Despite the urban mass in Orlando, Tampa, and St. Petersburg, there are many wild places to explore. Some are tiny patches inside city limits, others expansive preserves on the outskirts of “civilization.” Thousands of lakes, dozens of rivers, and the vast expanse of Tampa Bay provide shorelines for hiking and launching a paddling trip.
Amid mangrove swamps along an old pioneer route in Kings Park, the Pioneer Paddling Trail offers an intimate look at a forgotten wild corridor on Merritt Island.
Florida’s most unique arboretum features a circle of sycamores honoring the Apollo missions, all here thanks to an Apollo 14 project for the U.S. Forest Service to take tree seedings into orbit around the moon.
Spilling across the Atlantic Coastal Ridge, Ormond Memorial Gardens leads you into a contemplative world mere steps from a major highway