We know, you’re scratching your head. Hills? Florida?
Believe it or not, we have them. Granted, we have the lowest high point in the United States, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have hills that will give your quads a workout.
In the Florida peninsula, most of the hilliest terrain is centered around ridges such as the Lake Wales Ridge, ancient landforms running down the very spine of Florida.
Through North Florida and the Florida Panhandle, bluffs and ridges and hills formed through erosion, where both small waterways and rivers made their way to the Gulf of Mexico.
Our Favorite Hilly Trails
The map above shows all locations where you’ll find noticeable elevation changes along trails. Of those, these particular trails are our favorites. Use them as your starting point for your next adventure.
39.1 miles. Savor a rugged hike through rolling hills and rocky terrain on one of Florida’s longest backpacking loops when you take on the Citrus Hiking Trail near Inverness
4.6 miles. Showcasing Florida’s only Class III whitewater and other spectacular geologic features, this is one of the most scenic segments of the Florida Trail along the Suwannee River.
41.8 miles. Simultaneously rugged and scenic: that’s the beauty of a backpacking trip across the Alaqua, Catface, and Titi sections of the Florida Trail in Eglin Air Force Base.
7.3 miles. Also known as the Juniper Creek Trail, the Florida Trail at Juniper Creek is a gorgeous place to explore, with its panorama at Red Rocks and botanical delights along and above the creek basin.
6.5 miles. With hilly terrain to traverse past fern-covered boulders and large sinkholes beneath the pines, this is a rugged and interesting segment of the Florida Trail on the Cross Florida Greenway.
4.7 miles. Roly-poly and rugged, the Florida Trail across Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park showcases the beauty of the Suwannee River from its bluffs.
3.2 miles. At the UWF/SRIA Dunes Preserve on Santa Rosa Island, the Florida Trail traverses a series of coastal habitats cradled by the sweeping dunes, providing a one-of-a-kind hike.
Try one of Florida’s toughest day hikes on for size: local legend has it this was the Garden of Eden, and from the lush forests and rare flora along this trek, they might be on to something
Scenery, rugged landscape, and botanical diversity are all important factors for a great Florida hike. You’ll find that on the 6.5-mile Little Manatee River Hiking Trail, one of our long-time favorites.
Edward Bok called it “The Jungle,” this deeply folded landscape between Tiger Creek and Patrick Creek south of Lake Wales now protected as Tiger Creek Preserve. Explore its fascinating ridges and valleys along this 6.3-mile linear hike between its trailheads, one of many hiking options possible.