It’s always a good idea to get outside for some fresh air, and when you can add hiking to the mix, well, that’s even better! Although Florida is better known for its theme parks, cities like Miami and Tampa, its gorgeous beaches, Everglades National Park, and Key West, it should also be known for its hiking trails. If you’re looking for outdoor adventure, check out the 18 best hikes in Florida. There’s so much beauty to discover and explore throughout the state!
Best Hikes in Florida
Some of the best hiking trails in Florida are also the most popular. From a hike through the Everglades to hikes in the wilderness, check out the best places to hike in Florida.
1. Black Bear Wilderness Area Trail
Black Bear Wilderness Area, 5301 Michigan Ave, Sanford, FL 32771, USA
Location: Sanford Mileage 7.3-mile loop trail Difficulty: Moderate FYI: Black Bear Wilderness Area offers a relatively long, yet flat trail that will take just over 2 hours to complete. The trail can be muddy in places so keep that in mind and choose appropriate footwear. The warmer months bring plenty of insects so take bug spray with you. Leashed dogs are allowed on this trail.
Black Bear Wilderness Area Trail
loops the area along and near St. Johns River. Not only is it scenic but you may encounter wildlife like alligators, snakes, and black bears.
2. Anhinga Trail
Everglades National Park, Florida, USA
Location: Homestead Mileage 0.8-mile loop trail Difficulty: Easy FYI: This easy Everglades National Park hike is also among the most popular. This paved trail is wheelchair and stroller-friendly. Dogs are not allowed on the trail so leave them at home! The park charges a fee of $30 per private vehicle, $25 per motorcycle, and $15 per person who enters the park on foot, by bike, or by watercraft. Anhinga Trail
is among the easiest and most popular hikes at Everglades National Park. It's also kid-friendly and they will love getting out into the park to view wildlife and the scenery along this boardwalk trail that leads over marshland.
3. Kolokee Loop Trail Location: Geneva Mileage 5-mile loop trail Difficulty: Easy FYI: This easy trail at Little Big Econ State Forest takes around 1.5 hours to complete. The best times of the year to visit this trail are November through April. The trail can get muddy and water shoes are recommended. This park experiences seasonal closures due to certain weather conditions like flooding. A $2 day pass must be purchased to enter the state forest. There is parking by the Barr Street Trailhead. Kolokee Loop Trail
is a kid-friendly hike the whole family can enjoy. Keep your eyes open for wildlife as there's an abundance of birds and mammals as well as bugs (bug spray is highly recommended!).
Best Short & Easy Hikes in Florida
Short on time? Prefer an easy trail over a strenuous one? Well, you’re in luck because the Sunshine State offers several amazing hikes that are short and sweet, and oh-so scenic! Here are some of the best short and easy hikes in Florida:
4. Black Rock Trail
Big Talbot Island State Park, Jacksonville, FL 32226, USA
Location: Jacksonville Mileage 1-mile out-and-back trail Difficulty: Easy FYI: This hike is located at Big Talbot Island State Park which charges $2 for fishing pier use, $3 per vehicle, and $4 for the boat launch use.
Not only is the
Black Rock Trail
short and easy but it just might be one of the most unique hikes you can take in the Sunshine State. Why? Well, not only will you see fascinating pieces of driftwood along the beach but tide pools among the black rocks. It's absolutely stunning and a great hike to look out for wildlife as well.
5. Gumbo Limbo Trail
Hillsborough River State Park, 15402 US-301, Thonotosassa, FL 33592, USA
Everglades National Park, Florida, USA
Location: Homestead Mileage 0.5-mile loop trail Difficulty: Easy FYI: This Everglades National Park hike will take less than 10 minutes to complete. The trail is paved and wheelchair and stroller-friendly. Dogs are not allowed.
For a super quick yet very scenic hike, the Gumbo Limbo Trail at
Everglades National Park
is super short and sweet. It's so short that you'll probably have plenty of time to check out a few other trails at this fascinating national park!
6. River Rapids Nature Trail
Hillsborough River State Park, 15402 US-301, Thonotosassa, FL 33592, USA
Location: Thonotosassa Mileage 1.3-mile loop trail Difficulty: Easy FYI: This hike is located within Hillsborough River State Park which charges a $6 fee per car to enter. Leashed dogs are allowed on the trail. Hillsborough River State Park
is a picturesque 3,000-acre oasis not too far away from the city of Tampa. Its River Rapids Nature Trail is family-friendly and kids are sure to love walking over the footbridges, the suspension bridge, and boardwalks along the way. This trail goes past the river rapids as well. Oh, and there's a playground here, too! Want to spend more time here? Reserve a spot at the campground. What a great getaway destination!
Hardest Hikes in Florida
For those who enjoy a challenging hike and/or backpacking, the following adventure trails are for you. With higher elevation gains, these longer treks are meant for those who are physically able to tackle them and come prepared with water, food, and other gear. Here are some of the hardest hikes in Florida:
7. Torreya Challenge
Torreya State Park, 2576 NW Torreya Park Rd, Bristol, FL 32321, USA
Location: Bristol Mileage 12.5-mile loop trail Difficulty: Hard FYI: This trail at Torreya State Park has an elevation gain of 1,653 feet and will take over 5 hours to complete. The fee to enter the park is $3 per vehicle and $2 per pedestrian or cyclist. Leashed dogs are allowed on the trail.
