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Exploring Dade City
Established west of the vast Green Swamp, Dade City has deep roots in the timber and citrus industries. It provides an easy gateway to hikes within the Green Swamp and Withlacoochee State Forest.
The Green Swamp is not a swamp like the Everglades but a mosaic of pine flatwoods and cypress strands where the Withlacoochee, Hillsborough, Peace, and Ocklawaha Rivers arise.
The Western Corridor of the Florida Trail follows the east side of the Withlacoochee River to the east of town, with access points at River Rd, CR 471, and Lacoochee.
Just a few miles north of downtown is the southern terminus of the Withlacoochee State Trail, one of Florida’s oldest rail trails.
It spans 48 miles north through four counties to reach the riverside community of Dunnellon.
Home to the Pioneer Florida Museum, Dade City has a robust Old Florida downtown with long-standing restaurants and cafes like Lunch on Limoges and Kokopelli.
Lodgings include an expansive campground at Withlacoochee River Park, a popular destination for day hiking, as well as camping at Colt Creek State Park and in Withlacoochee State Forest in Ridge Manor.
There are also chain hotels south of downtown along US 301.
Featured Trails and Parks near Dade City
We launched a new full-color edition of 50 Hikes in Central Florida at the National Trails Festival in Deland the first weekend of October. Take a peek inside.