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Silver Springs State Park: Famous spring plus cabins, hiking, history

If you haven’t experienced Florida’s most famous spring, you’re missing one of the most beautiful spots in Florida. This weekend, Ocali Country Days, a special living-history festival, will re-create the Ocala of the 1800s. Year-round, this park has it all: kayaking, hiking, glass-bottom boat rides, horseback riding and terrific cabins.

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Curry Hammock State Park: Great beach camping, kayaking

Curry Hammock State Park is a hidden island in the Florida Keys near Marathon right off US 1. It has excellent camping and a swimming beach safe for kids. The park offers a kayak trail that is perfect for a short, inexpensive paddling experience. (They rent kayaks and SUPs.)

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Ichetucknee Springs State Park in winter: Best time to kayak

The Ichetucknee is the most pristine spring run in the state. It has eight major springs, crystalline water, lush jungly vegetation plus plentiful birds and wildlife. It’s a shame that most visitors only experience it as a busy tubing river. It’s a fabulous winter kayaking destination in North Florida — worth a drive!

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Oleta River State Park feels like island getaway in Miami urban sprawl

This Miami state park is a remarkable island of green where you can kayak, mountain bike, picnic and enjoy a sandy beach. There are even rustic cabins to rent. Now, the historic Blue Marlin Fish House, located on park property on 163rd Street, has re-opened and rents SUPs and kayaks on the Oleta River as well as offering sandwiches, salads and beer.

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Rainbow River: Pure spring water makes kayaking, tubing tops

Rainbow Springs and the Rainbow River are among Florida’s top tubing and kayaking spots. People love this waterway because of the pure, clear water and spectacular natural setting. In winter, it’s a peaceful place to kayak and perhaps see otters. In summer, it’s full of tubes floating through a cool paradise.

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

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.

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