17 Best Hiking Trails in Florida in 2023
Florida is a great place to visit and to find adventure. Many people enjoy the different theme parks and commercial activities like Disney, but Florida offers so much more.
A great way to see this state is by spending time outdoors, walking the many hiking trails in Florida, and seeing the plants and animals that call Florida home (including alligators!).
17 Best Hiking Trails in Florida
Below you will find information on some of Florida’s best trails.
1. Ream Wilson Clearwater Trail
The Ream Wilson Clearwater Trail is a 13-mile urban trail located near the Gulf of Mexico in Clearwater, Florida. It stretches from the Downtown area to Clearwater Beach and near Tampa Bay at Safety Harbor and features some of the most picturesque scenery in the Sunshine State.
The trail is expected to be expanded as it is a popular, almost entirely paved trail. It is a great way to explore the natural beauty of Clearwater and get some exercise while you’re at it. And if you’re looking for an easy place to hike in Clearwater with kids, this trail is perfect!
2. Moccasin Lake Nature Park
Moccasin Lake Nature Park is a natural gem that offers some of the most beautiful scenery in the Sunshine State. It is a great spot for hikers, bikers, and nature enthusiasts in Clearwater, Florida.
The park boasts more than 51 acres of lush greenery and wildlife, making it the perfect spot for a peaceful, tranquil hike. If you are interested, there are ponds, boardwalks, and other outdoor programs in the area. The trails are easy enough to navigate for anyone with basic hiking skills and offer a great way to get some exercise and explore nature all at once.
It is close to the downtown Clearwater area, making it easy to enjoy the beautiful hiking here as well as the yummy restaurants in Clearwater and the nearby activities.
3. Florida Trail (Clearwater Lake to Alexander Springs)
The Florida Trail (Clearwater Lake to Alexander Springs) is one of the best hiking trails in Florida. Located on the drive from Orlando to Clearwater, it covers a distance of approximately 10.5 miles, beginning at Clearwater Lake and ending at Alexander Springs. The trail covers some of the most beautiful parts of the Florida Trail that is in the Ocala National Forest.
As you traverse the trail, hikers will experience some of the most stunning natural beauty the Sunshine State offers. From moderate hills, lush forests, and creeks to tranquil lakes, this trail offers a great opportunity for hikers of all skill levels to take in the sights around them as you continue your route to one of Central Florida’s largest springs.
4. Bulow Woods Loop
Bulow Woods Loop is a scenic hiking trail located in Flagler County, Florida. The trail is 5.2 miles long and offers a variety of terrain for hikers to explore. From densely wooded areas to open meadows, the loop allows visitors to experience the natural beauty of Florida’s countryside.
The highly scenic trail features a combination of rolling hills, streams, and forests, making it a great spot to get some exercise while enjoying the views around you. You will access the trail through the Bulow Plantation Ruins State Park entrance road, which has connecting trails with Bulow Creek State Park.
5. Highlands Hammock State Park
Highlands Hammock State Park is an idyllic oasis located in Sebring, Florida. Home to ancient live oak trees, towering pines, and a variety of wildlife, this state park is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts looking for a peaceful escape and some of the best hiking trails.
The park covers nearly 9,000 acres and features the scenic Hammock Trail and an elevated boardwalk that offers visitors a unique way of exploring the area. There are also several lakes and ponds, and picnic areas for those looking for a more leisurely experience.
FUN FACT: Highlands Hammock State Park is expected to be expanded to include additional trails and other amenities, ensuring that it remains a popular spot for nature lovers looking to get away.
No matter your outdoor recreation preferences, Highlands hiking trails have something for everyone. The most popular hike are Cypress Swamp Trail, Fern Garden Trail, Ancient Hammock Trail, and the Hickory Trail Loop.
6. Prairie Lakes Loop
The Prairie Lakes Loop is a breathtaking hiking trail located in Central Florida in the Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park. This almost 5-mile loop features rolling hills, open meadows, and lush woods. Hikers also enjoy the views of prairies and lakes, such as Lake Okeechobee, along the way.
The trail is relatively easy and can be done in a few hours or less. Along the way, hikers will encounter a variety of wildlife, such as wild turkeys, deer, and bald eagles. This loop also offers plenty of chances to take in some views and capture some nice photos.
The Prairie Lakes Loop is a great option for those looking for a relaxing and scenic hike. It offers an excellent opportunity to explore the natural beauty of Florida while also providing an enjoyable outdoor experience.
7. William S Boylston Nature Trail
The William S Boylston Nature Trail is a highly-rated short-loop trail near the city of Myakka City, Florida. The trail is popular for those who want to hike, mountain bike, and enjoy looking at the native birds. The trail is not overly crowded, but it does get some traffic.
You can bring your dog on this trail, but make sure you keep them on a leash. Some of these trails are affected by hurricanes that occasionally come through Florida, so some of the other trails in the area can be closed. There is a canopy tower on this trail that people enjoy, but it recently was closed due to hurricane Ian.
8. Black Rock Trail
The Black Rock Trail is an exciting and challenging trek through Florida’s beautiful nature. Located near Jacksonville, Florida, the trail takes you to some beautiful black rock formations and is a trail that is not super busy. The hike is only about 1 mile long and combines both natural beauty and some technical aspects.
The trail ends with beautiful beach views and a beach that has some pretty driftwood. If you want to continue your hike, you can walk along the beach and the driftwood. This is a great family trail with lots of space for the kids and animals to explore.
