Florida State Parks Trails

To find trails in Florida state parks for activities such as hiking and biking, select a region or trail below.

Payne’s Prairie Preserve State Park :: Gainesville, FL

On the edge of the vast basin that has periodically become a lake, complete with steamboats, this 21,000-acre state park is now a National Natural Landmark. People have been camping here for 10,000 years, when they could still hunt mammoths and prehi

River Rise Preserve State Park :: High Springs, FL

The Santa Fe River may go underground in O’Leno State Park, but it reemerges 3 miles away in River Rise as a circular pool. From this point, it heads toward the Suwannee River and from there to the Gulf of Mexico. Canoeing, kayaking, hiking, and wild

O’Leno State Park :: High Springs, FL

If you are an equestrian, horse camping is available. The horse barn has 20 stalls and there are plenty of trails to give your steed a workout. For the wilderness-minded camper, the Sweetwater Lake primitive area requires a 6.5-mile hike in to sites

Little Talbot Island State Park :: Jacksonville, FL

The Talbots are virtually unspoiled islands. Here, 5 miles of wide white beach and sand dunes are covered with picturesque sea oats. Little Talbot is ideally positioned so that campers can enjoy a day on the beach and an evening in Jacksonville or ca

Fort Clinch State Park :: Fernandina Beach, FL

This park is centered around a pre–Civil War brick fortress designed to protect Fernandina’s harbor. Fully dressed and well-rehearsed reenactors are often at the fort for demonstrations and tours. The three Fort Clinch campgrounds have distinct p

Mike Roess Gold Head Branch State Park :: Gainesville, FL

This park began as a Civilian Conservation Corps project during the 1930s and several of the visitor cabins are original, although they have been updated significantly. In years with good rainfall (or perhaps several hurricanes), the lakes will be “u

Silver River State Park :: Ocala, FL

This park has dozens of springs, acres of wide-spreading oaks hung with Spanish moss, miles of beautiful trails, and of course, the Silver River, said to be one of the best in Florida for kayaking. The park is also home to a pioneer “cracker” village

Fort Cooper State Park :: Inverness, FL

This quiet, semi-primitive campground is nestled in a shady oak hammock. Two sites back up to Lake Holathlikaha, but are separated from it by a marsh. One mile from the campground is a central area with a playground. Here visitors enjoy swimming (whe

Rainbow Springs State Park :: Dunnellon, FL

Rainbow Springs is one of those places a chamber of commerce likes to call a “treasure.” In the case of these first magnitude freshwater springs, however, that is an understatement. The Rainbow pumps an astonishing 500 million gallons of cold, fresh

Sebastian Inlet State Park :: Melbourne Beach, FL

A boat ramp at this campground allows saltwater fishing from the jetties. The “jetties” here are long piles of boulders designed to stabilize the seabed and channel— dangerous to walk on and not at all scenic, but apparently necessary. Surfing, swimm

St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park :: Melbourne, FL

Horse people will love this preserve, which is mostly open grassy forests of longleaf pine; these were once commonplace in Florida, but were logged almost to destruction for this variety of pine’s hard, straight-grained wood. The uplands, scrub,

Tomoka State Park :: Ormond Beach, FL

Indians dwelling here lived off the area’s fish-filled lagoons, which are accessible by a boat ramp. The waters still are popular for paddling, boating, and fishing. You will have good opportunities at Tomoka to observe the native dugong, the West In

Anastasia State Park :: Saint Augustine, FL

This is a popular park because the beach is magnificent and it is a short drive to the old city, the old Castillo de San Marcos National Monument, and to a lighthouse that you can climb for a wonderful view. Anastasia offers great camping, and there

Faver-Dykes State Park :: Saint Augustine, FL

At Faver-Dykes campers can hike the nature trails, picnic, join evening campfire circles and ranger programs for the full flavor of camping under the stars of virtually unspoiled Florida. Although it is only 6,045 acres, the long south side of the pa

Blue Spring State Park :: Orange City, FL

Blue Spring is the largest upwelling of pure, cold water on the St. Johns River. The bubble of water is clear as glass and a constant 72 to 73 degrees. After the first shock of cold, your body quickly becomes accustomed to the temperature and swimmer

Hontoon Island State Park :: Deland, FL

The campground is in a hammock area so it is shaded (and buggy). This beautiful, shaded campground surrounded by oaks, tall pines, magnolias, and palm trees is on an island in the St. Johns River and only accessible by private boat or the park ferry,

Torreya State Park :: Bristol, FL

This park is named after a small conifer, the endangered Florida torreya tree that is found only within this 13,000-acre park and on the east bank of the Apalachicola River. Torreya is one of Florida’s most scenic but under-visited parks. It is easy

