Florida February 17, 2017
10 Under-Appreciated State Parks In Florida You’re Sure To Love
Florida has 161 state parks, covering more than 800,000 acres of the Sunshine State. You’re probably familiar with the most popular parks, but these 10 under-appreciated parks also have plenty to offer. Take a look!
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life. While we continue to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, please take proper precautions or add them to your bucket list to see at a later date. If you know of a local business that could use some extra support during these times, please nominate them here:
1. Dr. Julian G. Bruce St. George Island State Park
You'll find this beautiful island in northwestern Florida, about 10 miles from Eastpoint. The park offers some beautiful beaches, stunning scenery and plenty of hiking, fishing, swimming, camping and wildlife viewing. Spend a whole weekend here! Visit the park's
for driving directions and more information.
2. Natural Bridge Battlefield State Park
The second-largest Civil War battle in Florida was fought here, and this state park stands as a monument to the soldiers who lost their lives in this place. Every March, the park hosts a reenactment of the battle. For full details, visit the park's
3. Cayo Costa State Park
This state park is difficult to access - you must take a private boat or ferry to reach this little island. But once you get here, you'll never want to leave! Swim and snorkel in the clear water or rent a kayak and go exploring. Watch for manatees and dolphins - both love to hang out around the island. You'll want to spend hours collecting shells, too. Visit the park's
for directions and more information.
4. Cedar Key Museum State Park
Get a taste of 1920s history at this charming state park. You can tour the Whitman house, which has been restored with 1920s furnishings. Take a walk along the nature path, where you're sure to see plenty of native birds, frogs, squirrels and tortoises. Check out the museum, which houses everything from shells to Native American artifacts. Visit the park's
for more information.
5. Deer Lake State Park
Deer Lake is a rare freshwater coastal dune lake. The state park is a wonderland for bird watchers, who can expect to see both local and migratory birds here. You'll also see many rare plants around the lake. Visit the park's
for more information.
6. Dudley Farm Historic State Park
The Dudley family farmed here for three generations, from the 1850s to the 1940s. Visit this state park to see the original farmhouse. Docents in period costume show you how to tend livestock, shuck corn and care for crops. Learn more about this fascinating park on its
7. Eden Gardens State Park
This 163-acre state park is located in Santa Rosa Beach and mainly consists of a restored plantation. The Wesley House is a stunning, two-story mansion built in 1897. You can take a tour of the home and gardens. The collection of 18th century French furniture is particularly notable. The park also contains a nature trail, fishing dock and picnic area. Learn all about Eden Gardens State Park on its
8. Lake Kissimmee State Park
If you're looking for wildlife, Lake Kissimmee is the place to be. You can kayak, fish and swim in the lake, then take a nature walk. You''ll likely see deer, cranes, turkeys and maybe even a bobcat along the 13 miles of trails here.
9. Letchworth-Love Mounds State Park
This hidden gem is home to the tallest Native American ceremonial mound in the state. The mound was constructed between 1,100 and 1,800 years ago. Take the interpretive trail to learn all about the fascinating history of this place. For more information, visit the park's
10. O'Leno State Park
This beautiful state park on the Santa Fe River is one of Florida's oldest state parks, created by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. It's a wonderful place to spot turtles, alligators, deer and tons of bird species. Check out the wood suspension bridge that takes you right over the river, or walk along one of the nature paths. For more information, visit the park's
Which of Florida’s state parks is your favorite? Tell us why in the comments.