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Dog-Friendly Florida Hiking Trails.

Coquina Baywalk LEFFIS KEY BRADENTON BEACH 0.8 MILES Explore Leffis Key on a series of trails and boardwalks through mangrove tunnels on the Coquina Baywalk.

Crews Lake Wilderness Park SPRING HILL 3.0 MILES Crews Lake Wilderness Park in northern Pasco County offers a hiking loop with a nice immersion into the sandhills, where you’ll see lots of spring and fall wildflowers.

Dade Battlefield Pine Flatwoods Trail DADE BATTLEFIELD

STATE PARK BUSHNELL 0.7 MILES Walk a gentle loop through the longleaf pine forest that saw one of the bloodiest moments in Florida history, the Dade Massacre that sparked the Second Seminole War on December 28, 1835.

Eagle Lake Park LARGO 3.0 MILES In the heart of Pinellas County, Eagle Lake Park is the legacy of the Taylor family, who helped found Largo. This urban forest is an excellent wildlife watching destination.

Eureka Springs TAMPA 0.3 MILES In 1938, amateur botanist and world traveler Albert Greenburg established a botanical garden with tropical plants around springs that fed a lush floodplain forest along Six Mile Creek. Years later, he started the first tropical fish farm in Florida in the springs, and in 1967 donated the 31-acre site to the county.

Exotic Trail FORT LAUDERDALE BEACH 2.0 MILES Running down the middle of this popular urban park, the Exotic Trail traces a path through the exotic gardens of the former estate of Hugh Taylor Birch, Terramar. These tropical plants aren’t inva- sive, and they’re nicely identified along the first half of the circuit. There are more than 200 species on display.

Florida Trail, Baseline to Marshall Swamp CROSS FLORIDA

GREENWAY SILVER SPRINGS 5.0 MILES Along the Baseline Road to Marshall Swamp section of the Florida Trail in Ocala, enjoy a swath of true urban wilderness, a mile-wide corridor edged on both sides by subdivisions and strip malls.

Florida Trail, Bell Springs to Big Shoals WHITE SPRINGS 2.8 MILES With Florida’s only Class III whitewater and the beauty of a Florida waterfall along a stretch of trail that is rugged but extremely scenic, this 2.8 mile section of the Florida Trail is a real winner. What's especially great about this hike is that you can get right up close to the river and the shoals.

Florida Trail Land Bridge to Santos CROSS FLORIDA

GREENWAY OCALA 7.0 MILES Between the Land Bridge Trailhead and Santos, the 7-mile linear section of the Florida Trail winds its way around horse farms to meander through stands of oaks and pines.

Florida Trail, Pat’s Island to Hidden Pond PAT'S ISLAND 8.4 MILES One of the most popular hikes on the Florida Trail is also one of the most interesting. Hidden Pond is an oasis in the middle of the Juniper Prairie Wilderness, a designated wilder- ness area in the Ocala National Forest, and it lies nearly halfway between the two access points to the wilderness area – at Juniper Springs and at Pat’s Island. Pat’s Island, in turn, has its own fascinating history to explore along the Yearling Trail, which this route also follows in part on the return trip.

Florida Trail, Tosohatchee CHRISTMAS 10.0 MILES Bridging an immense expanse of pine flatwoods bisected by floodplain forests, the orange-blazed Florida Trail crosses Tosohatchee Reserve, a 28,000 acre tract of lands protecting the western edge of the St. Johns River floodplain. Walk through one of the state’s oldest slash pine forests and along the virgin cypress swamp at Jim Creek; stand beneath a canopy of ancient live oaks along a tannic creek.

Fort Cooper Hiking Trails INVERNESS 5.5 MILES Fort Cooper is a quiet place, a woodland on the shores of Lake Holathlikaha just south of Inverness, a place where families come to play and picnic and walk gentle trails where wildlife sightings are almost guaranteed. But the reason for this state park isn’t as blissful. During the Second Seminole War, a battalion of war-weary soldiers were mak- ing their way south on foot along the military trail connecting Fort King (Ocala) with Fort Brooke (Tampa) when Seminole warriors attacked the already-injured men. Their leader, Major Mark Anthony Cooper, directed that a log fort be quickly built for protection, and those who were able con- tinued to stave off the intermittent attacks until the wounded were well enough to keep walking.

Gasparilla Island State Park BOCA GRANDE A string of five beaches along the Gulf shore of Boca Grande on Gasparilla Island, this far-flung outpost of Lee County is home to one of Florida’s most delightful lighthouse museums.

Gizella Kopsick Palm Arboretum ST. PETERSBURG Once a miniature golf course, this two-acre water- front park just north of the Vinoy in St. Petersburg became the Gizella Kopsick Palm Arboretum, a lush showcase of palms, in 1976.