Up for a challenge and have about 6 hours to spare? Try the Torreya Challenge, a strenuous trail with some epic elevation gain at
Torreya State Park
. This is actually some of the toughest terrain you will encounter in the state of Florida so come prepared with a backpack, water, snacks, sunscreen, bug spray, a first aid kit, and anything else you may need. However, if you're able to take on a hike like this, you'll be rewarded with endless views of the dramatic cliffs and surrounding landscape.
8. Florida Trail: Nokuse and Pine Log to Eglin
Eglin Air Force Base, Eglin AFB, FL 32542, USA
Location: Defuniak Springs Mileage 19-mile point-to-point trail Difficulty: Hard FYI: This challenging trail is located at Eglin Air Force Base and has an elevation gain of 1,227 feet. It will take a minimum of 5.5 hours to complete. This is a popular trail for backpacking and dogs are allowed as long as they are on a leash.
This section of the larger 1,000-mile
will take you through Nokuse Plantation wetlands as well as the former Eglin Air Force Base. As this is a lengthy hike, you may want to consider spending the night at one of the remote campsites along the way.
9. Citrus Tract Loop B
Withlacoochee State Forest, 15003 N Broad St, Brooksville, FL 34601, USA
Location: Inverness Mileage 15.6-mile loop trail Difficulty: Hard FYI: This difficult trail in the Withlacoochee State Forest has an overall elevation gain of 961 feet and will take at least 5.5 hours. The terrain is rather rough and the trail isn't well-marked, so make sure to download the trail map from AllTrails+ before heading out.
Known for its series of caves,
Withlacoochee State Forest
is also home to a pine forest so there's shade along the Citrus Tract Loop B trail. The trail is well-maintained but there are no facilities so make sure to carry plenty of water with you. Camping along this trail is also an option if you'd prefer to do the trek over a couple of days.
Best Waterfront Hikes in Florida
Florida is known for its coastal landscape and beaches, so we, of course, had to include a few waterfront hikes on this list! If you’re like me and love being by the water, here are some of the best waterfront hikes in Florida:
10. Black Island Trail
Lovers Key State Park, 8700 Estero Blvd, Fort Myers Beach, FL 33931, USA
Location: Fort Myers Beach Mileage 2.6-mile loop trail Difficulty: Easy FYI: To access this trail, Lovers Key State Park charges a fee of $8 per vehicle, $4 per single occupant vehicle/motorcycle, and $2 per pedestrian or cyclist. The trail is mainly flat and will take less than an hour to complete.
Known for its pristine beaches and mangroves,
Lovers Key State Park
provides an exciting playground for scenery and outdoor adventure. Black Island Trail meanders along the park's canals and there are interpretive signs along the way if you wish to learn about some of the flora and fauna of the area.
11. Robinson's Preserve Full Trail System
Robinson Preserve, 1704 99th St NW, Bradenton, FL 34209, USA
Location: Cortez Mileage 7.5-mile loop trail Difficulty: Easy FYI: The best time of year to do this hike at Robinson Preserve is between October and May. Leashed dogs are allowed so feel free to bring your four-legged bestie along. The trail is partially paved for 2.5 miles so it's wheelchair and stroller friendly up to a point. The parking lot off 99th Street Northwest has 4 accessible parking spots. This route also has resting benches along the way. Robinson Nature Preserve
is a popular spot in the Bradenton area for hiking, birding, fishing, and paddling. Hikers love the series of trails offered at this preserve as they're absolutely scenic with water views along the way.
12. Perdido Bayou Trail
Tarkiln Bayou Preserve State Park, 2401 Bauer Rd, Pensacola, FL 32506, USA
Location: Pensacola Mileage 5.9-mile loop trail Difficulty: Easy FYI: This beautiful trail at Tarkiln Bayou Preserve State Park allows dogs on leashes. There is a fee of $3 per vehicle and $2 per pedestrian and cyclist to enter the park. Tarkiln Bayou Preserve State Park
is a 4,000-acre preserve with a boardwalk trail that leads through the Perdido Bayou. Home to 100 rare and endangered animal and plant species, including the carnivorous white-topped pitcher plant, this park is truly one-of-a-kind!
Best Winter Hikes in Florida
While the weather is mostly good year-round in Florida (it is the Sunshine State, after all), the best time for hiking here during the year is probably winter. Post-hurricane season and once the high heat and humidity are gone, winter provides average daytime temperatures of 62°F to 77°F depending on what part of the state you’re in. I think those are perfect temperatures for a long winter hike!
