One of the few saving graces of former phosphate mines is that they provide awesome air for mountain bikers in Florida, and Alafia River State Park is one of the rare places where you can launch on a Florida downhill.
In late winter, azaleas create ribbons of bright color beneath the live oak canopy across the grounds of Maclay Gardens, a series of formal gardens along the hillsides sweeping down to Lake Hall.
In the city once called Alligator, first home of the University of Florida and named for a great chief of the Seminoles, Alligator Lake has long been a gathering place. Established as a park in 2002, hiking and bicycling are now its primary focus.
The Apalachicola National Forest is the largest National Forest in Florida, sweeping around the southern edge of Tallahassee. It is noted for its botanical beauty.
At the edge of Boynton Beach, where historic farmlands have given way to subdivisions, Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge is a 145,000 acre buffer between suburbia and the Everglades
Paralleling the former Homestead Canal, the Bear Lake Trail takes you on a journey through tropical hammock and mangrove forests along a road scooped from the canal diggings.
At Big Shoals State Park, the Big Shoals Trail leads you to scenic perches high atop the river bluffs when you can watch Florida’s only Class III whitewater rapids
A 20.2-mile circuit on forest roads by bike provides a unique perspective on this 31,000-acre preserve along the St. Johns River floodplain in Christmas.
At Lovers Key State Park, head to the north end of the island to explore the Black Island Trail. Shared with mountain bikers, the trail system at Black Island consists of two separate loops linked by an unpaved service road.
A popular destination for sun worshipers, Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park is an easy getaway for most folks in the Miami area, with a long strand of beachfront complimenting trails along Biscayne Bay and a historic lighthouse at the point.