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
Fall is the start of Florida’s hiking season and here are five favorite hikes around the state to inspire you. Florida hiking trails are incredibly varied and can be full of all sorts of wildlife.
The bike trail down the Florida Keys — the Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail — is not complete, but here are four sections that offer scenic and safe rides, We’ve updated our guide with sections that were recently repaired after Hurricane Irma damage.
Bulow Creek State Park is a lovely discovery. Just 10 minutes off I-95, it’s great for a quick picnic and to gaze at the grand old Fairchild Oak. Or you can spend the day and take a hike or scenic drive.
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.
Old-growth live oaks draped in air plants and Spanish moss dominate the 9,000-acre Highlands Hammock State Park, one of Florida’s original state parks. It offers lush nature trails, scenic bike riding and shady camping.
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 state park has superior cabins and is a great base for kayaking the Suwannee and hiking. It’s also home to an oddly dated museum on Stephen Foster. (We considered it a funky Florida find.)
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.
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.