It was in the Ocala National Forest that the Florida Trail got its start in 1966, and today it remains one of the favored destinations for backpackers, a 72-mile stretch of immersion in pine forests and the Big Scrub. There are many shorter trails to explore, too.
The Osceola National Forest is the smallest of the three, with nature trails and a 20-mile segment of the Florida Trail. Some of the most remote wilderness hiking in Florida is in the Apalachicola National Forest.
- Ocala National Forest - Established in 1908 as the first National Forest east of the Mississippi, the Ocala National Forest is a mecca for hikers as the birthplace of the Florida Trail.
- Osceola National Forest - The smallest of Florida's national forests, the Osceola National Forest carries the weight of history hidden in its dense stands of longleaf pine.