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.
Home of the Ocala National Forest, the Cross Florida Greenway, Canaveral National Seashore, and dozens of state parks, this region is prime for planning your next outdoor vacation.
Exploring the Pioneer Paddling Trail
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.
The Moon Tree Garden
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.
Ormond Memorial Gardens
Spilling across the Atlantic Coastal Ridge, Ormond Memorial Gardens leads you into a contemplative world mere steps from a major highway
Sunflower Season at Cannon Farms
When a sea of sunflowers pops up along the Cross Florida Greenway, it’s an attention getter. Meet Cannon Farms, a family farm right along the Florida Trail in Dunnellon.