South Florida bike trails offer great scenery and local flavor. From the Keys to Lake Okeechobee, here are nine great bike trails that we’ve tried and recommend. How many have you ridden?
Bike & Hike
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.
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.
This paved bike trail system has it all — spectacular scenery, a smooth paved surface with few road crossings and great amenities and stops along the way. The 11-mile Legacy Trail, which follows an abandoned railroad bed from Sarasota’s suburbs to Venice, connects to another 10 miles of trails in Venetian Waterway 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.
Peaceful Waters Sanctuary is an outstanding birding site and a particularly good destination for nature-starved folks from Broward and Palm Beach counties. It’s also close to two good places for 3-mile-long walks in natural settings.
This large state park in a rural, out-of-the-way part of Central Florida, preserves Old Florida cracker history. It offers great hiking trails and camping plus lakes to explore by kayak or canoe. Wildlife, from deer to alligators to sandhill cranes to eagles, is abundant.
Jonathan Dickinson State park can keep a lover of the outdoors busy for days with hiking, biking, kayaking, camping, wildlife watching and soaking up the natural beauty. Now’s the perfect season to plan an adventure there.
DeLeon Springs, about an hour north of Orlando, is a state parks with swimming, kayaking and fantastic history. But it’s best known for — of all things — its pancakes.