Florida has 8,000 miles of walking trails and 4,000 miles of paddling trails, according to state officials, and yet I can’t find a good place to hike or bike nearby.
I know: That’s what happens when you live in the urban monster that is South Florida.
I was heartened to learn the state just launched a new website whose whole purpose is helping people find trails. It’s called Florida Trails and Greenways.
I took it for a test drive, hoping I’d find a location for outdoors adventures that didn’t require a drive of several miles. The site’s menu of cities did not include mine (Fort Lauderdale) so I tried Miami. Alas, what I found were two trails: An ambitious saltwater kayak trail circumnavigating Florida and the 9-mile bike path in Miami-Dade that runs along US 1- South Dixie Highway.
This confirms what I know about — we have paved paradise — but it looks like the site would be useful for planning more distant getaways.
It provides useful information about more than 100 major trails around the state. In years of doing research for outdoor activities, I’ve never found an equally comprehensive resource.
The state launched the site to promote to visitors the stuff I love to do — hiking, biking and paddling — instead of just beaches, golf courses and theme parks. The state says that in 2009, 67 percent of Florida visitors included nature-based activities in their vacations.