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Between Madison and Marianna and across Wakulla County, explore a colorful collection of natural springs for swimming and snorkeling, all within an hour of Tallahassee.
Southeast Florida is home to two poisonous trees, the poisonwood and the manchineel. Learn how to recognize them so you don’t get too close, and find out how truly dangerous they are.
Devils Millhopper State Park debuted a new staircase into the sinkhole on June 5. It has 100 fewer steps and yet is less steep and broader than the prior version.
While hiking with your dog can be very satisfying, Florida hiking has its own special perils for your best buddy. Here’s a heads-up on what to look for and where it’s best to take a hike.
If you’ve seen the prominent Trans-Florida Central Railroad Trail over Interstate 95 at Fellsmere, you’ve probably wondered about it. Here’s what we found when we stopped for a ride.
Biking, paddling, and even a bit of hiking were in the plans as we explored Florida’s Adventure Coast – Hernando County – for activities we could enjoy during warm weather.
As Florida black bears become active in late winter and spring, the chances of a bear encounter go up significantly if you leave food unsecured outdoors – whether in your campsite or at home.
At the Koreshan Unity in Estero, Florida, a group of believers gathered in 1894 to build their paradise. It is now a National Historic Site and a Florida State Park. Walk the trails and streets of “New Jerusalem” to learn its story.
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.
Making pancakes at the Old Spanish Sugar Mill in De Leon Springs has been a tradition since 1961. But did you know the mill’s history? Settle in and flip a flapjack after learning about its roots.
As a thank you from the state of Florida, first responders (including lineworkers) who worked on support statewide during and after Hurricane Irma are eligible for a free annual Florida State Parks pass with proof of their service.
Looking for a compelling wildflower walk? One of Florida’s showiest parades of wildflowers clings to the bluffs at Florida Caverns State Park.
When you live in a tightly packed space, you need somewhere green as your go-to place nearby. These are our top picks for parks in Florida’s urban areas, chosen for their diversity of outdoor activities and/or their unique green spaces.
Where the Wakulla and St Marks Rivers meet, explore San Marcos de Apalache Historic State Park, a small piece of ground with a deep history under five flags.
Savannas Preserve State Park in Port St. Lucie is threatened by city plans to bulldoze a route right through conservation lands to build a Crosstown Bridge – and those plans haven’t changed, despite public input and lawsuits by environmental groups.
Florida IS different. Water defines our state, and our habitats range from dense tropical Caribbean forests to Appalachian-style bluffs and ravines. We’re a winter hiking state. Come explore with us.
The Woodpecker Trail at Big Shoals State Park provides a 7-mile wildlife-rich round trip ride, but watch out for those puddles! John plunges in anyway to get the story.
Tubing the Ichetucknee River means letting go and going with the flow, letting the waters carry you past beautiful springs and through ever-changing habitats. Here’s how.
It’s August. It’s Florida. Where do you go to cool off? The springs of the Suwannee River Valley. No matter the size, these natural swimming holes are a delight.
John takes a trip back in time with Florida Keys historian Brad Bertelli to discover the layers of history found on Indian Key, once the county seat of Dade County
Although John is a native Floridian, our research trip to South Florida became an opportunity for him to see many natural “firsts” in Florida that most people have on their life lists.
Cruising on the Spirit of Pennekamp is how landlubbers – and snorklers uncomfortable with ocean swells – get to experience the living coral reefs of the Florida Keys
Exploring Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park for a chapter of a new book we’re writing, a pair of park rangers named Steve guide us to the park’s beauty spots
On a guided swamp walk into the Fakahatchee Strand, I discover how difficult it is to spot a ghost orchid on your own, let alone keep your bearings in this tangled tropical wilderness
One of Florida’s most beautiful nature trails, Collier-Seminole State Park’s Royal Palm Hammock Trail can be a challenge, but worth it for both vistas and details
Not so busy thanks to their locations on the lower Suwannee River, this series of four major springs provide another 3-day weekend getaway option for active outdoor recreation in Florida
Between New Port Richey and Crystal River, explore a variety of springs along the Nature Coast that provide splashing fun in summer and manatee watching in winter.
Have a three-day weekend coming up and an urge to spend it with Florida’s springs? Here’s an itinerary for the Orlando area that’ll have you splashing in beautiful locations.
Visits to four springs along the lower Suwannee River enlightens us as to the changes occurring in Florida’s springs, even in rural areas.
