By Ens. Meaghan M. Anderson
Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola is a nice base. With so much to see and do, being stationed here can be a great adventure, especially for those who like to spend their time outdoors.
Between beaches, wetlands and pine and oak groves, there is no shortage of landscapes and places to meet nature. There is also plenty of history to discover along the way. Whether you’ve just arrived at NAS Pensacola or just want to learn more about its history, it’s best to get out and see the base on foot or by bike. There’s no shortage of trails of varying lengths that are all great for walking or running, and some also allow for biking.
Trails and sites throughout NAS Pensacola are maintained by the Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) Department. A comprehensive trail guide with a map and descriptions of these trails can be found in the MWR department lobby which is adjacent to Radford Gym. The guide details where each trail goes, if it is paved, and indicates the distance and difficulty. The trail guide even highlights maintained trails on Corry Station and Blue Angel Recreation located at 2100 Bronson Road in Pensacola. Many of these trails offer a glimpse of the water, whether it’s the Bayou Grande, the swampy marsh, or Pensacola Bay. Most of the trails also wind through the groves of pines and oaks through the base, allowing trail seekers to enjoy the shade and admire the foliage.
MWR Fitness Director Robin Morrissey encourages everyone to get out and explore these trails.
“Rejoin [MWR] races for a chance to see them all,” Morrissey urged.
MWR typically hosts at least one race per month and trails are featured at many of them. If races aren’t available at a time convenient for you, simply choose a trail on the map to start.
Captain Terrence Shashaty, commander of NAS Pensacola, is also a big proponent of getting out. This is the best way to see the base.
“I encourage everyone to get out and run or ride a bike. Along the seawall there are places where you can stop and read about the history of Pensacola and this base as you run,” Shashaty
Across the base there are panels and plaques detailing the history of the area. These panels are the perfect place to pause during a jog and discover what makes NAS Pensacola unique.
“One of my favorite rides was the one I did with my daughter. We cycled along the seawall to the Five Flags Parkway. There’s a great compass inlay in the brick and you You can read the history of Pensacola and why it’s called the City of Five Flags. It’s a great insight into history,” Shashaty said.
With so much to see and even more to learn, it’s no wonder everyone from the Commander-in-Chief recommends viewing the base this way.
But it’s important to keep in mind how to stay safe when you’re on base. According to the NAS Pensacola Office of Safety, it’s best to stay off the road and stick to bike paths and walking paths whenever possible.
According to Jeff Grosso, safety manager, “For bicycles, it is strongly recommended that you ride strictly on bike lanes for roads where the speed limit is 45 [mph] or above.”
This is especially important when riding your bike towards the west gate where the speed limit is actually 45 mph. Sticking to the roadside bike path is the safest option. If being on the road is unavoidable, keep in mind that when cycling, follow the same rules as when driving. This means following the flow of traffic and stopping at all lights and stop signs.
Grosso continues, “Also remember that the rules for walkers and runners require that when you’re on the road, you ride against the direction of traffic so you can see what’s coming and know if you should. get off the street.”
If you’re on the street, avoid wearing headphones so you can hear cars and sirens. Pay attention to the volume when using headphones, even while walking along a path or sidewalk. A good idea is to invest in a pair of bone conduction headphones. Rather than entering your ears, they sit outside and transmit sound by vibration.
“Bone conduction headphones are a great way to listen to music while still being able to hear what’s going on around you. It’s easier to stay safe while using them,” explained Rich Caudill, specialist of security.
Even exclusively on the trails, it pays to be aware of your surroundings. Wildlife and dangers are always present even on the base.
Shashaty was quick to point out some safety tips: “Have a plan; know your route and where you are going, avoid unnecessary risks and let someone else know where you are going. Especially at night.”
Whatever your motivations for getting outside, be it exercise, history, nature or just some fresh air, knowing where to go and how to stay safe is essential. The trails through NAS Pensacola offer just that, giving trail buffs a variety of places to explore on base with beautiful scenery and interesting history, all on a maintained path. There really is no better way to get to know NAS Pensacola, so grab some water and a bottle of sunscreen and start a new journey today.
|Date posted:||08.03.2022 10:49|
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