Haunting cypress swamps. A shimmer of blue against white as the Suwannee River slips beneath limestone cliffs. Rolling sandhills where fox squirrels peer from ancient live oaks.
That’s part of what you’ll find while hiking the Florida Trail through North Florida: more wild places than are seen throughout the rest of the Florida peninsula.
As it makes its curve west of the Jacksonville metro, the Florida Trail leads hikers through its very first continuous section of footpath.
This piece tied together the Ocala and Suwannee sections, both established in the late 1960s. Linking state parks, national forests, state forests, and greenways, it showcases the region’s public lands.
NEARBY CITIES: Ocala, Gainesville, Palatka, Jacksonville, Lake City
TRAIL TOWNS: Salt Springs, Palatka, Keystone Heights, Lake Butler, Lake City, White Springs, Live Oak, Dowling Park
Each of the below sections correspond to a smaller segment of the Florida Trail in this region, from south to northwest (Ocala National Forest to Dowling Park).
Florida Trail, Ocala
72.3 miles. The birthplace of the Florida Trail and home of the world’s largest sand pine scrub forest, the Ocala section is Florida’s top backpacking destination
Florida Trail, Northeast Florida
123 miles. Showcasing the best public lands, the Florida Trail walks you into the past between Palatka and Osceola National Forest, through rural farms and timber lands.
Florida Trail, Suwannee
74.8 miles. Along the Suwannee River, the Florida Trail clings to bluffs and scrambles through ravines for physical challenges and great scenery