Ravine Gardens State Park is a beautiful park in Palatka that features exactly what it says – a ravine and gardens. Similar to Devil’s Millhopper in Gainesville, looking over the edge from the top or looking up to the top from the bottom feels a lot like being in the mountains — something I relish, living in mostly-flat Florida.
Rice Creek Conservation Area is an old rice and indigo plantation with at least 5 miles worth of trails. It connects with the Florida Trail, so really you could keep going as long as you wanted to, but we did the 5 mile loop and I can easily say this is one of my favorite trails we’ve done so far. It reminded me a lot of the Black Bear Wilderness Area, with all the boardwalks and bridges, except this was far less heavily trafficked and I think because of it we ended up seeing a lot more wildlife.
The Guana Tolomato Matanzas Estuarine Research Reserve is a park near Ponte Vedra with about 10 miles worth of hiking trails. We decided to take the red and purple trails down to the southernmost point of the island, which added up to just under 6 miles of walking.
This one’s a little different! We went out this weekend with the Florida Trail Association for IDIDAHIKE 2017, part of the Florida Trail that goes from the Bell Springs Tract through White Springs Tract along the Suwannee River! The entire loop from the entrance at Bell Springs to the parking lot at the Stephen Foster Tourist Center was about 8.5 miles, but with a little bit of sidetracking down to the river here and there we ended up walking closer to 9 miles.