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Friday, September 29, 2017

September Photo Challenge @ Ravine Gardens State Park

Monday, September 4, 2017 - 8:00am EDT to Friday, September 29, 2017 - 4:00pm EDT

Free with regular park entry fees.

More Information:
Raymond Presley, (386) 329-3721,

Located in the Central region at:
Ravine Gardens State Park
1600 Twigg Street
Palatka, FL 32177

The Friends of Ravine Gardens, Inc., is hosting a photo challenge during each month of 2017. Each month will have a different theme. Contact the park at (386) 329-3721 on the start date of each challenge to request the theme of the month.

Bring your camera and explore the park to get the perfect shot and submit your photo for a chance to win! Along with recognition, the winner will be awarded two, day entry passes good for Florida’s 174 award-winning state parks, trails and historic sites, up to 8 people for most parks. Monthly first-place winners are also automatically entered to win a grand prize at the end of the 2017 Photo Contest term.

Monthly Submissions will be open the first Monday of each month, and run until the last Friday of the month. This month’s contest will run starting on 09/04/2017 and all entries must be received by 09/29/2017.

Photographs must be taken within Ravine Gardens State Park. You may submit up to two photos. Digital photographs must be a minimum resolution of 1024x768 (or higher) pixels. All photographs must be submitted in a digital format (in either a .jpg, .tif, or .png format) and emailed to

Contestants must also complete a photo release form upon entry, which can be found here.

Additional Information:

Participation Requirements

Birding Program @ Washington Oaks Gardens State Park

Friday, September 29, 2017 - 8:30am to 10:00am EDT

Program included with park entry fee. 

More Information:

Located in the Central region at:
Washington Oaks Gardens State Park
6400 N. Oceanshore Blvd.
Palm Coast, FL, FL 32137

Join Ranger Joe as we welcome our fall migratory birds back to Washington Oaks!   No registration required, please bring binoculars and water. 

Additional Information:

Participation requirements 

Literacy Month Reading Trail @ Devil's Millhopper Geological State Park

Friday, September 29, 2017 - 9:00am to 5:00pm EDT

$4 per vehicle - no additional charge for the hike

More Information:
Ranger Station 352-955-2008

Located in the Northeast region at:
Devil's Millhopper Geological State Park
4732 Millhopper Road
Gainesville, FL 32653

Come out to the Millhopper for a self-guided hike along Sink Trail. In celebration of Literacy Month we have created a "Reading Trail" with six stops - each revealing a piece of the Legend of Devil's Millhopper. 

Additional Information:

Participation Requirements

Guided Tours of Historic Koreshan Settlement @ Koreshan State Park

Friday, September 29, 2017 - 10:00am to 11:30am EDT

Guided Tours are $2 per person, $1 for children under 6, with regular park admission.

More Information:
Ranger Station (239) 992-0311

Located in the Southwest region at:
Koreshan State Park
3800 Corkscrew Road
Estero, FL 33928

Join us for a Guided Walking Tour of the Historic Koreshan Settlement. Explore structures and gardens of the 19th century utopian settlement and learn about these idealistic pioneers. The walking tour is about an hour and a half and is accessible to all.


Additional Information:

Park admission is $2 for bicycle/pedestrian, $4 for one person in a vehicle, $5 for up to 8 persons in a vehicle. Walking tour lasts approximately 1 hour and is mostly outdoors on a crushed shell path. Please bring water, proper footware, and sun protection. Wheelchair available upon request.

Requests for these and other tours for clubs, home school associations, and other groups can be made by calling the Ranger Station at (239) 992-0311. We make every effort to accommodate all groups, however we may not be able to fulfill requests made with less than a two week notice.

Junior Ranger Program @ Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park

Friday, September 29, 2017 - 10:00am to 3:00pm EDT

The program is free with park entry and for annual park pass holders.

More Information:
Ranger Station: (352) 466 - 3397

Located in the Northeast region at:
Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park
100 Savannah Blvd
Micanopy, FL 32667

Come visit our Junior Ranger table from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Learn how to become a Junior Ranger and join us for lots of cool nature activities! Children can complete the Junior Ranger CORE activities, collect passport stamps, and earn an official Junior Ranger badge, patch, or pin! Junior Ranger activities are appropriate for children aged 6 and up, but we will also have critter coloring pages and smokey bear stories available for all ages. 

No reservation required. Meet us inside the visitor center located within the main park entrance, off US 441 in Micanopy. 

Additional Information:

Participant Requirements. 

Ranger Guided Trail Walk @ Long Key State Park

Friday, September 29, 2017 - 10:00am EDT

Free with paid park admission.

More Information:
(305) 664-4815

Located in the Southeast region at:
Long Key State Park
67400 Overseas Hwy
Long Key, FL 33001

Enjoy a leisurely, Ranger guided walk along the 1.1 mile Golden Orb Trail loop. Visitors will enjoy learning about the diverse plant life and the various habitats that are vital to the Florida Keys ecology. It is highly recommended that participants bring water to drink and wear a hat and sunscreen. Please note that periodically the trail will flood during high tides so we recommend that you wear shoes that can get wet. Additionally, you may wish to bring sunglasses, bug spray, cameras and binoculars. We leave from the Board Walk at 10:00 A.M.