Soaking in blue: reflections on the magical waters of Madison Blue Spring, an aquamarine pool along the upper Withlacoochee River, and its future as a spring.
On May 16, 2014, DEP’s Office of Greenways & Trails opened a new bridge and trail along the Cross Florida Greenway, the Dunnellon Trail, providing a crucial connector for the Florida Trail.
April is Florida Springs Protection Month, according to our state agencies. A walk through Rainbow Springs State Park confirms that as beautiful as they look, the springs are not in good health.
Walking the wilds of Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park means hours spent in blazing sun and a landscape that makes you feel inconsequential on this earth.
At San Felasco Hammock Preserve State Park, two hiking trail systems offer two different perspectives on karst landscapes and dense deciduous forests.
On the third day of the 2013 Panhandle Trace Hike, we followed the Juniper Creek section of the Florida Trail away from the wildfires that burned to the north, experiencing beauty and absurdity along the way.
A landmark along Interstate 75 near Ocala, the Land Bridge remains one of the more popular destinations for hikers, bikers, and equestrians on the Cross Florida Greenway.
Where are Florida’s best backpacking loop hikes for 3 or more days on the trail? Here are the top suggestions and their pros and cons.
Natural lands in Florida with known Florida scrub-jay families or pairs that you might glimpse along the trails as you’re hiking.
Have you ever matched a book to an outdoor adventure? Well, now’s the time to try it out. A special focus on the outdoors is part of this year’s summer reading program “Just Read, Families!” from the Florida Department of Education. Some of the books on their list with themes that fit both Florida and …
Details on how to obtain passes and permits for Florida’s public lands, including Florida State Parks, State Forests, Wildlife Management Areas, National Federal Lands, and Eglin Air Force Base.
With 39 miles in four loops, the Myakka Hiking Trail at Myakka River State Park in Sarasota is one of the state’s finest destinations for a weekend or long weekend holiday hike. I frequently get asked about places backpackers can go during hunting season – deer season starts very soon throughout Central Florida – and …
A discussion that came up on the forum recently – where are the most rugged hikes in Florida? – fits well with the cool weather we now have. The term “rugged” is subjective, of course, based on your own hiking expertise: someone who hikes regularly in the Rockies isn’t going to find our hilly hikes …
It’s one of the easiest trails to find along US 19 in Florida – right across from the Crystal River Mall. Churchhouse Hammock is part of Crystal River Preserve State Park.
Alligators are in abundance along the La Chua Trail at Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that we saw some of them mating.
For a breezy place to camp and trails to explore, head on up to the “Forgotten Coast” and track down Ochlockonee River State Park outside of Sopchoppy.
Ready for some nostalgia? Here’s a peek at what Rainbow Springs used to be like back in the 1960s, courtesy of Linda Friend. And yes, that’s Sandy in the photos.
A wander along Lake Wauberg to the symphony of Archie Carr’s favorite frogs brought memories flooding back of gentler times.
It’s an easy walk out to the osprey nesting grounds on Honeymoon Island, and an unforgettable experience.
That magical moment when you climb to the top of the observation tower on the rim of Paynes Prairie and see the wild horses on the prairie for the first time: priceless.
The tower at Big Lagoon State Park offers a sweeping view of the park, the lagoon, the Gulf of Mexico, parts of Gulf Islands National Seashore, Perdido Key, and the surrounding shorelines.
At Tarkiln Bayou State Park, the showy blooms of pitcher plants are on parade each spring. The boggy Perdido Pitcher Plant Prairie is ground zero for these beauties.
A walk-through of the Florida Trail at Mike Roess Gold Head Branch State Park, one of the more beautiful short hikes you can do on the Florida Trail.
Cypress knees can grow much taller than you think. I was able to measure this particular one at Peacock Springs State Park by standing nose to nose with it.
On Tuesday evening after work, I took a trek up to Keystone Heights to meet up with my buddy Mike DeWitt, whose sole purpose in life these days is to hike the Florida Trail, absorb the essence of Florida, and blend it all into a blog and features for the Tampa Tribune. I’m envious of …
Our very first exploration on the hiking trails of Marathon lead us to thatch palm hammocks: the Curry Hammock Nature Trail at Curry Hammock State Park, and the trails of Crane Point Hammock, including the beautiful Palm Hammock Trail.
I spent a weekend seeking out Florida’s most uncommon and unusual flora – pitcher plants – in their stronghold of the Western Panhandle. Here’s what I found.