A dip into Florida’s only show cave at Florida Caverns State Park brings on an instant sense of cool. Opened in Marianna in the 1930s by the hardworking Civilian Conservation Corps, the tour route wraps through more than a dozen rooms with their own distinct and colorful landscapes.
One of the grandaddies of the Florida Park System, Highlands Hammock State Park protects the amazing beauty of an ancient oak and palm hammock dense with trees many centuries old. A network of short trails and a scenic one-way loop drive make it easy for all visitors to appreciate the natural grandeur of this park.
Water in motion: the Hillsborough rapids foam and froth over limestone boulders beneath grand cypress trees in Class II rapids. One of Florida’s oldest state parks, Hillsborough River State Park showcases this masterpiece of nature from an overlook and trail system built by the Civilian Conservation Corps.
One of Florida’s oldest state parks and notable for its Civilian Conservation Corps architecture, Mike Roess Gold Head Branch State Park offers a lesson in Florida topography.
Once a pioneer community along the Old Bellamy Road connecting St. Augustine and Tallahassee in 1826, O’Leno State Park protects one of North Florida’s weirder geologic wonders, a disappearing river.
Along a quiet shoreline of the Peace River, an interpretive visitor center, the remains of a Seminole War era fortress, and a memorial are important components of Paynes Creek Historic State Park, which memorializes the flashpoint of the Third Seminole War.
While the hiking loop at Ravine Gardens State Park is just 2.2 miles long, it’s a challenging and fun hike that clings to ravine slopes while showcasing bubbling springs and tunnels of azaleas, plus two picturesque suspension bridges.
Known best for its hillsides of blooming azaleas each February, Ravine Gardens State Park melds historic planted public gardens with the intriguing setting of a deep steephead ravine above the St. Johns River in Palatka.
Perched on a high bluff above the Apalachicola River, Torreya State Park is one of Florida’s original state parks developed by the Civilian Conservations Corps in the 1930s. It’s a destination that fulfills many interests, with botanical wonders, geologic anomolies, and historic sites including earthworks from the Civil War and the Gregory House, a plantation home from 1849.