Three Rivers State Park :: Sneads, FL

Three Rivers was established on 2.5 miles of Lake Seminole shoreline where Florida meets the southwest corner of Georgia. The lake and park are the result of the Jim Woodruff Dam, which creates a reservoir from waters of the south-flowing Chattahooch

Florida Caverns State Park :: Marianna, FL

This lovely state park offers visitors views of some of the most magnificent of the dry caves and caverns of Florida. Forty-five-minute tours give visitors views of stalactites, stalagmites, draperies, flowstone, soda straws, columns, and rim-stone p

Falling Waters State Park :: Chipley, FL

This fine 171-acre park is built around Florida’s highest waterfall. Dropping 73 feet, water from a small stream falls into a 100-foot-deep, 20-foot-wide cylindrical pit and disappears into the aquifer. Large trees and fern-covered sinks line Sink Ho

St. Andrews State Park/State Recreation Area :: Panama City, FL

St. Andrews occupies most of the tip of a peninsula south of Panama City, an area popularly called America’s “Redneck Riviera,” because its beaches and multiple touristy attractions are easily available to residents not only of Florida, but Georgia a

Grayton Beach State Park :: Walton County, FL

When snow falls and wind blows, many a northerner dreams of a sunny Florida white-sand beach with a gentle breeze and a magnificent sunset. Grayton Beach is the place they are dreaming about even if they do not know its name. At only 2,200 acres, Gra

Topsail Hill Preserve State Park/Gregory E. Moore RV Resort :: Santa Rosa Beach, FL

As this guide is written, Topsail is upgrading many of its facilities including camping and accessibility features within the 1,643-acre park. When completed—and consistent with the recovery of Florida’s economy—this should be a wonderful place to pi

Fred Gannon Rocky Bayou State Park :: Niceville, FL

Rocky Bayou Aquatic Preserve is this park’s main feature. The trailing arm of Choctawhatchee Bay, the Preserve is excellent for both freshwater and saltwater fishing, boating, and kayaking or canoeing. The park says its double-lane boat ramp is “one

Henderson Beach State Park :: Destin, FL

lorida is known for nicely situated and well-maintained state parks, and this is one of the best. Though only 208 acres, Henderson Beach occupies more than 1 mile of shoreline. Its white-sand beaches are scenic and ideal for sunbathing and swimming,

Blackwater River State Park :: Milton, FL

Blackwater River is only 590 acres, but it encompasses a fine section of the Blackwater River. The river itself has a pure sand bottom, and its banks and the many sandbars are excellent for swimming, tubing, splashing, fishing, and generally having a

Big Lagoon State Park :: Pensacola, FL

Big Lagoon is a coastal park that occupies the north shore of the Intracoastal Waterway, here named “Big Lagoon.” Like so many others along Florida’s coastline, the park caters to visitors who are interested in recreation in and on the water. Hen

Manatee Springs State Park :: Chiefland, FL

The heart of this park is a crystal-clear first-magnitude spring that maintains a steady 72 degrees year-round. On a hot Florida day, a swim begins by checking for manatees and then a quick plunge into water so cold you will expect ice cubes to float

Ochlockonee River State Park :: Sopchoppy, FL

It is sufficiently distant from the state capital—40 miles—to be too far for an easy overnight and yet close enough to be accessible for the weekend. Ochlockonee’s 392 acres offer groomed hiking trails, access to the rivers for canoes and kayaks, a l

Dr. Julian G. Bruce St. George Island State Park :: Bristol, FL

This long, narrow barrier island features 9 miles of undeveloped beaches and dunes, and it is all open to the public. The 1,962-acre St. George Island park is rare for Florida where developers, the wealthy, and their political hires have too often bu

T. H. Stone Memorial St. Joseph Peninsula State Park :: Port Saint Joe, FL

This is one of the finest parks in America. Its 9 miles of white sugar sand backed by high dunes and strung along a thin peninsula are unbeatable. In summer, days become so hot your tent may take time to cool before you are able to stretch out for sl

Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park :: White Springs, FL

Located on the north bank of the Suwannee River, the park is named after, and the museum or exposition center honors, composer Stephen Foster, who wrote “Old Folks at Home.” Although its lyrics are reminiscent of the pre–Civil War era, it is still th

Suwannee River State Park :: Live Oak, FL

Here you’ll find high scenic bluffs and sandy ridges, second-growth scrub oak and white sandbars in the glowing golden-brown flow of water. Here one still finds earthworks built during the Civil War to guard against the union navy, which did steam up

