The best hikes around Tampa Bay
Wednesday is National Hiking Day! To celebrate, we’ve pulled together a shortlist of hikes to stoke your passion for the outdoors.
Florida has thousands of miles of hiking trails, and the weather is finally cool, so use this as a starting point and get out there.
- 1800 Weedon Drive NE, St. Petersburg
- Open daily, Weedon Island offers six trails along aquatic and upland ecosystems, through a 3,190-acre preserve that was occupied for thousands of years by Indigenous people. Free admission, donations accepted.
- 6920 East Fletcher Avenue, Tampa
- Spot native plants, wading birds and alligators in the hardwood swamp forest along the paved and boardwalk trail system in north Tampa. One of the area’s most popular parks. Entry: $2 per vehicle.
- 8650 Bee Ridge Rd, Sarasota
- A 3.7 mile, lightly-trafficked loop trail, paved and partly shaded, near Sarasota that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. Free.
- 33000 Tamiami Trail East, Ochopee
- Wade through this wet wilderness of sawgrass prairies, hardwood hammocks and dwarf cypress swamps. Head north from the Oasis Visitor’s Center in Big Cypress National Preserve on the northern edge of Everglades National Park.
- There’s an abundance of trails through the 673-square-mile forest, including a 66-mile stretch of the Florida Trail with access points in the Salt Springs Recreation Area and the Juniper Springs Recreation Area.
- Big Shoals State Park to Winquepin St.
- Florida is flat, right? You’ll change your tune hiking this 71-mile stretch of rugged, hilly terrain that follows the storied Suwannee River west tout of Big Shoals, past white lilies, wild azalea, sparkleberries, dogwood, redbud and those giant tupelo trees.
😲 Did you know? The Florida National Scenic Trail runs 1,500 miles, from the Big Cypress Swamp in South Florida to the Gulf Islands National Seashore in the Panhandle.
Go deeper: Check out "The Florida Trail," by our friend Sandra Fried, for more information on hiking the FT.
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