Hillsborough River Hiking Trails TAMPA 5.8 MILES One of Tampa’s oldest parks, Hillsborough River State Park has a 5.8-mile trail system as its cen- terpiece, through old-growth forest and along river rapids.

Hillsborough River State Park THONOTOSASSA Water in motion: the Hillsborough rapids foam and froth over limestone boulders beneath grand cypress trees in Class II rapids. One of Florida’s oldest state parks, Hillsborough River State Park show- cases this masterpiece of nature from an overlook and trail system built by the Civilian Conservation Corps.

Johnson Pond Trail CITRUS SPRINGS 2.7 MILES The Johnson Pond Trail in Withlacoochee State Forest has its magical moments. Hiking the loop clock- wise, following the orange blazes and signs to experience the view of Johnson Pond early on in the hike. An overlook enables one to get a great view of the lily-covered pond, and is the perfect place to spot birds early in the morning. And then there’s the rosemary scrub. It’s not common to see Florida rosemary growing as tall as these shrubs do, but they do, and surrounding them is a vibrant snowy carpet of deer moss and reindeer lichen.

Jonathan Dickinson State Park HOBE SOUND One of South Florida’s best backpacking destinations, Jonathan Dickinson State Park encompasses a vast mosaic of ecosystems along the wild and scenic Loxahatchee River-and ever-evolving out- door playground serving one of the densest popu- lated areas in Florida.

Kanapaha Botanical Gardens GAINESVILLE One of the most beautiful and complex gardens in Florida, Kanapaha Botanical Gardens sits beneath grand live oaks with more than a dozen themed gardens


on 62 acres. Bamboo is their specialty, with Florida’s best collection of these tall grasses.

Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park BASINGER This State Park protects a remnant of what was once the great Indian Prairie stretching to Lake Okeechobee, a mosaic of wet and dry grasslands where wildflowers flourish.

Lake Jesup Marl Bed Flats SANFORD 1.0 MILES Featuring one of the prettiest hammocks of ancient live oaks along Lake Jesup, the Marl Bed Flats Tract of Lake Jesup Conservation Area along the lake’s north shore is a delightful place for birding. Expect to see bald eagles and osprey. The concentration of swamp sunflowers along the lakeshore is especially thick in late summer.

Lakeland Highlands Scrub LAKELAND 0.6 MILES It’s an unexpected find, this quiet preserve down a dirt road not far from the waves of suburban sprawl pushing south from the Polk Parkway, let- ting Lakeland flow towards Bartow. One of the first acquisitions for Polk County’s Environmental Lands Program and undoubtedly one of the more heavily used, the Lakeland Highlands Scrub pro- tects 160 acres of untouched habitats along the Lakeland Ridge. The Lakeland Ridge covers roughly 300 square miles along the west side of Polk County, forming a natural watershed divide between the Hillsborough and Alafia Rivers and the Peace River, which all start in the Green Swamp north of Lakeland.

Lettuce Lake Park TAMPA 1.8 MILES At the north edge of Tampa, Lettuce Lake Park protects 240 acres along the Hillsborough River, providing a getaway for hikers, bicyclists, and picnickers. Trapped between tall cypress trees in ponds dense with water lettuce, Lettuce Lake is a bend in the river creating a haunting swamp. Boardwalks lead through this wild place. Best of all, a tall observation tower provides a panoramic view of the river and the park.

Little Manatee River State Park WIMAUMA With sandy shores around every bend and a canopy of trees overhead, Little Manatee River State Park pro- vides a place for a pretty paddling trip for families, with an outfitter located near the US 301 bridge.

Lovers Key State Park ESTERO With a name straight out of tourist fantasies of 1950s Florida, Lovers Key State Park is a series of slim barrier islands between Estero Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, just south of Fort Myers Beach.

Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Historic State Park CROSS

CREEK Docents in 1940s dress are guides through the living and working space of this Pulitzer-win- ning novelist beloved by regional historians for her accurate depictions of rural North Florida.

Myakka River Canopy Walk MYAKKA RIVER STATE PARK

SARASOTA 0.8 MILES At Myakka River State Park in Sarasota, the Canopy Walk provides a sky-high view of the Myakka River basin as well as an inti- mate immersion in the live oak canopy in a beauti- ful hammock of oaks and palms.

Old Datsun Trail PUNTA GORDA 1.7 MILES Providing a different take on the uplands around Charlotte Harbor, the Old Datsun Trail at Charlotte Harbor Preserve State Park meanders through an area once covered in vegetable farms – the historic Miles School of Practical Agriculture and Free School for Truckers, circa 1905.

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