Central Florida

Off a dirt road in the Arbuckle Tract Lake at Wales Ridge State Foresti s pretty  little Lake Godwin.

Discover Lake Wales Ridge State Forest for hiking, exploring, camping

Lake Wales Ridge State Forest is for explorers – folks who like to find places that aren’t in the guidebooks. Here you can hike for miles in the woods, hear only nature and have a chance to spot wildlife, including bear, bald eagles and endangered scrub jays.

Top hiking trails near Orlando: Little Big Econ State Forest

Top hiking trails near Orlando: Little Big Econ State Forest

Some of the best hiking near Orlando can be found at the Little Big Econ State Forest, where bluffs along a scenic river add interest. The forest is 5,000 acres preserved in a suburban area in the middle of the triangle formed by Orlando, Cocoa and Daytona Beach.

Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge: Safe harbor for birds & other living things

Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge: Safe harbor for birds & other living things

Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge is a year-round refuge for birds and other living things, from the dazzling roseate spoonbills to the American bald eagle. During the fall migration, birding is especially good.

Honeymoon Island: A natural beach with comforts

Honeymoon Island: A natural beach with comforts

Honeymoon Island is an unusual combo: It’s accessible, with first-rate concessions, and yet it’s a big, natural beach where you can get away from people and see wildlife. And you have to love how it got its name.

The beach at Jetty Park in Cape Canaveral is hard-packed and offers great recreational opportunities. (Photo: Bonnie Gross)

Jetty Park: Beachfront cabins & camping in Cape Canaveral

Jetty Park, with a terrific beach, fishing jetty and a view of passing ships, has a campground and small cabins. It’s an appealing getaway, with a few catches.

The water in the Juniper Spring run is so clear it looks like you're floating on air. (Photo: U.S. Forest Service.)

Juniper Springs in Ocala Forest: Fab kayaking at pristine spring run

Juniper just might be the most pristine spring-fed river in Florida. It’s also stunningly beautiful and easy to kayak. On a hot day, the 72-degree water and shaded run help keep you comfortable.

Couple enjoys weekday ride

Seminole Wekiva Trail: Smooth riding

The Seminole Wekiva Trail is a 14-mile multi-purpose, paved “rail trail” in the Wekiva River Basin that is part of a network of existing and planned trails across Central Florida in the Orlando metro area.

Muscadine grapes by Flattop341 via Flickr

Florida wineries stomp grapes at harvest festivals

Harvest time in 88 degree August? Grapes in Florida? You bet. For the next few weekends, Florida wineries celebrate their harvests with grape stomping festivals.