Introducing Florida Trail Hikes
First Place, Outdoor Book. Florida Outdoor Writers Association, 2019.
Discover the best of the Florida Trail with our new full color guidebook, Florida Trail Hikes.
After twenty years of exploring every nook and cranny of our statewide National Scenic Trail, we’ve selected 30 major destinations that put the “scenic” in Florida’s own National Scenic Trail.
“Feature packed with easy navigation. Well supported with quality photos and maps. Essential information without unnecessary fluff. Concise and complete, truly a hiker’s friend for exploring scenic Florida on foot,” say the judges.
In the pages of this 376-page guidebook, we provide step-by-step details and maps for 52 distinct hikes across Florida, and an additional nine overviews for backpackers to tackle section hiking the most beautiful portions of the Florida Trail. Each hike also includes multiple options to extend or shrink your mileage.
We’ve included most of the best day hiking loops along the Florida Trail, and made up a few loop options as we did our research. Yes, we’ve hiked every step that we include in this guide (and all the miles we didn’t, for that matter).
Chapters in this guidebook cover everything from a half mile accessible destination (Round Lake Park, Oviedo) to a 42-mile backpacking trip (Eglin East) that can be broken into three distinct day hikes. You’ll find a few wheelchair-friendly options, a handful of places where you can bike or hike, and some shorter loops good for families with small children.
Expect a variety of habitats and scenery ranging from rocky bluffs with river rapid views to tropical forests, dunes, colorful swamps, and vast prairies. Most of the hikes are dog-friendly. We point out when they aren’t, as well as when you might expect to get your feet wet.
Stay a While
If you’re like us, we like to combine road trips and hikes, so for each region covered by the guide, we include Base Camps. For each of these outdoor-friendly towns communities, we list campgrounds, hotels, motels, and B&Bs we’ve been to ourselves.
We also include suggestions for great restaurants and interesting things to do other than hike, from canoe outfitters to art galleries to local museums. Plan your next road trip with your non-hiking partner with ease!
Find your Way
Our book is organized to make it easy to find hikes by their locations in Florida. Seven regions – South Florida, Central Florida, Central Florida West, Ocala Northeast, Suwannee Big Bend, Eastern Panhandle, and Western Panhandle – mirror the layout of the trail in our Florida Trail app with Guthook Guides.
Within each region we provide an overview map that shows where the hikes in that particular region are located. Each hike then has its own map showing you how to follow the trail and what you’ll see along it. There are 179 color maps and illustrations throughout the book.
Of course, directions to the trail from the nearest major road are included, as well as GPS coordinates to the trailheads mentioned for the hike.
While a Table of Contents is provided, by using our index you can also find hikes by city, trail section, or region, as well as by topics of interest like backpacking, cabin camping, state parks, waterfalls, and historic sites.
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1. Big Cypress (overview + 2 hikes)
2. Okeechobee (overview + 2 hikes)
3. Ocean to Lake (overview + 2 hikes)
4. Micco Bluff
5. Kissimmee Prairie
6. Three Lakes / Prairie Lakes
7. Forever Florida / Bull Creek
9. Seminole Ranch
10. Chuluota Wilderness / Bronson State Forest
11. Round Lake Park
12. Seminole State Forest
13. Green Swamp West
15. Cypress Lakes Preserve
17. Cross Florida Greenway (overview + 3 hikes)
18. Ocala National Forest (overview + 3 hikes)
19. Rice Creek
20. Etoniah Creek State Forest
21. Gold Head Branch / Camp Blanding
22. Suwannee (overview + 5 hikes)
23. Aucilla (2 hikes)
24. St. Marks NWR (overview + 3 hikes)
25. Apalachicola National Forest (overview + 3 hikes)
26. Nokuse (3 segments)
27. Eglin East (3 segments)
28. Blackwater River State Forest (overview + 2 hikes)
29. UWF / SRIA Dunes Preserve
30. Fort Pickens
Here’s a look inside the book to give you a feel for the format. Click on the images to enlarge.