We brought our bikes to the Keys to update our guide for 2019. Some of our favorites sections are still closed due to damage from Hurricane Irma in 2017. Still, there are sections that give you a fun day’s ride and a great sampling of all the Keys has to offer. We recommend these four segments for recreational bicyclists who aren’t looking to ride from Key Largo to Key West.
Bike & Hike
Labor Day brings together about 600 bicyclists from around the country to enjoy pedaling on scenic roads over gentle hills with friendly drivers.
This out-of-the-way rural area on the St. Johns River offers good hiking, kayaking and springs. With Welaka as a base, we explored a place little changed by the years.
We know what the big draw is in Orlando, and it’s not nature. But it should be! Even if your main destination is a theme park, here are eight natural experiences and places that would make memorable additions to a visit to Central Florida
Amateur astronomers love this place in the heart of Florida’s cow country. With 54,000 acres of wide-open prairie 25 miles from the nearest town, light pollution does not exist, making the Kissimmee Prairie Preserve one of a few destinations in Florida for stargazing under a pure night sky. The campground set aside for astronomers is known as “the red light district.”
This laid-back beach town isn’t famous, but it charms visitors with its funky Florida history, gorgeous beaches and a cute downtown with interesting restaurants and shops. In 2019, it celebrates its 100th birthday.
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.
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.