Chances are, you’ve never heard of Blue Cypress Lake near Yeehaw Junction. If that’s so, you’re missing a spectacular natural lake rimmed by old growth cypress trees and home to hundreds of ospreys and osprey nests. This lake is the headwaters of the mighty St. Johns River. What a great kayak destination!
Author: Bonnie Gross
Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park — the biggest state park in Florida — is a vast, wild place near Everglades City. Year after year, we drove right past, but there are three great reasons to spend time here. We’re glad we did.
As you cross the Seven Mile Bridge, you pass the little green island with yellow cottages and palm trees surrounded by dazzling blue water. Stop and visit: Pigeon Key is one of a kind. It offers fascinating history, tropical beauty, even great snorkeling.
Lake Louisa State Park is a half hour from theme parks, but is a natural world with 20 miles of hiking trails and great cabins. Located on the east end of the vast Green Swamp, you’ll find wildlife, old citrus groves, hills, cypress swamps and forests.
The Van Fleet Trail into the Green Swamp is one of the most rural, isolated rides you’ll find in Florida. It’s flat. It’s straight. But if you want to truly get away from it all and encounter a little wildlife along the way, here’s the place.
Animal lovers and particularly families will enjoy this free wildlife sanctuary. Located in a green and shaded setting, it showcases native critters from panthers and black bears to bald eagles and otters.
When it’s chilly, you can see dozens of manatees at this free park. Even without manatees, the Orange River is a beautiful kayak trail through Old Florida scenery.
Sebring, a small town along the lovely Lake Wales Ridge in Central Florida, is staking a claim for something new — Florida’s first (and only) craft soda festival, the Sebring Soda Festival. Local small-batch sodas made with real sugar are making a comeback, partly as an outgrowth of the craft beer phenomenon. This Sebring festival is a good opportunity to taste what it’s all about.