Sanford

Established in the 1870s, Sanford is the county seat of Seminole County and an excellent gateway to outdoor recreation in natural lands on both sides of the St. Johns River. Just 25 miles north of downtown Orlando, this historic community incorporates green spaces and a lengthy Riverwalk along Lake Monroe.

Nearby: Apopka, Deland, Deltona, Geneva, Mount Dora, New Smyrna Beach, Orlando, Osteen, Oviedo, Titusville

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Trails and Parks in Sanford

  • Bear Creek Nature Trail Bear Creek Nature Trail - A patch of wild in a sea of suburbia, Bear Creek provides nearly a mile's worth of exploration atop sandy bluffs in a shady creekside hammock in Winter Springs.
  • Big Tree Park Big Tree Park - While the iconic Senator is no more, Big Tree Park continues to fascinate visitors with its enormous cypress trees, including Lady Liberty. The park provides access to the Cross Seminole Trail.
  • Black Bear Wilderness Black Bear Wilderness Area - North of Orlando, the Black Bear Wilderness Area offers some of the best wildlife watching in the region on its newly expanded 7.1-mile loop along the St. Johns River.
  • Along a narrow levee on the Black Bear Wilderness Loop Trail Black Bear Wilderness Loop Trail - Trot out your sense of adventure for an immersion into one of the wildest trails you'll find near Orlando, the new 7.1-mile loop in the Black Bear Wilderness Area in Sanford
  • Boardwalk Black Bear Wilderness Walk - A wildlife-rich hike through the floodplain of the St. Johns River, this 2-mile walk introduces you to the beauty of Black Bear Wilderness Area in Sanford.
  • Black Hammock Wilderness Black Hammock Wilderness Area - Black Hammock is a bit of Old Florida in Oviedo, with a trail showcasing a delightfully long boardwalk and a loop through scrub habitats above Lake Jesup
  • Manatees in Blue Spring Run Blue Spring State Park - Blue Spring State Park is well acclaimed for being the best place in Florida to see manatees in the wild, and we don't mean a dozen or two. Upwards of 200 crowd spring run each winter.
  • Blue Spring State Park Blue Spring State Park Boardwalk - If you’ve never seen manatees by the dozens, let alone over a hundred, there’s no better place to watch them than along the boardwalk at Blue Spring State Park in wintertime
  • Florida Trail, Mills Creek Woodlands Florida Trail, Mills Creek - As the Florida Trail follows the curve of the basin in which Mills Creek into a bowl of marshlands, enjoy old-growth trees and long boardwalks along this 2 mile hike
  • FT in Little Big Econ Florida Trail, Orlando - 146.9 miles. The traditional route for long distance hikers takes you through a slim ribbon of wilderness in Orlando’s eastern suburbs, following a paved rail-trail for one portion of the hike. In places like Bull Creek WMA, Tosohatchee, Seminole State Forest, and Bronson State Forest, you’ll be surprised at how wild this section is so close to a major city.
  • Seminole State Forest Florida Trail, Seminole State Forest - A hike on the Florida Trail in Seminole State Forest leads you through the kind of vast, open spaces that you'd never imagine existed so close to Orlando.
  • Oak hammock on paved trail Gemini Springs Addition - Protecting nearly 950 acres of lush oak hammocks, palm hammocks, and wetlands along the rim of Lake Monroe, Gemini Springs Addition has many options for hikers.
  • Spring run at Gemini Springs Gemini Springs Park - With up to 5 miles of gentle woodland paths and paved trails, playgrounds, picnic area, paddling trail and a dog park, Gemini Springs Park is a popular, well-connected getaway.
  • Green Springs Green Springs Park - At Green Springs Park, the shady trails are short but well-groomed, with options for all abilities. It's an excellent destination for families to enjoy, with connectivity to two major bike trails.
  • Leu Gardens Harry P. Leu Gardens - Fifty acres of lush formal gardens hug the shores of Lake Rowena in this urban display of botanical diversity in Orlando. The center of it all is the Leu House, purchased by Harry and Mary Jane Leu in 1936 – now a house museum – around which they developed their gardens.
  • Hickory Bluff Preserve Hickory Bluff Preserve - Just east of Osteen, Hickory Bluff Preserve showcases habitats along a 1.5-mile trail atop a bluff of notable size on a scenic stretch of the St. Johns River
  • Kelly Park Loop Kelly Park Loop Trail - Tubing down Rock Springs Run is why most folks show up at Kelly Park, but the Kelly Loop Trail is a nice dry way to see the waterway and wildlife.
