Take a Walk!
According to author and Florida hiker Sandra Friend, there are so many places to take in Florida’s natural beauty on foot that you could spend a lifetime taking one step in front of the other and never grow tired. Having written over 2500 pages on the subject and completed over 600 hikes, Friend is a trustworthy source on where to set foot in the Sunshine state.
Friend’s website, www.floridahikes.com contains a wealth of information and personal touches as to where the best places are to stroll along a natural or man-made path. She has spent a lot of time doing her enjoyable research and has posted her findings for all to see with pictures and summaries and recommendations. For more detailed information, please visit Friend’s website. For now, here are some points of interest:
Ocala National Forest – With over 300,000-acres of land, the Ocala National Forest is the first national forest east of the Mississippi River to be designated as such. It is home to an endless amount of foliage and trees as well as one of the most scenic portions of the Florida National Scenic Trail. Ocala is host to a 75-mile stretch of the trail containing swamps and ponds, pine forests and naturally occurring hills.
Along the Park Road at Everglades National Park – With 45 miles to choose from, even the most finicky hiker will find a perfect spot to explore. Make sure to pack plenty of water and snacks to keep your energy and hydration at safe levels, especially if you are hiking in the summer. The visitor center here contains a lot of useful documentation in the form of books and maps to point out and describe the numerous plant life, tree life and wild life in the park.
Disney Wilderness Preserve Loop and Interpretive Trails – Can we talk about Florida without mentioning its most famous resident? Mickey Mouse invites you to come and explore the mitigation project began by Disney in 1992. The area itself is not managed by Disney, but maintained by the Nature Conservancy which is a caretaker of wetlands. There are over three miles of hiking and trails spanning nearly 700 acres on the 12,000-acre property. Those areas not for public use are part of research to maintain and care for future areas like the Preserve Loop. Many visitors to the innovative Magic Kingdom and Epcott Center will enjoy spending a day of vacation watching birds and wildlife live simply in their natural habitats. When you have had enough of staying indoors trying keep warm this winter, look us up and come on down.
Maybe it's not time to consider moving to Florida yet but you might want to consider a small condo as a vacation home or an early retirement. You're going to love enjoying the outdoors YEAR ROUND here!