While it may be best known for its sandy beaches and sunny skies, Florida also boasts some of the most breathtaking, scenic hiking trails in the United States! With its idyllic rivers and wetlands, unique wildlife, and gorgeous array of fauna only found in the south, the Sunshine State offers unforgettable hiking adventures around every bend.
If you’re looking for the best hiking trails in Florida, we’ve got you covered! Check out our list for the top places to lace up your active footwear and get out into nature.
Northern Florida Hiking Trails
Uniquely arrayed with classic Floridian foliage interspersed with the fauna of the higher Deep South, northern Florida is wonderfully scenic and full of some of the best hiking trails in Florida just waiting to be seized!
First on our list of best hiking trails in Florida is hiking Blackwater River State Forest.
Looking for a full-day hike in a picturesque, natural setting? Visit Blackwater River State Forest and enjoy one of the best hiking trails in Florida as you traverse the Chain of Lakes Nature Trail—a 1.75-mile loop trail starting in the Blackwater River floodplain forest and circling the oxbow lakes that mark one of the river’s former routes.
Or, if you’re looking for a more challenging hike, consider the Juniper Lake trail, which extends 7.5 miles with a 1-mile section running through Blackwater River State Park. This hike boasts stunning juniper trees and oxbow lakes, guaranteeing a wonderful experience as you soak up the beauty of northern Florida’s habitats!
Bask in a taste of both ocean and land as you hike the four-mile Dune Ridge Trail at Little Talbot Island State Park! Marvel at the soaring oaks, loblolly’s pines, and magnolia trees along your route; then soak up the sun and sand on the last two-mile stretch of the hike at the seaside, where you’ll encounter beautiful shells, marine life, driftwood skeletons, and the soothing lull of the waves bringing your adventure to a close.
This hike is great for walkers of all skill levels, with the dune ridges affording just enough challenge to get your pulse up and the sand paths offering reprieves to catch your breath and simply bask in the beauty all around you. If you’re a lover of sand and sea as well as hiking, Little Talbot Island is calling your name in every crash of the surf!
Florida Trail Ocala
The Florida Trail is obviously one of the best hiking trails in Florida!
The Florida Trail is an infamous trail perfect for backpackers and day-hikers alike! This stretch in Ocala boasts the very beginning of the trail, which now stretches over 72 miles through sandhills, prairies, pine flatwoods, and the Big Scrub.
Along this portion of the trail winding through the stunning Ocala National Forest, you’ll witness beautiful scenery, plentiful wildlife, breathtaking waterfronts and so much of the natural beauty Florida has to offer. Come prepared for a steady, scintillating hike that will have you eager to camp out and keep going to soak up even more of what the Florida Trail has to offer!
Mike Roess Gold Head Branch State Park
Unique and stunning ravines, sinkhole lakes, an abundance of wildlife and lovely hiking paths are just a few of the things Mike Roess Gold Head Branch State Park has to offer! Come and enjoy the majestic hike and see what animals you can spot and foliage you can name along the nearly six-mile stretch of the Florida National Scenic Trail, as well as the park’s own nature trails. There’s so much to see and explore, you’ll want to plan more than one trip to truly enjoy it all!
Come prepared for picnicking, birdwatching, wildlife viewing, and even fishing and swimming at this wonderful locale; however you prefer to spend your hikes, you’ll find your plans accommodated at Mike Roess Gold Head Branch State Park!
Dunn’s Farm Trail
Looking for a year-round hiking trail where you can birdwatch, soak up the sun, and set your own pace? Visit Dunn’s Farm Trail, a 3.7 mile long, moderately-trafficked loop trail located near Middleburg, Florida!
Dunn’s Farm offers great opportunities to observe wildlife, take a fast or slow hike, and simply bask in nature while you enjoy the mini-waterfalls, overlooks, and peace awaiting around every turn in the trail.
Central Florida Hiking Trails
Central Florida boasts more than just being home to Disney World! Check out some of these one-of-a-kind hiking opportunities located in the heart of the Sunshine State!
Lake Apopka Wildlife Trail
Another of our favorite hiking trails in Florida is hiking Lake Apopka Wildlife Trail.
On the hunt to encounter some of Florida’s native wildlife in a gorgeous natural setting? You may catch a glimpse of unique birds, alligators, bobcats, otters, bears, and so much more on your hike around the Lake Apopka Loop Trail!
With up to 20 miles to cover, you’re sure to never run out of things to see or experience at Lake Apopka. Enjoy the beautiful sights of this restored wetland, and be sure to exercise caution in encountering any wildlife—keep your visit to Lake Apopka memorable for all the best reasons!
Lake Kissimmee State Park
Located just miles outside of Orlando, FL, on the shores of lakes Kissimmee, Tiger, and Rosalie, Lake Kissimmee State Park offers a unique trail experience. Not only can hikers and nature enthusiasts indulge in the over-13 miles of trails teeming with plant and animal life, but there is also an additional 6 miles of trails available for equestrians as well!
