In the city once called Alligator, first home of the University of Florida and named for a great chief of the Seminoles, Alligator Lake has long been a gathering place. Established as a park in 2002, hiking and bicycling are now its primary focus.
Lake City sits just west and south of the Osceola National Forest, the smallest of Florida's national forests. There are conservation lands all along the Suwannee River in this region.
You hear them well before you can see them: a burble of water that rises to a roar as you approach the Big Shoals of the Suwannee River, Florida’s largest series of rapids complete with hydraulics and holes and Class III whitewater at certain times of year.
At Big Shoals State Park, the Big Shoals Trail leads you to scenic perches high atop the river bluffs when you can watch Florida’s only Class III whitewater rapids
A boardwalk trail at Falling Creek Falls north of Lake City leads you to overlooks on a waterfall with a 10-12′ drop in a picturesque setting
Starting at the westbound Sanderson rest area along I-10, the Fanny Bay Trail leads you through pine flatwoods into a cypress swamp with ancient cypresses
When North Florida and the Florida Panhandle experience severe flooding along major rivers and their tributaries, add in icy temperatures and it’s a recipe for hypothermia.
With Florida’s only Class III whitewater and the beauty of a Florida waterfall along a stretch of trail that is rugged but extremely scenic, this 2.8 mile section of the Florida Trail is a real winner
This roly-poly section of the Florida Trail is pretty rugged despite its short distance, since it involves a lot of scrambling in and out of ravines and eroded bluffs created when the Suwannee River seasonally overflows its banks.
In the Osceola National Forest, this short loop adjacent to Olustee Battlefield is one of the easiest places in the state to see red-cockaded woodpeckers
123 miles. The sweep of trail past Palatka towards Lake Butler involves some private timberlands and a string of public lands connected by short roadwalks, including Rice Creek Conservation Area, Etoniah State Forest, Gold Head Branch State Park, and Camp Blanding. The Palatka-Lake Butler Trail provides a connector, and the Osceola National Forest is at the northern end of this section.