I had an email from a reader yesterday who said:
Hi Sandra! Two friends and I will be traveling to Florida in August. We have 3-4 days that we would like to spend doing some mild to medium hiking/backpacking somewhere between Orlando and Ft Lauderdale. Could you offer some suggestions of where to go in order to maximize such a short amount of time?
Figuring there are other folks who might like to know as well, here you go…
August is the worst month for backpacking in Florida. Our hiking season is flip-flopped from the rest of the country, so backpacking’s best in February. I would strongly recommend sticking to day hikes, and do them early. That said, some great spots you could hit – especially if you have friends with whom you can work out a shuttle – would be:
Florida Trail, Little Big Econ State Forest
…camp on site or at nearby Lake Mills Park in Chuluota
Near Palm Beach
Jonathan Dickinson State Park, East Loop
Jonathan Dickinson State Park, Kitching Creek Loop
…camp out at the park (they have nice cabins, too) or stay at the nearby Jupiter Waterfront Inn
All of these hikes are bound to be on the hot and buggy side … that’s how it is this time of year. Pack in lots of water and keep hydrated, electrolytes are a smart idea. Don’t forget the bug spray, hat, and sunscreen! Spray not just bare skin but your ankles and socks and shoes and pants below the knees to help ward away chiggers and ticks.
Have a great vacation!