Whether you prefer to experience trails by foot or on horseback, the scenic Lake Kissimmee State Park is ready to welcome you for an unforgettable time!
Little Manatee River State Park
This sprawling park boasts one of the most pristine blackwater rivers in this region of Florida—and there is plenty to enjoy here! Experience the sites of the Little Manatee River from one of the premier hiking trails of southwest Florida—a 6.5-mile stacked loop—or from the 1-mile loop of the Oxbow Nature Trail.
Whether you’re here for a short hike or a long one, you’re sure to find something to meet your needs among the 15 multi-use trails at Little Manatee River State Park. You can even hop on horseback to explore the equestrian trails as well!
Citrus Hiking Loop
Lace up your hiking boots and prepare to traverse the longest unpaved loop trail in Citrus County! Crossing over three tidal creeks, this loop provides fantastic opportunities to observe marine life, including otters and the many fish that teem in these waters.
With plenty of wildlife and nature to observe, this peaceful hiking loop is the perfect place to escape the bustle of life, stretch your legs, appreciate the world around you, and come back refreshed to everyday life!
Bulow Plantation Historic Ruins
Looking for a taste of rich history along your hike? Bulow Plantation Loop offers just that, with its picturesque walking trail winding directly to the ruins of the historic plantation, sugar mill, wells, and other sites of the 19th-century Bulow Plantation.
Explore the ruins on your hike, then stop for a picnic at the facilities and visit the interpretive center that tells the plantation’s history. You’ll leave refreshed from the hike and with a fresh dose of Floridian history to reflect on!
Southern Florida Hiking Trails
Sultry heat and bright beaches meet wild wetlands and glades teeming with life in the southern third of Florida! Find a trail below that speaks to your hiking spirit!
Estero Bay Preserve State Park
Eager for a primitive hike in an area that’s undeveloped, leaving copious room for animal and plant life to flourish in their natural climes? Estero Bay Preserve State Park may be your destination of choice, offering a setting unique among the hiking trails in Florida!
Come prepared with sturdy footwear as you hike the rugged trails through the uplands, observing the Sunshine State’s wildlife in its untouched habitat and observing all that nature has to offer. There’s so much to see in the coastal marshes, mesic flatwoods, scrub, and salt flats—you’ll find both peace and a challenge as you hike in this rustic setting!
Big Cypress Bend Boardwalk
Winding straight into the heart of Fakahatchee Strand, the Big Cypress Bend Boardwalk offers a hiking adventure unlike any other! Set in the shade of the lofty cypress trees, this boardwalk provides informative stops along the way so you can indulge in the history of its location while taking in the beauty it offers!
Trade in the familiarity of dirt paths and dune climbs for this unique boardwalk experience through the cypress forest. You won’t be disappointed by this magnificent hike!
Jonathan Dickinson State Park
Take a hike up one of Florida’s rare “mountains”! Hobe Mountain, located among the sand pine scrub, is a unique and fun hike for individuals, groups, and families to enjoy, with an observation tower at the end offering a breathtaking view of the park, waterway, and Atlantic Ocean to commemorate your climb!
But that’s not all this park has to offer! You’ll find other footpaths, horseback trails, guided tours, and so much more just waiting to be explored at Jonathan Dickinson State Park!
Ancient Hammock Trail
Visit this timeless location in south-central Florida to take a step back into nature as it was hundreds of years ago! Located in Highlands Hammock State Park, the Ancient Hammock Trail boasts an array of soaring cabbage palms and centuries-old live oaks all along the loops.
Get immersed in the ancient feeling of this forest as you pass through the towering cathedral of its many boughs. You’re likely to leave with an air of wonder, perhaps a touch of nostalgia, and a newfound respect for the ageless beauty that nature has to offer!
Everglades National Park
Last but not least of our hiking trails in Florida is hiking Everglades National Park.
Perhaps the most famous national park in Florida, the Everglades offers a multitude of hiking options amidst a variety of trails! From leisurely walks to extended hikes, anyone can find a trail to traverse and experience the lush landscape, local wildlife, and scenic beauty of this southern national park!
Trails at the Everglades include the Anhinga, Mahogany Hammock, Gumbo Limb, Gulf Shore, Bayshore Loop, Bobcat Boardwalk, and more—each one varying in its length and challenge! The only limit to your hiking adventures in the Everglades is time and tricky weather; make sure you bring a poncho and keep an eye on the sky!
What’s Your Speed?
Whether you’re a rugged terrain hiker, a leisurely walker, or somewhere in between, we hope you’ve found something on this list of the best hiking trails in Florida that’s got you excited to hit the trails! What’s your favorite hiking trail in Florida? Which one from this list are you eager to try out? Let us know in the comments!
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