Additional Information:

To participate in this program you must be able to walk on uneven surfaces and walk small inclines.

Sunset Paddle Tour @ Oleta River State Park

Friday, September 29, 2017 - 4:00pm to 6:00pm EDT

The Tour is 2 hours long and $35.00 per Adult or $25.00 per College Student.

More Information:

Located in the Southeast region at:
Oleta River State Park
3400 NE 163rd Street
North Miami Beach, FL 33160

Have you ever gone Kayaking at night? Sunset Kayak/SUP Tours are available every Friday evening at the BG Oleta River Outdoor Center. We paddle for 1 hour before arriving at Sandspur Island where we will take a break and watch the sun go down. Once the sun has set, your Guide will turn on bright colorful lights located on the front and back of your Kayak or SUP before a 30 minute paddle back to the Outdoor Center.


Opening Reception and Food Truck Rally for Cross Creek Rising: Consciousness of Land and Water Art Exhibition @ Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Historic State Park

Friday, September 29, 2017 - 7:00pm to 10:00pm EDT

Free entry to the art exhibit.

More Information:
Interested visitors can call the park (352) 466-3672 or the Thomas Center (352) 334-ARTS

Located in the Northeast region at:
Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Historic State Park
18700 S. CR 325
Cross Creek, FL 32640

From the Thomas Center event page: “In tribute to the wilderness, land and water that inspired the artistic voice of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, this juried exhibition of panting, drawing, sculpture and photography has as its source of inspiration the natural environs of North Central Florida. The Main and Mezzanine Galleries will be dedicated to this expansive group exhibition.”

The Sept 29th reception will honor the art exhibition participants and present the awards to the winning artists. Food Trucks Mayflower Cellars, Vanarchy Sandwiches and Fables Catering will be on site selling food inspired by Rawlings recipes in Cross Creek Cookery.

Additional Information:

Event address: Thomas Center Galleries, 302 NE 6th Ave Gainesville, FL 32601

Participant Requirements

National Public Lands Day - A Focus on the Gopher Tortoise @ Fort Cooper State Park

Saturday, September 30, 2017 (All day)

Regular Park entrance fees required. $3.00 per car up to 8 people per vehicle.

More Information:
Call 352-726-0315

Located in the Northeast region at:
Fort Cooper State Park
3100 S. Old Floral City Rd.
Inverness, FL 34450

This program will focus on the Gopher Tortiuse and will include a photo contest with prizes given out. This will be an interpretive hike in the sandhill area of Fort Cooper State Park. Program will be from 9am to 12pm.

Additional Information:

You can contact Tom Jones at for more information.

 Participation Requirements


Bike Your Park: Paynes Prairie @ Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park

Saturday, September 30, 2017 (All day) to Sunday, October 1, 2017 (All day)

Only fees are for camping reservation at Paynes Prairie.  Make your reservations here through Reserve America:  Reserve America


More Information:
The Freewheel Project: 352-378-2100

Located in the Northeast region at:
Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park
100 Savannah Blvd
Micanopy, FL 32667

Celebrate National Bike Your Park Day at Paynes Prairie!

Event is hosted by the Freewheel Project.  The details from the FREEWHEEL EVENT PAGE are posted below:

Join the Freewheel Project, and Everything is Tourrible for a weekend celebration of bikes and parks. In honor of National Bike Your Park Day we will be leading an overnight bike trip to Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park. If you have ever thought about trying bike touring this trip is for you! If you are touring pro and want to meet other cyclists this trip is for you! If you are total loaner and just want to smash out a million miles we can accommodate!

We will be taking a scenic route down and back to the park. On the way there we'll taking the "long way" taking the Hawthorne Trail to 325 then through beautiful Micanopy for... a total of 22 miles. Map here: MAP 

On the way back we'll be taking a slightly shorter route going up 234 to connect back up to the Hawthorne trail for a total of 17 miles. Map here: MAP 

Also if any of these distances sound too long there is an option for the very direct but less nice route straight up 441 back in town if needed. Map here: MAP 

You do not have to join in the group ride for this trip, but we will be leading no-drop group rides to and from the park. We will be leaving Saturday morning from Freewheel at 10:00am. On Sunday we will be leaving the park at 12:00pm for the ride back and should be back in town by 3:00pm on Sunday

If you are interested in coming please book your site today. Bookings can be made online here: MAKE RESERVATION 

Sites are $26 after all the fees and can accommodate up to 2 tents. If you are plan on coming please make a reservation or coordinate about sharing a site with someone who has.

More details will be coming but save the date and book your site! Check the Freewheel Project Event Page for event updates.  Still at the very early planning but we might even run some supply cars for folks who aren't able to carry gear on their bicycles.

Bicycles and camping equipment are not provided by Paynes Prairie and are the responsibility of the participant.

Additional Information:

Participation Requirements