Central Florida’s Lake Wales Ridge is made for exploration. It offers rolling hills, forests, streams, quaint small towns with lots of places for hiking, kayaking and camping.
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Three Rivers State Park ranks high on our list of Florida campgrounds. Perched on the shores of Lake Seminole at the Florida-Georgia line, there’s not a bad campsite in the park, and you are in the middle of nowhere. We loved it. So will you.
Encompassing more than 600 square miles in North Central Florida, Ocala National Forest is bursting with adventure. Hike the Florida Trail, camp in the deep woods, spend a lazy day at a cool, bubbling spring, ride the equestrian trails, paddle a spring run, a lake or a river.
On their 2,000-mile fall migration, thousands of monarchs stop in Florida’s Big Bend and Panhandle in October and November. A top viewing site is St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, a half hour south of Tallahassee. There is a monarch festival at the refuge Saturday, Oct. 28
Sea-turtle walks are like seeing a National Geographic film in person. But you need reservations to join these night-time beach walks to watch giant sea turtles nesting.
The snorkeling trail at the park on the Blue Heron Bridge in Palm Beach County offers a volume and variety of sea life rarely seen close to shore.
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.
I’ve paddled a lot of trails in the Everglades, but so far, the Turner River is my favorite. It goes from pristine cypress swamp, through mangrove tunnels to sawgrass marsh, and it teems with birds, gators and fish. It’s everything the Everglades offers in one trip.
The winter season is the best time to camp in Florida’s Everglades, and there are dozens of campground choices, from the front country to the backcountry. Here’s our guide.