Every year, we pull together our list of holiday gift ideas for outdoors recreation, and this year’s list covers five categories: kayaking, camping, hiking, snorkeling and loungin’ Key West style.
If you have one day or its your first visit to the Everglades, this guide will help you see wildlife and experience the essence of Everglades National Park. We offer tips, too, for more in-depth Everglades experiences.
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.
Amid a sea of subdivisions, you’ll find a pair of man-made wetlands west of Delray Beach where you will encounter extraordinary wildlife viewing from strategically placed boardwalks. After COVID and construction closings, they are both open as of fall 2020.
Ocala National Forest features more than a dozen developed campgrounds and two state parks you can use as a base to explore more than 600 square miles of wilderness.
Ocala National Forest covers more than 600 square miles of Central Florida, and all of it is open to dispersed, primitive camping.
Just 45 minute from Tampa/St. Pete, the beautiful river, state park and region is a natural haven that can keep you busy exploring for days. There’s an outfitter to make trip-planning easy, plus it offers cabins and camping.
BOYNTON BEACH — About 260 species of birds and waterfowl find their way here throughout the year, and you can find them by hiking, biking or paddling the canoe trail.
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.
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.
When driving I-95, you can travel five minutes off the highway and find romantic ruins, have a picnic and a walk through the woods in this Flagler County state park. In minutes, you feel like you’re in another world.
This cypress-lined Alafia river has an unusual feature for Florida: Rocky shoals that create fun rapids to kayak. It’s near hiking trails, springs and a very nice paddling trail at Little Manatee River State Park.
The Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary in Naples, an Audubon Society preserve, takes you on a hike via boardwalk with good wildlife viewing and exquisite scenery.
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.
Peaceful Waters Sanctuary is an outstanding birding site and a particularly good destination for nature-starved folks from Broward and Palm Beach counties. It’s also close to two good places for 3-mile-long walks in natural settings.
Lake Louisa State Park is a half hour from theme parks, but is a natural world with 20 miles of hiking trails and great cabins. Located on the east end of the vast Green Swamp, you’ll find wildlife, old citrus groves, hills, cypress swamps and forests.
Kelly Park is best known for popular Rock Springs Run, but this fabulous Orange County park also has one of the nicest campgrounds anywhere, a fabulous swimming area, playgrounds and picnic areas.