With nearly 40,000 acres along the Florida-Georgia border, John M. Bethea State Forest provides an important corridor for wildlife migrating between the Okefenokee Swamp and Osceola National Forest.
By December 15, all public comments are due on the new Big Cypress Backcountry Access Plan. Here’s our analysis of it and our opinions, along with a discussion of backcountry and wilderness in Florida.
Within sight of the massive Vehicle Assembly Building at Kennedy Space Center, this ride to the Indian River Lagoon offers some of the best birding you’ll do by bike.
At Scottsmoor Flatwoods Sanctuary, the trails are open to hikers, cyclists, and equestrians. But as we learned, off-road biking here can be more than a little challenging.
A historic agricultural area transformed into a haven for birders, Celery Fields offers easy walking, running, and biking on paved and unpaved trails built around restored wetlands.
Directly across Tampa Bay from St. Petersburg, two loop trails in Cockroach Bay Nature Preserve navigate restored wetlands and a lookout point known as Mount Cockroach.
In the Osceola National Forest, this short loop along the Florida Trail adjacent to Olustee Battlefield is one of the easiest places in the state to see red-cockaded woodpeckers.
In the northwest corner of Osceola National Forest, this 11.4 mile segment of the Florida Trail offers strong contrasts between pine flatwoods and bogs.
Protecting uplands immediately east of Tampa Bay, Golden Aster Scrub Nature Preserve immerses hikers within oak scrub habitat along a sandy loop trail.
Putting together several loops providing perspectives on pine flatwoods, prairie, swamp, and a showy pond, Hidden Pond Preserve offers a very enjoyable 1.9 mile hike.
Providing a peek into an ecologically important area along the eastern edge of Bethea State Forest, the 2.5 mile Maple Set Trail showcases the beauty of the St. Marys River basin.
The smallest of Florida’s national forests, the Osceola National Forest carries the weight of history hidden in its dense stands of longleaf pine.