Several national parks in Florida are hidden treasures. In honor of National Public Lands Day Sept. 26, when national parks are free, here’s a guide to Florida’s national parks, from the famous to the obscure.
Parks, Forests & Preserves
Amateur astronomers love this place in the heart of Florida’s cow country — 54,000 acres of wide-open prairie, 25 miles from the nearest town, ideal for stargazing under a pure night sky.
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.
Like a lot of visitors, for years I had overlooked Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park on my visits to Key West because it is tucked away out of sight. But the historic fort and great beach are worth discovering.
A 22,000-acre wilderness with 60 miles of trails for hiking, biking and equestrians through five thriving wildlife habitats. Six primitive camping areas, or try this secret campground with river access.
Camping in Florida State Parks offer scenic respite when traveling on Interstate 4 from Daytona Beach through Orlando to Tampa.
These 12 Florida State Parks campgrounds are a short hop from Interstate 75 and offer unique experiences — roaming buffalo, a disappearing river and one even memorializes a strange and wacky cult.
Florida Keys state parks are some of the most intriguing & beautiful places in the Keys. Some are little-known & off the beaten path. Get our insider tips.
Looking for a camp easily accessible from Interstate 95? These scenic Florida State Parks offer well-maintained campgrounds for your tent or RV.
Campgrounds in Florida’s Panhandle offer a taste of the seasons without summer’s crush of visitors from Southern states. Don’t expect beach weather, but it’s easier to book a campsite.
Juniper just might be the most pristine spring-fed river in Florida. It’s also stunningly beautiful. On a hot day, the 72-degree water and shaded run help keep you comfortable.