10 Best Hiking Trails in Florida

FLORIDA - When hiking in Florida, there is no shortage of stunning trails waiting to be explored. Whether you're a novice hiker or an experienced outdoor enthusiast, the Sunshine State has something to offer everyone. From the sprawling Everglades National Park to the tranquil Little Manatee River State Park, here are the top 10 hiking trails in Florida that are worth your time and effort.

Where to Go Hiking in Florida?
10 Best Hiking Trails in Florida

Where to Go Hiking in Florida?

1. Everglades National Park

At the top of the list is Everglades National Park, a vast wilderness home to various trails. The Anhinga Trail, in particular, allows hikers to witness many wildlife, including alligators and herons. Another popular trail in the park is the Shark Valley Loop, which offers a unique opportunity to hike alongside a 15-mile bike path and spot incredible bird species.

2. Big Cypress National Preserve

For those seeking a different kind of adventure, the Big Cypress National Preserve is a must-visit. Here, you can explore trails such as the Kirby Storter Boardwalk, which takes you through the cypress marsh, or tackle a section of the famous Florida Trail, an epic 1,400-mile journey stretching across the state.

3. Ocala National Forest

Heading north, we arrive at the Ocala National Forest, a true gem for hiking enthusiasts. The Juniper Springs Recreation Area is a popular starting point, offering pristine trails that wind through lush greenery and crystal-clear springs. The Yearling Trail is another highlight, taking you through the picturesque Big Scrub habitat.

4. Myakka River State Park

The Myakka River State Park is renowned for its diverse trails in Southwest Florida. The Canopy Walkway provides an incredible vantage point to observe the park's unique flora and fauna. At the same time, the Myakka River Trail offers a scenic hike along the scenic river, providing picturesque views of the expansive wetlands and abundant wildlife.

5. Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park

Heading towards Gainesville, Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park offers hikers the opportunity to embark on the La Chua Trail, known for its rich wildlife sightings. From alligators basking in the sun to countless species of birds, this trail offers an authentic glimpse into Florida's natural wonders.

6. The Black Bear Wilderness Loop

The Black Bear Wilderness Loop in Sanford is a hidden gem for those seeking a taste of wilderness close to civilization. This 7.1-mile loop showcases the area's natural beauty, with scenic views of the St. Johns River and the chance to spot various wildlife.

7. Hillsborough River State Park

The Hillsborough River State Park near Tampa offers a tranquil hiking experience. The Rapids Trail takes hikers alongside the river, where they can enjoy picturesque views of the rapids and lush vegetation. The Baynard Trail is another favorite, meandering the park's diverse habitats.

8. Jonathan Dickinson State Park

Further south, Jonathan Dickinson State Park provides a unique hiking experience. The Kitching Creek Loop is a favorite among hikers, with its beautiful views of cypress swamp and pine flatwoods. The River Trail, on the other hand, takes you along the Loxahatchee River as it winds through the park, offering a chance to spot manatees and other wildlife.

9. Big Shoals State Park in White Springs

For those seeking a more challenging hiking experience, the Big Shoals State Park in White Springs is ideal. The Stephen Foster State Folk Culture Center Trail meanders along the Suwannee River, providing breathtaking views of the limestone bluffs and the opportunity to explore the historic Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center. With its exhilarating series of rapids, the Big Shoals Trail is another must-see for adventure seekers.

10. Little Manatee River State Park

Last but not least, Little Manatee River State Park offers many trails that allow hikers to immerse themselves in the beauty of the natural surroundings. The North Hiking Trail takes you through dense forests and alongside the river, while the South Hiking Trail offers scenic views of the Little Manatee River and its abundant wildlife.

These top 10 hiking trails in Florida showcase the state's diverse landscapes and offer exciting outdoor experiences for hikers of all skill levels. So, whether you're a nature lover, an adventure seeker, or simply looking for a peaceful escape, Florida's hiking trails await you with open arms.