13. Shark Valley Tram Trail
Everglades National Park, Florida, USA
Location: Homestead Mileage 14.7-mile loop trail Difficulty: Easy FYI: Another hike at Everglades National Park, this long yet easy paved trail will take around 4 hours if hiking or walking it. Biking here is also an option. Make sure you leave dogs at home as they aren't allowed on this trail. There's no shade on this trail so bring sun protection and plenty of water.
Hiking, jogging, walking, biking -- the choice is yours on this paved trail! Along the way, you'll pass through a freshwater marsh and see plenty of wildlife including alligators. One of the best attractions along the trail, however, is the
Shark Valley Observation Tower
. Tram tours are also available to take along this route to the observation tower.
14. Wekiwa Springs Volksmarch Trail
Wekiwa Springs State Park, 1800 Wekiwa Cir, Apopka, FL 32712, USA
Location: Apopka Mileage 6.3-mile loop trail Difficulty: Easy FYI: This trail at Wekiwa Springs State Park is popular for hiking, camping, and horseback riding and will take 2 hours to hike. The park charges the following fees to enter: $6 per vehicle, $4 per single-occupant vehicle, and $2 per pedestrian or cyclist. The trail is marked by orange blazes. Dogs are allowed and may go off-leash in some areas.
The best time to hike this trail at
Wekiwa Springs State Park
is between September for July but it's perfect in the winter. You'll trek through the forest and past a scenic lake. There are camping spots available if you can't get enough of this park and want to spend the night.
15. Florida Trail and Saint Johns River Loop
Wheeler Road, Wheeler Rd, Florida 32709, USA
Location: Christmas Mileage 11.5-mile loop trail Difficulty: Moderate FYI: Located within the Seminole Ranch Conservation Area, this trail can get pretty muddy so choose the appropriate footwear for this hike. It can take up to 4 hours to complete.
This section of the Florida National Scenic Trail goes through the
Seminole Ranch Conservation Area
in the charmingly-named town of Christmas. Throughout this preserve is 12 miles of the Saint Johns River along with woods and marshes. Its open landscape and sheer size make it a favorite for hiking.
Best Hikes near Tallahassee
Did you know that there are plenty of scenic hikes in and around Florida’s capital city? It’s true! Check out some of the best hikes near Tallahassee for those times you want to feel as though you’re not in the city.
16. Lafayette Heritage Trail and East Cadillac Trail
443 Easterwood Dr, Tallahassee, FL 32311, USA
Location: Tallahassee Mileage 7.5-mile loop trail Difficulty: Moderate FYI: This trail at Tom Brown Park is popular for hiking, jogging, and mountain biking. If you have your dog with you, make sure it's on a leash. The trail ends at Lafayette Heritage Park.
If you love lake views, this scenic trail at
Tom Brown Park
is perfect for you! The trail is wide and easily shared with hikers and mountain bikers.
17. Piney-Z Lake Loop
Lafayette Heritage Trail Park, 4900 Heritage Park Blvd, Tallahassee, FL 32311, USA
Location: Tallahassee Mileage 2.7-mile loop trail Difficulty: Easy FYI: This trail circumnavigates the lake at Lafayette Heritage Trail Park and will take less than an hour to complete. The path is multi-use so you will be sharing it with mountain bikers.
Located just two miles away from Tom Brown Park is
Lafayette Heritage Trail Park
. If you want a longer hike, you can combine this one with the Lafayette Heritage Trail and East Cadillac Trail. However, at just under 3 miles, this easy trail is good for the whole family.
18. Phipps Park East and West Loop
Elinor Klapp-Phipps Park, 4000 N Meridian Rd, Tallahassee, FL 32312, USA
Location: Tallahassee Mileage 4.8-mile loop trail Difficulty: Moderate FYI: This trail at Elinor Klapp-Phipps Park is also popular for hiking and mountain biking. The route combines the yellow-blazed and white-blazed trails. Dogs are allowed as long as they are on leashes.
Trek through a beautiful hardwood forest at
Elinor Klapp-Phipps Park
where birds and butterflies thrive. Equestrian riding is a popular sport here and there are ball fields within the park as well. This is such a wonderful escape from the city!
Are you ready to take one of the best hikes in Florida? What are some of your favorite hikes around the state? For trail information and access to additional trail maps around the state, be sure to download
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More to Explore
Best Hikes In Florida
Does Florida have good hiking trails?
While Florida is mainly flat, there are plenty of great hiking trails to enjoy the scenery and wildlife as well as some exercise and fresh air. You can also hike through terrain that’s not common in other parts of the country like through the Everglades. Here are some of the best places for hiking in Florida;
Everglades National Park: Home to wetlands and swamps, there are trails for just about every hiking level.
Torreya State Park: Overlooking the Apalachicola River, this state park in the Florida panhandle has bluffs as well as ravines.
Big Cypress National Preserve: If you find cypress trees and swamps intriguing, spend some time exploring this otherworldly destination. It also serves as a dark sky park in Florida.
What are the best months to hike in Florida?
To avoid the heat and humidity Florida is known for, try hiking between mid-October through mid-April. Fall through spring are the optimal times to hike anywhere in the state. However, as the Sunshine State, you can really go hiking throughout the year.