Florida Panhandle Shipwreck Trail
Florida tourism is a $60 billion dollar industry, and heritage tourism, in particular, has become an important source of revenue for the state. In an effort to revitalize coastal tourism in Florida's Panhandle following the 2010 oil spill,
the Florida Department of State's Bureau of Archaeological Research was awarded Florida Coastal Management Program funds to create the Florida Panhandle Shipwreck Trail in Gulf waters off Pensacola, Destin, Panama City and Port St. Joe. This shipwreck trail initiative addresses the current national focus of improving communities' ability to recover from coastal disasters and promoting responsible visitation to, and management of, their valuable historical resources. Visitors and residents alike may participate on the trail through the interactive trail web page, social networking platform, and by obtaining the official trail Passport.
Creating the Florida Panhandle Shipwreck Trail involved a multi-pronged approach consisting of conducting historical research, gathering videographic and photographic data, soliciting local community participation and collaborating on graphic design for the trail sites.
Twelve shipwrecks were selected based on input from Gulf Coast communities, dive shop owners and charter boat captains. Trail visitors are provided with an interpretation of each site related to a ship's career, date of sinking, dimensions, location, depth of water and structural features. These ship biographies are featured in both the Passport and on the webpage.
To learn more about the Florida Panhandle Shipwreck Trail please contact Dr. Roger Smith at