Part of the Florida State Forests Trailwalker program, the Bear-N-Oak Trail at Indian Lake State Forest is a 1.6-mile loop that provides a fascinating look at habitat diversity centered on Indian Lake, a major karst feature in the Ocala Limestone
At Carney Island, the breeze carries the scent of orange blossoms from some of the northernmost remaining commercial groves in Florida. Lake Weir is a palatable presence, even though the trails stick to the oak hammocks
East vs. West: which is best? I hiked both as a loop, so here’s a rundown of how the two corridors of the Florida Trail compare through Central Florida – and a little trail history.
Stretching 90 miles from the St. Johns River near Palatka to the Gulf of Mexico, the Marjorie Harris Carr Cross Florida Greenway is a mile-wide recreational corridor with hiking, biking, and equestrian trails as well as paddling and boating access.
2.7 miles. A walk in an urban forest, the Baseline section of the Florida Trail showcases restored sandhill habitat
In Central Florida, the Florida Trail presents two options: east or west around the Orlando metro. Forested public lands provide protection for much of the route.
43.8 miles. A prime destination for backpacking and day hiking south of Ocala, the Florida Trail follows the Cross Florida Greenway through woodlands between the Withlacoochee and Ocklawaha Rivers
3 miles. Marvel at towering trees in an ancient forest along this Florida Trail segment on the Cross Florida Greenway
72.3 miles. The birthplace of the Florida Trail and home of the world’s largest sand pine scrub forest, the Ocala section is Florida’s top backpacking destination
5.1 miles. Anchored by historic Santos and Silver Springs Shores, this narrow strip of the Cross Florida Greenway is a linear woodland in suburbia.
241 miles. With segments linking Withlacoochee State Forest and the Cross Florida Greenway, the Western Corridor provides access to wild spaces between Tampa and Ocala
In Florida, water is an ever-present part of our lives. A visit to the Rainbow River yesterday brought back memories of the past and concerns for the future of Florida’s waters.