9 Florida Hikes for Beginners and Veterans

With miles of coastline and lush forests, there are more hiking opportunities in Florida than you might think. When you leave the beach behind and put the city in your rear view, this southern state has plenty for adventure seekers to do. Shed your bathing suit, hop into some hiking gear, and find a few Florida hikes to try. 

More: Printable Hiking Gear Checklist

Northern Florida

This lush area of Florida is dotted with rivers and springs, and is bordered by two major coastlines—the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico. In the Northern Florida region you're never far from the serenity of the wilderness. For example, both Ocala National Forest and Osceola National Forest are located in the Northern region.            

More: Go Camping in Florida

Beginner:
Hammock Trail at Fort Caroline, Jacksonville
If you're not ready to leave the coast, head over to this short 1.3-mile hike. Here you'll get the best of both worlds, as you climb through a scenic maritime forest trail, which runs parallel to the St. John's River. Don't forget to stop at the replica of Fort Caroline as well as the informative visitors center.

Intermediate:
Big Oak Trail, Ellaville
Travel along the Suwannee and Withlacoochee rivers on this scenic Florida hike. The greatest feature is its versatility. You can make this a 12.5-, 9.5- or 4.1-mile hike, all depending on where you start. For the longest hike, start at the Suwannee River State Park Ranger Station, for a middle of the road hike, start at the Drew Mansion Ruins trailhead, or head to the Withlacoochee River east gate for the shortest section of the trail.

Veteran:
Florida Trail, CR258 to Stephen Foster, White Springs
Despite the short 3.8-mile distance, this rugged trail provides enough excitement to keep a veteran hiker intrigued. You'll journey through flowing creek beds and climb around eroded bluffs in the diverse Florida wilderness. Look for live oaks and wild azalea as you make your way to the finish.

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