Florida is full of backcountry trails winding around the state from coast to coast and from peninsula to panhandle. The Florida Trail works its way from south to north while the Cross Florida Greenway cuts across the state from east to west. But with so many choices, which trails are the best? Check out my list of my favorite trails in the state and decide for yourself.
WithlacoocheeBay: Cross Florida Greenway
This is the western beginning trail section of the Marjorie Harris Carr Cross Florida Greenway. Once slated to become a barge canal similar to the Panama canal cutting across Florida’s panhandle, it received so much flack, that it was finally abandoned and turned into a cross Florida greenway belt. It now includes recreational opportunities from hiking, biking, horseback riding, canoeing and kayaking.
The Withlacoochee Bay Trail is a paved section that spans from the Gulf of Mexico to the interior of Florida’s nature coast. With a handful of well built covered docks and picnic pavilions, this trail is one of my favorites because of the uninhibited ocean views and it ease of access for everyone. Check out my article on the Withlacoochee Bay Trail for more information on how to get there.
Juniper Prairie Wilderness
This has to be my top choice for backwoods hiking. This trail is the crown jewel of the Florida Trail and offers a unique view of Florida unlike no other. Spanning from Salt Springs to Juniper Springs in the Ocala National Forest, this wilderness prairie trail offers unparalleled backcountry hiking and wildlife viewing.
Bears abound so be wary and bring a compass! Check out my adventure at Juniper Springs for more details on this awesome section of the Florida Trail.
Citrus Hiking Trail
My all time favorite hiking trail, the Citrus Tract of the Withlacoochee State Forest is by far my favorite hiking trail in the entire state. Maybe it’s because I grew up here, maybe it’s because of the caves and karst limestone formations, maybe it’s a little of both.
Of the over 40+ miles of loop trails, the D loop section stands out among the rest. Several sinkholes, the oldest karst limestone formations in the world and uninhibited cave explorations set this trail apart from the rest. Check out my adventure hiking the Citrus Tract in the Withlacoochee State Forest for more details on this fantastic Florida hike.