Second Place, Outdoor Book. Florida Outdoor Writers Association, 2018.
Second Place, Book. Society of American Travel Writers Eastern Chapter Writing Awards, 2018.
Six months of research went into revisiting the parks and trails of Central Florida to write our third edition of 50 Hikes in Central Florida. What did we find? A lot of new places to take a hike.
In fact, we did a major overhaul to this old standard to give you even more ways to get outdoors.
We redid all of the hikes we kept from the prior edition, to ensure accurate information and to grab updated photos and GPS tracks for the maps in the book.
There are 12 new and different chapters since the last edition, pointing you to our new discoveries and new favorites in our home turf – both of us grew up in Central Florida.
We’ve added in a few hikes on the Florida Trail that we’re especially fond of. We’ve also given you a heads-up on the future rerouting of the Florida Trail through some of our favorite public lands around Orlando.
To help you get more out of a trip to take a hike, we added a new section to each chapter called Other Hiking Options.
These offer you an additional 2-5 other hikes at or near the trail that we describe in detail, either on the same piece of public land or on another one very close by.
Between the 50 chapters and the other options we provide, you have more than 150 public lands to visit and over 200 possible hikes just within the pages of this guidebook.
As travel writers, we know you may be planning a vacation in Florida’s great outdoors. So at the end of each chapter is a new Camping and Lodging section, a short list of campgrounds and hotels you’ll find nearby.
These are not comprehensive lists, and none of these listings were paid for in any way. They come from our personal knowledge of the region.
This time, our publisher decided to put elevation profiles on the maps. Feel free to laugh at the ten foot elevation changes, but keep in mind that even small differences in elevation mean big changes in habitats in Florida.
Now, the most exciting part. The book is now in full color, including the maps, and it’s a beauty! 347 pages, 51 maps.
Table of Contents
1. Rainbow Springs State Park, Dunnellon
2. Holly Hammock Hiking Trail, Ross Prairie State Forest
3. Silver Springs State Park, Silver Springs
4. Trout Lake Nature Center, Eustis
5. Hidden Waters Preserve, Eustis
6. Flat Island Preserve, Leesburg
7. Circle B Bar Reserve, Lakeland
8. Lakeland Highlands Scrub, Lakeland
9. Johnson Pond Trail, Withlacoochee State Forest
10. Citrus Trail, Withlacoochee State Forest
11. Fort Cooper State Park, Inverness
12. Chinsegut WEA, Brooksville
13. Croom River Trail Loop, Withlacoochee State Forest
14. Withlacoochee River Park, Dade City
15. Werner-Boyce Salt Springs State Park, Port Richey
16. James E Grey Preserve, New Port Richey
ST JOHNS RIVER
17. De Leon Springs State Park, De Leon Springs
18. St. Francis Hiking Trail Ocala National Forest
19. Black Bear Wilderness Area, Sanford
20. Spring Hammock Preserve, Winter Springs
21. Orlando Wetlands Park, Christmas
22. Lake Proctor Wilderness Area, Geneva
23. Geneva Wilderness Area, Geneva
24. Hal Scott Regional Preserve, Bithlo
25. Prairie Lakes Loop, Kenansville
26. Split Oak Forest WEA, Narcoosee
27. Tibet-Butler Preserve, Windermere
28. Disney Wilderness Preserve, Poinciana
LAKE WALES RIDGE
29. Crooked River Preserve, Clermont
30. Catfish Creek Preserve State Park, Haines City
31. Lake Kissimmee State Park, Lake Wales
32. Tiger Creek Preserve, Babson Park
33. Crooked Lake Prairie, Frostproof
34. Hillsborough River State Park
35. Lettuce Lake Park, Tampa
36. Brooker Creek Preserve, Tarpon Springs
37. John C. Chesnut Sr. Park, Oldsmar
38. Honeymoon Island State Park, Dunedin
39. Eagle Lake Park, Largo
40. Weedon Island Preserve, St. Petersburg
41. Alafia Scrub Preserve, Riverview
42. Little Manatee River Trail, Little Manatee River State Park
43. Tiger Bay State Forest, Daytona Beach
44. Ponce Preserve, Ponce Inlet
45. Doris Leeper Spruce Creek Preserve, New Smyrna Beach
46. Lyonia Preserve, Deltona
47. Merritt Island NWR, Titusville
48. Enchanted Forest Sanctuary, Titusville
49. Maritime Hammock Sanctuary, Melbourne Beach
50. Turkey Creek Sanctuary, Palm Bay