Hit the Trails
October is Florida Greenways and Trails Month.
It’s the perfect time to find a trail for hiking, bicycling, paddling or going for a horse ride.
The Sunshine State offers a vast network of trails for getting outside. Exploring the state’s greenways and trails provides safe, clean, open spaces where friends and families can exercise, relieve stress and get fresh air. The benefits of outdoor recreation include lower blood pressure, improved fitness, improved mood, lower stress levels and more.
- Hiking: Find a hiking trail at a state park near you or search the Online Trail Guide.
- Bicycling: Bicycling is a great exercise. Many state parks offer trails for bicycling.
- Mountain biking: Yes, Florida has mountain biking trails.
- Paddling: Canoeing, kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding are popular ways to experience Florida’s natural scenery. Find places to paddle at Florida’s state parks or from this guide to designated paddling trails.
- Horseback riding: Pull on your boots and saddle your horse. Look here to find state parks that offer equestrian trails. There are several parks where you can rent horses for a guided horseback tour. You can ride on the beach at Amelia Island State Park in Jacksonville or ride the trails at Jonathan Dickinson State Park in Hobe Sound or Rock Springs State Reserve in Sorrento.
- If you are going for a bike ride, remember to wear a helmet. Florida law requires them for everyone under 16.
- Always use appropriate safety gear, such as personal floatation devices, whistles and eye protection.
- Stay on designated trails. It might be appealing to take a shortcut, but you might get sidetracked or damage fragile plant life.
- Use the buddy system. It’s fun to share adventures with friends or family members.
- Study the maps. Know where you are going. Is the trail a loop where you will eventually end up back where you started or does it just go one way?
- Watch the weather and dress appropriately.
- Despite the cooler weather, you can still get dehydrated. Be sure to bring water and snacks for your outing.
- Bring sunscreen and bug spray.
- If the trail is multiuse, remember to be courteous to other users. Some trails are shared by hikers, bicyclists and horses. That can be dangerous if you don’t practice good trail etiquette.
- Do not litter. Remember to pack it in, pack it out.