Bike & Hike

7 Fabulous Gift Ideas for Backpackers & Hikers

7 Fabulous Gift Ideas for Backpackers & Hikers

Whether you are a casual hiker or serious backwoods hoofer, you should find something here that you want or need.

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.

Hugh Taylor Birch State Park in Fort Lauderdale. (Photo: Bonnie Gross)

Hugh Taylor Birch Park in Fort Lauderdale: My favorite Florida state park

This state park holds a special place in my heart. In urban South Florida, it preserves a sliver of the natural splendor once all around. There’s a lot to do here: beach, biking, shaded picnics, Intracoastal views. When visiting, a perfect day includes a stop to nearby Bonnet House.

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.

Sunflowers at Pepper Ranch in 2013. Photo by Ron Perkins.

Sunflowers in Florida: ‘Stunning’ fall scene at Oct. 1 sunflower festival

Fields of sunflower bloom in Florida each fall, and a preserve near Immokalee celebrates with a sunflower festival Saturday, Oct. 1. The blooms last two to three weeks. This sunflower only blooms in Florida and Georgia and is common: Watch for it blooming along roadsides in early fall.

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.

How many shades of blue? The Old Seven Mile Bridge

Old Seven Mile Bridge closed until 2021; Pigeon Key still open

The Old Seven Mile Bridge will be closed for repairs from July 5, 2016 into 2017. The historic island in the middle — Pigeon Key — will be open for visitors, who are ferried to the island by boat.