Hiking Trails Around Tallahassee Florida and Beyond

Hiking Trails Around Tallahassee Florida and BeyondTallahassee, Florida - Rich in historical roots, with an array of museums and historic sites, South Georgia and Central Florida's panhandle offers a glimpse into the past. The rolling hills, lakes, forests, and nearby coast allow one to experience some of the South's most distinguishing assets. The state's capital is right in the center of this, where Tallahassee offers hundreds of miles of trails, gardens, city parks, and state parks for any outdoor enthusiast.

Hiking Trails Around Tallahassee Florida and Beyond
Exploring Hiking Tails Around Tallahassee Florida and Beyond

 Hiking Around The Tallahassee Area

Tallahassee trails range from short, easy to long and more complex, with each path having unique characteristics. A short distance apart, on the East side of Tallahassee, it has three different parks, ideal for hiking, biking, picnics, and a children's playground. The Lafayette Heritage Trailhead starts in the center of Lafayette Park, where the trail to the East curves around the banks of Piney Z Lake to a levee, which crosses the lake to the JR Alford Greenway. The return trail traverses the backside of the Piney Z community. The loop towards the West connects to Tom Brown Park, where the path has steep inclines and descents, making it more challenging. The two loops make up a 5.9-mile hike through some of Tallahassee's most beautiful woodlands.

Over 800 acres of hardwoods, pastures, a freshwater swamp, and a lake make up the JR Alford Greenway. Over seventeen miles of multi-use trails will satisfy every type of nature lover. Unlike the Lafayette Trail, the courses here are relatively flat. The most significant incline is the wooden boardwalk-covered bridge over the railroad tracks connecting the two parks. Tom Brown Park is Tallahassee's favorite and most used park, with large open fields, tennis courts, and ball fields. In addition, the park has several unpaved nature trail loops, a paved 1.5-mile trail that stretches from the northwest corner to the Southeast corner, and a shared-use biking trail. The courses combine for just over 5 miles of an enjoyable hike through the woodlands.

Along the city's edges are several parks with picnic tables and other outdoor activities for one's enjoyment. On the south side of Tallahassee are the Munson and Twilight trails, which wind their way through the Apalachicola National Forest. The Munson Trail loop covers 8.3 miles, wrapping around a lake, while the Twilight Trail covers 10 miles. Combine the two trails using the connector trails for a full day of outdoor adventure. Along the Eastern border of Tallahassee is the Miccosukee Greenway trail. The trail's four loops account for 7 miles of hiking across flat and open land to hilly areas where the trail twists its way through oak woods with diverse scenery. This greenway winds through protected living treasures, with some homes dating back to the late 1800s.

For the person short on time, one will find several parks right on the edge of downtown Tallahassee, where the trails are much faster. The 3 miles of loop trails at San Luis Mission Park are a great place to escape into the lightly forested woods where the beautiful Lake Esther sits in the middle. A classic park for Tallahassee is Lake Ella, where the. The 7-mile sidewalk encircles the lake and provides benches for some leisure time where one can enjoy the beautiful scenery or admire the wildlife of ducks and geese. The Fern Trail in Governor's Park is a short 1.8-mile trail that winds through a forest of hardwood and pines where some fall colors are on display. The half-mile one-way Kohl's Trail will combine the Fern Trail to the 1-mile Bog Path loop, which twists and turns its way along a narrow path crossing several streams through a thick wet forest, leaving one with the impression of being in a rain forest. Sitting amidst seven surrounding neighborhoods and covering 72 acres on the Northeast side of Tallahassee is A.J. Henry Park, one of Tallahassee's newest parks. The park has a wooden walkway overlooking a lake, picnic areas, playgrounds, open play areas, and hiking trails. The two-loop tracks are a short 2-miles combined; however, the hillside and crossing through the ravine make for a more challenging walk.

Tallahassee has trails for enjoyment, but museums and gardens are around the city. It is the home to a mid-1900 English-style Tudor home, where a short path leads to a 3.5-acre site in a lush whimsy forest where the house has sweeping garden views. The beauty of the large oak trees and labyrinths will make an impression; indeed, one is far away from the city, wandering through an oasis fairytale. A few blocks from downtown are six acres of a lush Florida garden filled with camellias, azaleas, palms, and other native flora, giving the park an ambiance not found anywhere else in the city. The history of Dorothy B. Oven Park dates back to the mid-1800s when Congress awarded General Marquis de Lafayette the property in 1834. The main home on the property is a classic manor-style with rare magnolia paneling, wood floors, and antique furniture, ideal for weddings and receptions. Near downtown Tallahassee is the Goodwood Museum and Gardens, originally home to a 1,600-acre cotton plantation dating back to the early 1800s. Today, the property is on the National Register of Historic Places. It covers some 20 acres of century-old live oaks and gardens. The main home features original family furnishings, glassware, and art. Around the main house are 20 other structures dating from 1835 to 192: the swimming poo,l, and an outdoor skating rink.

