimming, fishing and hunting.

A campground with 20 campsites can be found at the Pine Log State Forest Recreation Area. All sites are fully equipped with electric and water hook-ups. Restrooms with showers and a sanitary dumping station are located on-site. Camping is limited to 14 consecutive days during any 30-day period. A senior citizens (65 and over) and disabled persons discount is available.

A group camping area is available for youth groups. There are two sites within the area that may be reserved separately for small groups or together for a larger group. There are two small picnic pavilion areas, fire rings and access to water. The area is near the restroom and shower facilities but separate from other camping.

Three primitive campsites are available. These campsites are dispersed along Pine Log Creek. Camping is limited to a maximum of five people per site. Primitive campers are not entitled to use of restrooms or shower facilities. Reservations are required for these sites to receive the combination to the locked gate**.

Reservations are available for all campsites. For reservations, please contact (850) 547-7083 between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. CST. Non-reserved campsites in the campground and group area are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Hiking Trails

Over 13 miles of hiking trails have been developed on Pine Log State Forest. These trails include a segment of the Florida National Scenic Trail, which covers approximately 8 miles. The Dutch Tieman Trail and the Campground Loop begin and end in the recreation area.

The Florida National Scenic Trail enters the forest in the northwest corner and leads into the campground area. It then crosses State Road 79 at Pine Log Creek and continues through the forest and exits to the east. This trail continues on private land eastward to State Road 77. The Florida National Scenic Trail is blazed in orange rectangles and covers approximately 8 miles through Pine Log State Forest.

The Dutch Tieman Trail covers approximately 4 miles and is marked with blue blazes. This trail is named for Mr. Edgar "Dutch" Tieman, the forest's first park ranger. This multi-use trail is open to hikers and off-road bicycles. Bicyclists are asked to please use caution when approaching hikers.

The Campground Loop Trail covers 2 miles and is marked in red blazes. This trail loops from the campground around a cypress pond. Only foot traffic is allowed on the Campground Loop Trail.

The Crooked Creek Trail is a multi-use 9-mile loop trail that has been established on the east side of Highway 79. Parking is located on Highway 79, 1 mile south of the recreation area. This trail was developed for off-road bicycle use; however, foot traffic is welcome.

Horse Trails

The Old Sawmill Trail was developed as a horse trail. The 12.5-mile loop trail follows existing open roads, closed roads and old firebreaks. The trail weaves through the southeast portion of the Pine Log State Forest. The Old Sawmill trailhead and parking area are located in Pine Log State Forest on Highway 79 approximately 10 miles north of Panama City Beach. There is a charge to enter the trail. Children under 6 years old are admitted free. A self-service pay station is located on the entrance road to the trailhead.

Yellow bands found on trees along the trail designate the trail. Where the trail crosses roads or makes major course changes, yellow arrows point the direction the trail goes. Mile markers are located along the trail and are shown on the map. This trail crosses the Crooked Creek Mountain Bicycle Trail in several places. Because of the extremely soft soil, separate trails have been developed for horseback riding and mountain biking. Please keep your horses off of Crooked Creed Trail. The Crooked Creek Trail is marked with red or blue blazes and arrows. Specific trail rules are posted on the informational kiosk at the trailhead.

Other Activities

The picnic area and pavilion can be found adjacent to the camping area. This area is open daily from sunrise to sunset. A number of picnic tables and grills are available for use. The pavilion is available for use by reservation only and has a fee. To make a reservation, contact us at the number listed below.

Swimming is permitted only in East Lake in the recreation area. No lifeguards are on duty so visitors swim at their own risk. Children must be accompanied by an adult. No pets are allowed in the lakes. Please watch carefully for alligators and other wildlife that may be present in the area.

In keeping with its mission to protect and manage Florida's forest resources, the Florida Forest Service has developed rules that apply to all state forest visitors. Find out more about state forest fees and rules.

** Call (850) 547-7083 to make reservations and receive the combination to the locked gate for the primitive campsites.