At the northernmost extent of the Lake Wales Ridge, the rolling hills of Clermont touch the edge of the Green Swamp. It’s at this intersection you’ll find interesting places to hike and cycle in state parks and other natural lands, with both backpacking opportunities and easy nature hikes to keep the kids happy.
Trails and Parks in Clermont
- Crooked River Preserve - On a 1.7-mile loop, Crooked River Preserve showcases a wide variety of habitats in a short hike on the northernmost extent of the Lake Wales Ridge in Clermont
- Disney Wilderness Preserve - Managed by The Nature Conservancy, the Disney Wilderness Preserve is a 12,000 acre showcase for habitat conservation amid growing suburban sprawl south of Orlando
- Ferndale Preserve - On Lake Apopka's western shore, Ferndale Preserve offers some of the finest panoramas of the largest lake in Central Florida - and serious elevation changes.
- Flat Island Preserve - Established as a botanical preserve for native plants, Flat Island Preserve is on an island in the Okahumpa Marsh ringed with a loop trail more than 3 miles long
- Lake Louisa Hiking Trail - Extending between the park entrance and the recreation area along Lake Louisa, the Lake Louisa Hiking Trail showcases the habitats found along and above the lake.
- Lake Louisa State Park - As longleaf pine reaches for the sky, the rolling hills of Lake Louisa State Park near Clermont return to their forested roots. This undulating landscape - part of the Lake Wales Ridge - was once managed as a ranch, with citrus trees and cattle replacing natural habitats.
- Oakland Nature Preserve - Protecting more than 128 acres along Lake Apopka, Oakland Nature Preserve offers an accessible boardwalk through marshes to the lake and uplands trails to explore.
- PEAR Environmental Park - At PEAR Park south of Leesburg, enjoy a deeply shaded walk on a nature trail that follows the trickle that is now the Palatlakaha River flowing towards Lake Harris.
- Reedy Creek Swamp - At the Osceola District Schools Environmental Study Center, trails along Reedy Creek Swamp showcase the beauty of the ancient cypress and floodplain forest.
- Sarah Maude Mason Nature Preserve - The 0.6-mile nature trail at Sarah Maude Mason Nature Preserve in Howey-in-the-Hills spends most of its time on a boardwalk over a floodplain forest along Little Lake Harris.
- Tibet-Butler Preserve - A wildlife haven within earshot of Walt Disney World, Tibet-Butler Preserve provides several miles of well-kept and gentle hiking trails for family fun.