9. Kolokee Loop Trail
The Kolokee Loop Trail is a moderately challenging hiking trail located in Geneva, Florida. This 5-mile loop takes hikers through stunning wetlands and woodlands. Hikers are treated to an array of wildlife, plants, and natural beauty that will leave them in awe.
The loop offers plenty of opportunities to take pictures and admires the area’s stunning landscapes. There are a few bridges in the area that storms have recently damaged, but even with the bridges out, the hike is still fun.
PRO TIP: One thing to keep in mind is this is a seasonal trail. Depending on the season and weather, the trail can close periodically.
10. Wekiwa Springs Volksmarch Trail
The Wekiwa Springs Volksmarch Trail is a 6-mile hiking trail located in the Wekiwa Springs State Park, near Orlando, Florida. The route is easy because there is not much elevation gained during this hike.
You should expect the hike to take around 2 hours to complete for the average person.
This is an area where people also like to ride horseback and camp, so if you want something to add to your hiking trip or mix it up, check out the camping and horseriding options.
11. Econ River Wilderness Area Red Loop
The Econ River Wilderness Area Red Loop is just under 3 miles long and is located in the Econ River Wilderness Area near Oviedo, Florida. This loop trail offers an exciting and challenging trek through the stunning landscapes of this beautiful area. Many people enjoy hiking, walking, and running on this trail.
The trail is shaded for most of the hike, and you will see multiple different lakes. This is a good place to view wildlife, and if you are wanting to hike more, there are lots of other nice trails that connect.
12. Virginia Key Trail
The Virginia Key Trail is a stunning coastal trail located in the heart of Miami, Florida. It’s a great place to relax and take in the beauty of nature. The trail is 4 miles long and runs along the shoreline, offering breathtaking views of Biscayne Bay.
The Virginia Key Trail is full of lush vegetation and salt marshes. You can spot plenty of wildlife, including birds, dolphins, and manatees. There are also a few bridges to cross that take you to some small islands with amazing views of the bay.
13. Juniper Creek Nature Trail
The Juniper Creek Nature Trail via South Trailhead is a 6.6 mile out and back trail located near Holt, Florida. This is a trail where people enjoy backpacking, camping, and watching for birds. While the trail does get some traffic, you can still find lots of solitude throughout the day.
Many of the great hikes in Florida, like this hike, require some fee to park or to enter the area where the trail starts. Ensure you have the Florida State Parks Annual pass or bring cash to pay for the entrance costs or parking fees.
14. Citrus Loop Hiking Trail
The Citrus Hiking Trail is an 11-mile loop trail located in the Withlacoochee State Forest near Inverness, Florida. The terrain of this trail varies from flat to moderately difficult. It provides an interesting and enjoyable hiking experience with plenty of opportunities to spot wildlife.
This trail offers plenty of great views and plenty of places to take pictures. The area has multiple miles of great trails if you want to check out the other popular trails.
15. Dune Trail at Blowing Rocks Preserve
The Dune Trail at Blowing Rocks Preserve is a 1.7-mile out-and-back trail located near Jupiter, Florida.
This easy hike takes you along the Atlantic Ocean’s shoreline. It has stunning views of the ocean and provides plenty of opportunities to take pictures while exploring the area.
16. Shark Valley Trail
The Shark Valley Trail is a 15-mile loop trail located in the Everglades National Park near Miami, Florida. This is one of the most popular trails in the park and provides an amazing opportunity to see alligators, turtles, deer, and other wildlife up close.
The trail has multiple observation decks that provide spectacular views of the area.
The terrain is relatively flat, making this a good option for those who want to do some light hiking or walking in the Everglades. It takes about 4 hours to complete the loop trail. There are also other trails in the park if you have time and energy to explore more.
17. Anhinga Trail
The Anhinga Trail is a 0.8-mile loop trail located in the Everglades National Park near Florida City, FL. This is an easy and popular trail for people who want to explore the habitats of the Everglades up close.
You can spot plenty of wildlife like alligators, turtles, birds, and fish in the area. This is not a dog-friendly trail, so you will need to keep your animals at home.
FAQ: Best Hiking Trails in Florida
Now that you know the best hiking trails in Florida, let’s dive into some frequently asked questions.
Where is a good place to hike in Florida?
There are many great places to hike in Florida. Some of the best hikes include the Virginia Key Trail, Juniper Creek Nature Trail, Citrus Loop Hiking Trail, Dune Trail at Blowing Rocks Preserve, Shark Valley Trail, and Anhinga Trail.
Many of the best places to hike are near or in Florida’s state parks.
What is the longest hiking trail in Florida?
The Florida Trail is the longest hiking trail in Florida. The trail is 1,500 miles long and is divided into different sections. The trail traverses almost the entirety of the state of Florida.
Are there any good hikes in Florida?
Yes, there are some really nice hikes in Florida. Whether you are looking for short scenic hikes or longer hikes where you can backpack, Florida has ample hikes that many people enjoy regularly.
Are there mountains to hike in Florida?
There are not your typical mountains in Florida. Florida, as a whole, is mostly flat. However, there are hikes that do have some elevation changes in them but nothing like the hikes you find in your typical mountainous regions.
Conclusion: Best Hiking Trails in Florida
There are many great hiking trails to explore in Florida. From the Atlantic coastline to the Everglades, there is something for everyone looking to get a dose of nature and explore the outdoors.
Whether you want an easy stroll or a challenging hike, these trails offer plenty of opportunities for every type of hiker. Make sure you are prepared when hiking and don’t forget the bug spray.