Lafayette Blue Springs State Park :: Mayo, FL

The Suwannee is a river of great contrasts. Upstream, flowing out of the Okefenokee Swamp, the golden flow rushes between white sand and limestone bluffs topped with pine and hardwood forests. Downstream, the river gradually widens as it makes its wa

Lower Wekiva River Preserve State Park :: Sanford, FL

Lower Wekiva is an unusual place with no continual on-site attendant, two entrances and little in the way of amenities. Camping is restricted to the northern entrance for equestrians and their steeds. Trails wind through the preserve. From the north,

Wekiwa Springs State Park :: Orlando, FL

This park surrounds the springs and headwaters of the Wekiva River, and it is quite a beautiful place and feels more remote than it actually is. Florida looked much like this just prior to the arrival of European and African settlers. This is one of

Lake Kissimmee State Park :: Lake Wales, FL

At Lake Kissimmee, you can camp or picnic under shady oaks and pines, picnic in the breeze beside a lake, stare into the embers of the fire in your fire ring, and look into the stars at night. You can hike miles of backcountry trails, keep lists or t

Lake Louisa State Park :: Orlando, FL

Because this park is so close to Orlando and the immense population growth taking place in the cross-Florida axis (Tampa Bay–Orlando–Cape Canaveral), its 4,500 acres seem particularly delightful. Numerous lakes ranging in size from the large Lake Lou

Lake Griffin State Park :: Leesburg, FL

Although the park does not abut the lake for which it is named, it does connect to it with a boat ramp and lake access via a canal to the Dead River. Established around the river, this park has plenty of boating, fishing, and canoeing. Picnicking

Hillsborough River State Park :: Zephyrhills, FL

Fort Foster at Hillsborough River is a replica of the 1837 fort built during the Second Seminole War. Park rangers and historical reenactors give tours and demonstrations to help audiences understand an era and way of life. Canoeing and kayaking are

Anclote Key Preserve State Park :: Tarpon Springs, FL

Florida has made an effort to draw everyone who is an outdoor enthusiast into its state park system and Anclote Key Preserve, miles out in the Gulf, is a good example. You can get there only by private boat; there is no ferry or shuttle. The preserve

Alafia River State Park :: Tampa, FL

This park is known for its challenging off-road bicycling trails. Formerly, this 6,312-acre park was mined for phosphate and that means radical changes in elevation. There are 20 miles of trails available to hikers and horseback riders. Trails wi

Little Manatee River State Park :: Tampa, FL

The Little Manatee River is part of the unfortunately named Cockroach Bay Aquatic Preserve. If you come to this 2,416-acre park, plan to paddle the river, and if fishing is your thing, toss in a line for bluegill and catfish. Canoe rentals are availa

Lake Manatee State Park :: Bradenton, FL

This wonderful 549-acre park extends along 3 miles of the south shore of the 2,400-acre Lake Manatee. The lake is a reservoir that supplies water for southwest Florida. Almost by accident, it provides great fishing, from the park’s dock or from a boa

Myakka River State Park :: Sarasota, FL

Florida’s Loxahatchee and Wekiva Rivers have national “Wild & Scenic” status, but the Myakka was so designated by the state legislature in 1985 (www .myakkariver .org). The river flows through a natural setting replete with Spanish moss and alligator

Oscar Scherer State Park :: Sarasota, FL

Finding the campground: Take exit 200 off I-75 south of Sarasota and drive southwest on CR 681. After 3 miles, turn right (north) onto US 41/Tamiami Trail Scenic Highway. The park entrance is about 2 miles north on the right (west) side of the road.

Cayo Costa State Park :: Cape Coral, FL

This subtropical barrier island lies in the Gulf of Mexico, just off the west coast of south Florida. Its 9 miles of beach are sparkling white and it is never thronged with crowds, even on holidays—almost certainly because you can only reach the isla

Highlands Hammock State Park :: Sebring, FL

Once considered for a national park but deemed too small, this park now measures more than 9,000 acres because Florida citizens have encouraged its growth. Consequently, it has something in the way of recreation for everyone and is beautiful as well.

Collier-Seminole State Park :: Naples, FL

This park has a wealth of tropical plants, and the weather varies from warm in the winter to hot in the summer. The best time for a visit, of course, is whenever you can get a reservation, but a weekend or a week in the winter will probably be a more

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park :: Key Largo, FL

John Pennekamp covers 70 nautical miles and was the first underwater park in the U.S. It was purchased to protect one of only two living coral reefs in the continental U.S. (the other is located 105 miles south of the Texas coastline in the Gulf of M