Parks & Forests

Route 399 through the Santa Rosa area of Gulf Islands National Seashore.

Post-hurricane state and national park closures

Post-hurricane updates for Florida State Parks, National Parks, Forests and Seashores throughout Florida.

Chipley, FL (Photo by Olin Gilbert)

Fall Camping: As the humidity breaks, get into your groove outdoors!

When the weather breaks, Floridians come out of the air conditioning and flock to campgrounds before the snowbird invasion. And yes, there really is a change in leaf color along I-10 in Florida’s Panhandle.

Our campsite in the Magnolia Campground

Disappearing river and shady campground rise above the norm

O’Leno State Park is a Florida treasure with a scenic campground at the heart of two state parks that will take your breath away. It is here that the Santa Fe River vanishes, only to re-appear 3.5 miles later to meander many paddle-loving miles to its merger with the Suwannee River.

Rocky outcroppings at MacArthur Beach attract fish and sea life.

MacArthur Beach State Park: Great for snorkeling, kayaking, beach walks

MacArthur Beach is one of South Florida’s treasures: Nearly two miles of natural, dune-lined beach with rock outcroppings and a reef that makes it a great snorkeling site.

This is Old Florida: Oak trees in Micanopy.

Nine ways ways to find the real Florida — 15 minutes off I-75

You don’t have to drive hours off the interstate to find Florida’s natural beauty and funky history. You can find treasures within 10 minutes of these I-75 exits.

Lafayette forms two beautiful pools of water, each lined with limestone rocks, surrounded by hard packed earth and separated by a natural limestone bridge.  (Photo: Bonnie Gross)

Springs & the Suwannee: Two northwest Florida parks are great bases for exploring

Remote, rural and picturesque, northwest Florida rewards your long drive with sparkling springs, the beautiful Suwanee River and scenic rural roads. Two state parks with cabins and campgrounds make great bases to explore the region.

The beach is rocky but beautiful with good snorkeling. (Photo: Bonnie Gross)

Fort Zachary Taylor State Park, Key West hidden gem

What took me so long? Like a lot of visitors, I had overlooked Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park on my visits to Key West because it is tucked away out of site. But the historic fort and great beach are worth discovering.

Rhesus monkey at Silver Springs State Park in Ocala. (Photo: Bonnie Gross)

Kayaking Silver Springs: Exquisite trail for kayaks is highlight of Silver River

The new Silver Springs State Park near Ocala gives kayakers their first chance to launch at the famous springhead and paddle an exquisite waterway that has never been open to kayakers before.

Kayaking the Alafia River near Tampa

Alafia River: Kayaking through tame rapids a half hour from Tampa

This cypress-lined Alafia river has an unusual feature for Florida: Rocky shoals that create fun rapids to kayak. It’s near hiking trails, springs and a very nice paddling trail at Little Manatee River State Park.