With the Cross Florida Greenway hugging its northern boundary, and the famed Santos Trails for mountain bikers, Belleview is a destination for outdoor recreation
The seat of Sumter County, Bushnell is surrounded by agricultural lands and conservation lands along the basins of the Withlacoochee River and the Green Swamp.
At the northernmost extent of the Lake Wales Ridge, the rolling hills of Clermont touch the edge of the Green Swamp. It’s at this intersection you’ll find interesting places to hike and cycle in state parks and other natural lands.
The Second Seminole War began amid the longleaf pines at Dade Battlefield Historic State Park, where on December 25, 1835, Major Francis Dade left Fort Brooke – located in what would become Tampa -and led his troops north on the military road to Fort King, Ocala.
Established as a botanical preserve for native plants, Flat Island Preserve is on an island in the Okahumpa Marsh ringed with a loop trail more than 3 miles long
Lake Griffin is one of two massive lakes that flank the city of Leesburg, and it’s well known for its alligator population. That doesn’t deter canoeists, who depart from the docks at Lake Griffin State Park.
A nice place to stay for outdoor recreation, Mount Dora spills down a rolling hill to the edge of Lake Dora, with a very walkable historic downtown district.
Ocala is surrounded by more than 200 miles of hiking trails, including two large segments of the Florida Trail along the Cross Florida Greenway and through the Ocala National Forest.
At Ocklawaha Prairie, east of Lake Weir and south of Marshall Swamp, trails lead to some of the best birding in the region from levees along the extensive marshes of the river basin.
At PEAR Park south of Leesburg, enjoy a deeply shaded walk on a nature trail that follows the trickle that is now the Palatlakaha River flowing towards Lake Harris.