The landscape of Florida offers you an adventure that you won’t find in any other place. From vast lush greenery to impenetrable thick forest, Florida is a land full of adventures. If you want to enjoy the beautiful scenery of Florida’s nature while at the same time exercising your body, you should go hiking and trekking, as Florida has plenty of magnificent sites where you can venture to. In fact, there is no easy answer to the question of which are the top hiking and trekking spots in Florida, USA, as all of them are equally amazing. However, the spots below outshine the rest. What are they? Find out in the article.
1. La Chua Trailhead
Tranquil and mesmerizing, La Chua Trail is a hidden paradise located at the end of a Florida State Park. As hikers walk on the trail which actually is an elevated footpath, they’ll spot lines of ancient oaks and a group of plum trees along the way. Venture deeper into the park and you may spot an alligator or two in the water - if you’re lucky. However, since there are alligators in this site, visitors are prohibited from bringing dogs into the area for they pose a risk of enticing the alligators to come after them. Visitors with kids or toddlers are advised to keep a close eye on their children and not to stray off the boardwalk.
La Chua Trailhead
Address: 4270 SE 15th St, Gainesville, FL 32641
Opening hours: 8am - 5pm (daily)
Price: From 4 USD
2. Florida Trail
Florida Trail is one of the few natural sites that is mentioned in the list of National Scenic Trails in America. In terms of its ecological diversity and scenery, the Florida Trail is unlike any other hiking spots. It might not be as difficult to hike as the other trails, but in terms of ecological diversity, Florida Trail is unsurpassable. Usually, it will take hikers a month or more to reach the end of the trail, as it is 1,300 miles (3367 km) long. There are four regions of the area: the Central, Southern, Panhandle, and Northern.
Website: Florida Trail
3. Econ River Wilderness Area
A 240-acre (97-hectare) of wilderness that is situated in the suburbs of Orlando, the Econ River Wilderness truly is the city’s hidden gem. The area is densely vegetated with pine flatwoods, and it is surrounded by a river swamp as well as sandhill; a scenery that gets more visible as you take a walk on this approximately 3 miles (4.8 km) of trails. Some of the wild animals found in this area include northern Bobwhite birds, White-tailed deer, and the Great Horned owl. The site’s developer is also thoughtful enough to provide benches near the river so visitors can catch a breath after hiking and enjoy the quiet serenity of this little piece of heaven.
Econ River Wilderness Area
Address: 3795 Old Lockwood Rd, Oviedo, FL 32765, U
Opening hours: 8am - 5pm (daily)
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4. Upper Pithlachascotee River Preserve
Located in Pasco County, the site sits on 129 acres (52 ha) of land. You can also find a river that runs through this area, which locals call Cotee River. One of the things which draw visitors to this place is a plant that is included in Pasco County’s list of historic places - a Cypress tree that is reckoned to be somewhere between two and three centuries old. The park’s facilities include an area for picnic, toilets, and a children’s playground. If you want to host an event in this park, you can do it at the house that is only accessible by appointment.
Upper Pithlachascotee River Preserve
Address: 17135 Minneola Dr, Spring Hill, FL 34610
5. Jupiter Ridge Natural Area
This 271-acre (109 ha) area of preserved land in Jupiter, Florida, is covered by different types of Flatwoods and surrounded by mangrove swamp ecosystems. For a chance to see a manatee swimming, go to Ski Beach and take a walk around there. Other than running or hiking, other activities that you can do in this natural area are canoeing on the lake, birdwatching from the observation deck facing Old Lake Worth Creek, or even jogging on Little Blue Heron Trail.
Jupiter Ridge Natural Area
Address: US-1, Juno Beach, FL 33408
Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)
6. Torreya State Park
The park gets its name from an endangered tree species that grows within the area - Torreya tree - which can only be found on the steep cliffs surrounding the Apalachicola River. Torreya State Park hosts more than 100 species of birds. Its beautiful scenery makes it a popular spot for hiking, camping, and bird-watching. Even though the hurricane which hit Florida a while ago caused a change in the landscape of this park, Torreya State Park is still as beautiful as ever.
Torreya State Park
Address: 2576 NW Torreya Park Rd, Bristol, FL 32321
Opening hours: 8am - 6pm (daily)
Price: From 3 USD
7. Hammock Trails - Oak Hammock, Palm Hammock
Hiking on Hammock Trails will make you forget the hustle-bustle of everyday life. The trails, which are surrounded by saw palmettos, marshes, and oaks - take the shape of number 8. Don’t forget to go to the restroom before starting your hike as there will be none along the way. Hikers are also advised to apply some bug-repellent lotion prior to coming here as the place is rated moderate to high for bug factors. Make sure to check out the informative signposts to learn about the ecosystem in the park.
Hammock Trails - Oak Hammock, Palm Hammock
8. Little Manatee River State Park North Trail Head
Don’t let the first word of its name make you think the park has little to offer. With a 6.5 miles (10.5km) hiking trail and the Little Manatee River which flows for 4.5 miles (7.2 km), the park is anything but minuscule. Popular activities in this park are hiking, trekking, and canoeing. There are also rare ecosystems such as oxbow wetlands, oak scrub, and sand pine that are present within this area, waiting to be explored!
Little Manatee River State Park North Trail Head
Address: 17837 US-301, Wimauma, FL 33598,
Opening hours: 7am - 7pm (daily)
Price: From 5 USD
9. Big Shoals Trail
There are few natural trails in Florida with rivers that are great for canoeing and kayaking, however, Big Shoals is one of the few exceptions. Located not far from White Springs town and above the Suwannee River, this trail is a paradise for extreme watersport lovers. There are also more than 28 miles (45km) of wood paved trails provided for visitors who want to hike, trek, or ride a horse.
Big Shoals Trail
Address: 18738 Southeast 94th St, White Springs, FL 32096
Opening hours: 8am - 6pm (daily)
10. Black Bear Wilderness Trailhead
Though the name may suggest that there could be a chance for visitors to catch a glimpse of a black bear in this site, there isn’t any as the trail is surrounded by swamps that are densely covered with plants such as palms and palmettos. The trail is 7.3 miles (18.9 km) long and situated in Sanford. Visitors love to jog or exercise here as the thick forest in this area gives them some shelter from the heat. Dogs are allowed on the trail as long as they are attached to leashes.
Black Bear Wilderness Trailhead
Address: 5301 Michigan Ave, Sanford, FL 32771
Opening hours: 5am - 8pm (daily)
A nature lover's paradise
Miles of beaches, scenic mountainous area, and rich ecological biodiversity - Florida is a true paradise for adventurers and wildlife lovers. There is never a boring day in Florida. Everything you need to relax and unwind can be found here, from crystal-clear skies to natural trails with stunning views, Florida is the place you go for an unforgettable experience with nature. Now that you know where to go in Florida for the best hiking and trekking spots, get your backpacks out and put on your hiking shoes!
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