Just a short drive from Tallahassee, families can experience state parks, state forests, and a National Refuge, providing various outdoor activities for enjoyment. Just West of Tallahassee is Torreya State Park, named after the rare Torreya tree, which only grows on the bluffs overlooking the Apalachicola River. Florida's most acceptable fall colors are on display throughout the hardwood forest. The high cliffs, plateaus, and deep ravines make this park one of the most scenic in Florida. The park has two loop trails. The River Bluff loop is about seven miles, traversing through ravines and streams where Logan's Bluff towers are 300 feet above the Apalachicola River. A.5-mile connector trail leads to a 5-mile loop through a forest of hardwoods, longleaf pines, dogwood, and the queen Magnolia. The park is also the home of a beautiful Southern mansion built in 1849 known as the Gregory House.

One of Florida's most hidden treasures is just South of Tallahassee at the Wakulla Springs State Park, designated as a National Natural Landmark and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The park is home to one of the world's largest and deepest freshwater springs, where the 70-degree waters will surely refresh one on even the hottest summer days. The history of this park dates back thousands of years, from early Native Americans to early filmmakers who discovered the ancient quality of the park's swamps and wildlife were a perfect fit for movies like Tarzan's Secret Treasure (1941) and Creatures from the Black Lagoon (1954). Located between the springhead and trailhead is the historic lodge, an element of Old Florida where the elegance of the lodge stands as it did in the early 19th century. The central park's trails, covering just over six miles, lead deep into the swamp forest through southern hardwood and maple-cypress habitats where several states and national champion trees, the largest species, mingle with other forest giants.

Just over an hour's drive to the North near Blakely, Georgia, is Kolomoki Mounds State Park, home of the largest and oldest Woodland Indian site in the Southeastern United States, dating back to 350 to 750 AD. Standing at 57 feet high, the Temple Mound is Georgia's oldest mound, surrounded by smaller mounds used for burial and ceremonials. In addition to the campground, playground, picnic areas, and beautiful lakes, the park has three hiking trails covering 5.8 miles. The Trillium loop trail traverses four natural communities. The trail winds through a hardwood forest along Lake Kolomiki, crossing several spring-fed streams. As the trail climbs and descends, the different communities become apparent, passing through native bamboo, southern magnolia, loblolly, and spruce pines. Starting at Lake YoholDamam, the Spruce Pine loop trail traverses rugged terrain through a forest of dogwood, water oak, spruce pine, and magnolias, which provides a natural habitat for turkey, deer, and bobcats. Throughout the White Oak, loop trails are gulleys and ravines fed by underground springs that offer abundant water for survival. The wood from this forest supplied the timber needed to build thatched huts for housing. Portions of this trail circle the mounds and pass through part of the village area.

West of Tallahassee is nearly 20,000 acres of forestland, where various tree species make up Lake Talquin State Forest. The largest forest community is the upland pines, which sit amidst the rolling forest hills where a wealth of plant and animal diversity thrive. The Bear Creek and Fort Braden Tracts provide excellent examples of the slope and ravine forest communities. The 492-acre Bear Creek Tract offers three trails totaling 5.5 miles of the most rugged trails in the region through wetlands, sandhills, and dramatic ravines, where the section along Bear Creek has steep inclines and narrow footing. This time, the Fort Braden Tract highlights a range of ecosystems while traversing three lots miles of 9 miles with stunning views of Lake Talquin.

Devastated in 2018 by Hurricane Michael, the Florida Caverns State Park still gives visitors a rare glimpse into the past. In the 1930s, the Civilian Conservation Corps hand-chiseled out the passageways between the cave rooms, allowing visitors to see 1,000 years in the making. The narrow and sometimes low passages lead through twelve fragile, slippery, wet cave rooms where stalactites, stalagmites, flowstones, and draperies still grow into a visual array of mystifying formations.

Located a short drive south of Tallahassee is the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, which offers various outdoor activities for any outdoor enthusiast. The refuge consists of pine flat woods, palm hammocks, marshes, and cypress-lined ponds along the coast, extending well inland. Scattered along the coast, one will find small beaches and tidal creeks fed by rivers. In addition, the refuge is home to the second oldest lighthouse in the state, constructed in 1842, and has become one of the most photographed landmarks on the Gulf Coast. The trails in the refuge wind their way through oak hammocks, slash pines, and salt marsh, providing some excellent opportunities for photographing migratory birds.