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Myakka is one of the oldest and biggest state parks, a great place for seeing wildlife, from huge gators to flocks of birds in winter. Go here for its log cabins, appealing camp sites, excellent kayaking, extensive hiking and good bike trails. It’s also a good spot for nature neophytes, who enjoy the airboat ride and canopy walk.

Read More about Myakka River State Park: 10 reasons to visit this big, wild Sarasota preserve

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.

Read More about Alexander Springs in Ocala National Forest: Cool swimming, easy scenic paddling plus lots of wildlife

The Peace River has been a beloved paddling destination for decades. It was heartbreaking to see the floods after Hurricane Ian, which closed the long-time outfitter for paddling trips in Arcadia for months. But the Peace is back and it is as beauiful as ever. It’s also a great river for groups, families and beginners.

Read More about Peace River: Canoeing here is a special Florida adventure