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.
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.
Central Florida’s Lake Wales Ridge is made for exploration. It offers rolling hills, forests, streams, quaint small towns with lots of places for hiking, kayaking and camping.
Hikers should discover the Nature Conservancy’s Tiger Creek Preserve, one of several sites located on Florida’s “central highlands,” a beautiful, hilly landscape with many appealing trails.
Here’s an interesting stop far off the beaten path: The Jacaranda Hotel opened in 1926 and has been providing comfy rooms and good food ever since. It’s located in the historic district of Avon Park, a little town in the middle of the state’s cattle and orange-grove country.