  • Lake Harney Wilderness Lake Harney Wilderness Area - A 300-acre preserve at the outflow of Lake Harney, part of the St. Johns River, Lake Harney Wilderness has panoramic views and history to explore on 2+ miles of trails.
  • Lake Jesup Cameron Tract Lake Jesup Cameron Tract - On a mile loop in grassy prairies along Lake Jesup, enjoy some of the best palm-framed panoramas you'll find of this massive lake.
  • Lake Jesup East Tract Lake Jesup East Tract - The 2.1-mile loop at Lake Jesup Conservation Area leads to an observation tower that provides a sweeping view of one of the Orlando metro's larger lakes.
  • Lake Jesup Marl Bed Flats Lake Jesup Marl Bed Flats - Featuring one of the prettiest hammocks of ancient live oaks that you'll find along Lake Jesup, the Marl Bed Flats Tract of Lake Jesup Conservation Area is a delightful place for birding.
  • Lake Jesup Wilderness Lake Jesup Wilderness - A dazzling array of swamp sunflowers await each fall at Lake Jesup Wilderness, an expansive wetland area along the northern shore of Lake Jesup.
  • Lake Lotus Park Lake Lotus Park - At Lake Lotus Park in Altamonte Springs, the 1.7-mile trail system along Lake Lotus and the Little Wekiva River floodplain provides a great respite from surrounding suburbia.
  • Lake Monroe CA Kratzert Lake Monroe Conservation Area – Kratzert Tract - For a quick dip into the beauty of the St. Johns River floodplain, the 1.5-mile Kratzert Trail offers a walk beneath ancient oaks and cabbage palms of enormous size
  • Lower Wekiva Loop Lower Wekiva Loop - On an 8.8 mile hike through the southeastern portion of Seminole State Forest, the Lower Wekiva Loop treats you to shady hammocks and vast pine savannas.
  • Lower Wekiva Preserve Lower Wekiva River Preserve Sandhills Trail - As one of several “Sandhills Trails” throughout Florida, the Sandhills Nature Trail at Lower Wekiva River Preserve State Park lives up to its name. It’s a 2.2-mile loop through longleaf pine and wiregrass, an ecosystem that once covered the uplands of Central Florida. While the scrub along the Wekiva River basin attempts to seep into […]
  • Sandhills trail Lower Wekiva River Preserve State Park - Wet or dry: those are your choices for exploring Lower Wekiva River Preserve, either from a launch point at the old Katie's Landing along the Wekiva River, or from the southern trailhead along SR 46.
  • Lyonia Preserve Lyonia Preserve - Florida's best place to see a Florida scrub-jay up close is Lyonia Preserve, with 2.2 miles of loops through the highest ground in Volusia County.
  • Prairie Lake Oakhill and Prairie Lakes Trails - On the Western Addition trails at Kelly Park, explore scrub and oak hammock habitats where the remains of a spring-fed lake can be seen.
  • Rock Springs Run State Park Rock Springs Run Hiking Trail - With more than 12 miles of hiking through the heart of Florida black bear territory, Rock Springs Run State Reserve gets you into the wild outside Orlando.
  • Rock Springs Run State Reserve Rock Springs Run State Reserve - You have a better-than-average chance of spotting a Florida black bear at Rock Springs Run State Reserve, a vast wilderness area in the Wekiva River basin. This is the one park where we've seen the most evidence of our native Florida black bear.
  • Spring Hammock Preserve Spring Hammock Preserve - The home of some of Florida's most ancient cypresses, Spring Hammock Preserve in Winter Springs is one of the most delightful places to take a hike in the Orlando area.
  • Wekiwa Springs Hiking Trail Wekiwa Springs Hiking Trail - A 10.2-mile loop through landscapes both vast and intimate, the Wekiwa Springs Hiking Trail shows off the best of nature at Wekiwa Springs State Park.
  • Wekiwa Springs State Park Wekiwa Springs State Park - A massive wilderness area on the edge of the Orlando metro, Wekiwa Springs State Park is centered on a first-magnitude spring that bubbles through fissures to pour forth a river lined with jungle-like vegetation.
  • Wekiwa Wet to Dry Trail Wekiwa Springs Wet to Dry Trail - Starting at the outflow of Wekiwa Springs, the Wet to Dry Trail at Wekiwa Springs State Park offers an easy walk showcasing habitat changes by the waterway.
  • Wiregrass Prairie Yellow Loop Wiregrass Prairie Yellow Loop - A 3.3-mile loop that leads you into a panoramic landscape of pine savanna, the Yellow Loop at Wiregrass Prairie Preserve is the shortest and most easily accessed of the three trails at the preserve.

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