50 Hikes in Central Florida

For years I have wanted to hike more of Florida trails, either by day-hikes or by taking longer multi-day hikes. While I don’t intend to through-hike the Florida Trail, I have thought of hiking much of the Florida Trail in sections.

So in mid-January 2019 I bought the book 50 Hikes in Central Florida by Sandra Friend and John Keatley. This practical guide gave me information on the best places within driving-distance and the numbered hikes will serve as a checklist while I systematically work my way through the list. I am not going in order and I have not set any time limit to complete all of the hikes. But I will try to hike one or two of them each month.

The area of Florida covered by the book stretches from Daytona Beach (where I live) in the northeast, down to Palm Bay on the east coast, over to Tampa Bay in the southwest of the area, and up to Ocala as the northwest corner.

The links below go to the article from my hike of that place, updated as I complete them.

Table of Contents

CENTRAL HIGHLANDS

  1. Rainbow Springs State Park, Dunnellon
  2. Holly Hammock Hiking Trail, Ross Prairie State Forest
  3. Silver Springs State Park, Silver Springs
  4. Trout Lake Nature Center, Eustis
  5. Hidden Waters Preserve, Eustis
  6. Flat Island Preserve, Leesburg
  7. Circle B Bar Reserve, Lakeland
  8. Lakeland Highlands Scrub, Lakeland

NATURE COAST

  1. Johnson Pond Trail, Withlacoochee State Forest
  2. Citrus Trail, Withlacoochee State Forest
  3. Fort Cooper State Park, Inverness
  4. Chinsegut WEA, Brooksville
  5. Croom River Trail Loop, Withlacoochee State Forest
  6. Withlacoochee River Park, Dade City
  7. Werner-Boyce Salt Springs State Park, Port Richey
  8. James E Grey Preserve, New Port Richey

ST JOHNS RIVER

  1. De Leon Springs State Park, De Leon Springs
  2. St. Francis Hiking Trail Ocala National Forest
  3. Black Bear Wilderness Area, Sanford
  4. Spring Hammock Preserve, Winter Springs
  5. Orlando Wetlands Park, Christmas

ORLANDO METRO

  1. Lake Proctor Wilderness Area, Geneva
  2. Geneva Wilderness Area, Geneva
  3. Hal Scott Regional Preserve, Bithlo
  4. Prairie Lakes Loop, Kenansville
  5. Split Oak Forest WEA, Narcoosee
  6. Tibet-Butler Preserve, Windermere
  7. Disney Wilderness Preserve, Poinciana

LAKE WALES RIDGE

  1. Crooked River Preserve, Clermont
  2. Catfish Creek Preserve State Park, Haines City
  3. Lake Kissimmee State Park, Lake Wales
  4. Tiger Creek Preserve, Babson Park
  5. Crooked Lake Prairie, Frostproof

TAMPA BAY

  1. Hillsborough River State Park
  2. Lettuce Lake Park, Tampa
  3. Brooker Creek Preserve, Tarpon Springs
  4. John C. Chesnut Sr. Park, Oldsmar
  5. Honeymoon Island State Park, Dunedin
  6. Eagle Lake Park, Largo
  7. Weedon Island Preserve, St. Petersburg
  8. Alafia Scrub Preserve, Riverview
  9. Little Manatee River Trail, Little Manatee River State Park

ATLANTIC COAST

  1. Tiger Bay State Forest, Daytona Beach
  2. Ponce Preserve, Ponce Inlet
  3. Doris Leeper Spruce Creek Preserve, New Smyrna Beach
  4. Lyonia Preserve, Deltona
  5. Merritt Island NWR, Titusville
  6. Enchanted Forest Sanctuary, Titusville
  7. Maritime Hammock Sanctuary, Melbourne Beach
  8. Turkey Creek Sanctuary, Palm Bay
50 Hikes in Central Florida