Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a first-timer, Florida’s diverse terrain and ecological diversity make it the ideal backdrop for an adventure or exercise. Trails meander past crystal clear springs, through pristine forests, and reveal hidden sandy beaches. You’ll be surprised by how much you can see and experience while hiking in the Florida countryside. Plus, there are many opportunities for groups to meet. Here I have listed the best walking trails in Florida.
Hiking in Everglades National Park
There are many things to do in the Everglades National Park while you vacation in Florida. This park is home to many creatures, including alligators and flamingos, and offers an unforgettable experience for outdoor enthusiasts. If you’re interested in a nature adventure, you may want to hike through the park to learn more about the natural history and biodiversity of the area. You can also go on an airboat tour of the park’s mangrove ecosystem or experience the breathtaking sights of the River of Grass.
The Eco Pond trail
The Eco Pond trail has a two-mile stretch that stretches alongside Florida Bay. You’ll enjoy great views of Florida Bay from this trail, and the end of the hike is a great opportunity for ice cream. Another highlight of the drive through the Everglades is the Big Cypress National Preserve.
The Tamiami Trail runs through the preserve and is covered with Big Cypress trees, a characteristic of the Everglades. Egrets and herons can be seen soaring above the tall vegetation. The scenery is reminiscent of old Florida.
If you’re into wildlife, hiking through the Everglades is a must-do activity when you’re on vacation in Florida. The park is home to many species of wildlife, including the endemic Anhinga water turkey. This bird is one of the state’s most unique species, as its lack of oil glands prevents it from getting too moist and saggy. It’s often seen perched on a tree branch with its wings spread wide to dry itself. Other interesting birds you’ll see on the Anhinga trail include the Least Bittern, Sora, Smooth-Billed Ani, and the Great White Heron.
The Everglades National Park is located in southern Florida. There are hiking trails throughout the park, with the park’s natural habitat characterized by swamps and waterways. Hiking trails follow historic routes that cross open prairies and swamps. While you’re hiking, you can also camp in a backcountry campsite and watch wading tropical birds and alligators. To ensure your safety and enjoyment, you should check out the park’s official website and obtain a trail map.
Exploring Flat Island Preserve
In southern Leesburg, explore Flat Island Preserve, a 2300-acre preserve filled with lush wilderness and a wide variety of wildlife. The preserve is part of the Okahumpka Marsh, an important recharge area for the Floridan Aquifer. Hikers can take advantage of the orange-blazed loop trail, which winds through hardwood hammocks. There are many scenic viewpoints along the way, and the preserve’s trails are tended by volunteers and the Florida Trail Association.
For hikers, Flat Island Preserve has a 3.5-mile loop trail through Okhumpa Marsh. Hikers can explore the area’s unique botanical diversity. Hikers and nature lovers can also explore Hidden Waters Preserve, a giant sinkhole that offers great views of the lake. A trail here includes waterfalls and streams. The hike can be challenging, so bring a sturdy pair of walking shoes!
The main loop trail leads through several plant communities, each with its own unique animal residents. The island is flat, but the gradual elevation changes create different ecological zones. These zones are home to unique wildlife, including deer, squirrels, and other birds.
If you’d like a more detailed look at these plant communities, you can hike the Daubenmire trail or take a 15-minute ferry ride to Lake Griffin State Park.
The trail starts near the entrance of Flat Island Wildflower Meadow. It features several spurs and loops. At one end, it meets up with the main trail. The trail skirts the expanse of marshy swamp and features a boardwalk. There are benches and resting areas along the way. Make sure to bring sunscreen and plenty of water. You’ll need it to enjoy the natural beauty of this Florida preserve.
Exploring Virginia Key Beach Park
Explore the Mile-long beach near Downtown Fort Lauderdale, the boardwalk, hiking trails, and concessions. If you’re on a budget, spend the day in one of the park’s many picnic areas. A mile-long beach is only part of Virginia Key Beach Park’s charm. Take your time exploring the park and you’ll have a memorable Florida vacation. Read on to find out more about what to expect when you visit this beach park during your next vacation.
The beach is a favorite hangout for windsurfers. It is the only dog-friendly beach in the area. There’s also the Miami Seaquarium, a marine park that opened in 1955. You’ll find more than ten thousand marine specimens in the aquarium, as well as a daily marine mammal show. It is home to captive dolphins, orcas, sea lions, and sharks.
Historic Virginia Key Beach Park is an ecological treasure. It has the largest mangrove wetlands in Florida. It is also home to some of the state’s oldest and most endangered flora and fauna. Furthermore, it is just a short drive from Miami. You can easily get there via the Rickenbacker Causeway, located off of Virginia Key Beach Dr. The park also has vending machines, restrooms, and an arcade.
While in Virginia Key, don’t miss exploring the park’s historic buildings and grounds. There’s a carousel and mini train, and Bahamian-style cabanas for the beach. You can also explore nature trails and mangroves. The park is also the only place in Miami without the city skyline. You can experience the charm of this historic island on a Florida vacation.
Mountain biking enthusiasts will love Virginia Key’s bike trails. Bike trails were constructed by local bike clubs and have multiple levels of difficulty. Beginners can ride the mountain bike trails on the northern portion of the key. Beginners and intermediate bikers should be able to negotiate the first 20 feet of the trail before advancing to advanced trails. You’ll be surprised at the number of fat-tire cyclists who enjoy Virginia Key Beach Park.
Exploring Matheson Hammock Park
If you’re looking for a park to visit during your next Miami vacation, consider exploring Matheson Hammock Park, located south of the Coral Gables area. This urban park contains 630 acres of Florida mangroves, hardwood forests, and planned green space. It is a beautiful place to picnic, swim, and play, and is also a great place to host special events.
If you love the ocean, you’ll love exploring Matheson Hammock Park, located near Coral Gables. The park is 630 acres of lush foliage and natural beauty and offers a great beach for swimming, snorkeling, and more. The park is also home to a man-made lagoon, which fills with the ocean tide. It is the perfect spot to soak up the sun or get a tan.
A full-service marina is also available in Matheson Hammock Park, along with a restaurant and picnic tables. The park features a lagoon with warm water and several picnic areas. You can rent water sports at the concession stands, or take a scenic nature trail to a nearby lake. The park also has barbecue pits and charcoal grills for picnicking, and there’s even a golf course onsite!
You can get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy a peaceful, natural setting with a family vacation to Miami. Matheson Hammock Park offers several activities for all ages, including fishing, hiking, and even an outdoor wedding. And while you’re at it, take a day off to explore Matheson Hammock Park when you vacation in Florida.
Red Fish Grill
For those looking for a great meal in Miami, you can also explore the nearby Red Fish Grill. This restaurant is situated on the water’s edge and is a popular spot for seafood, and has appeared in many movies. The Matheson Hammock Marina is nearby and is open to boats up to 50 feet. This restaurant can accommodate 140 people and offers a private setting for larger groups.