The clear waters flowing out of Alexander Springs are the start of a great paddling trail inside Ocala National Forest. It’s an easy stream to paddle with lots of wildlife, especially birds and fish.
Arbuckle Creek is a gorgeous river through an ancient cypress forest. It feels remote and wild but is convenient to Orlando and South Florida. It’s a gem, full of wildlife and magnificent scenery.
If you haven’t experienced Florida’s most famous spring, you’re missing one of the most beautiful spots in Florida. This weekend, Ocali Country Days, a special living-history festival, will re-create the Ocala of the 1800s. Year-round, this park has it all: kayaking, hiking, glass-bottom boat rides, horseback riding and terrific cabins.
The 22-mile-long West Orange Trail stands out as an appealing bike trail, as it winds along Lake Apopka west of Orlando. This smooth paved trail gets it right, with scenery and excellent amenities.
This 46-mile paved Central Florida rail trail is a smooth, safe ride. But what makes it special is the scenery, parks & towns to explore along the way.
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.
Silver Springs State Park near Ocala lets kayakers launch at the famous springhead and paddle an exquisite waterway where paddlers often see monkeys, manatees and an array of birds and other animals.
The Withlacoochee River meanders through an unspoiled forest in rural Florida but still within an hour of Orlando and Tampa.
Jetty Park, with a terrific beach, fishing jetty and a view of passing ships, has a campground and small cabins. It’s an appealing getaway, with a few catches.
A very old, very big live oak tree inspired me to stop at this park near the Villages in Central Florida, and I found it to be a nice place to picnic, paddle and take a short hike.