Florida is a vast and varied state, with natural wonders in abundance, so it’s no surprise to find that there are plenty of top tier trails to tackle if you’re a hiking fanatic.
We’ve put together a list of a few of the best trails within easy reach of the city of Orlando, which is one of Florida’s main urban centers, so you can plan a visit to the Sunshine State yourself.
Shingle Creek Trail
There are lots of hikes you can do in a day across the country, and some are even possible to complete in an hour or two. Shingle Creek Trail is even more convenient and manageable, thanks to the fact that it’s actually situated within Orlando itself, so you don’t need to travel far to reach it.
It has recently been extended to include new viewpoints, and it covers the area around Lake Fran, meaning you’ll enjoy lots of natural sights and sounds, while still being within a stone’s throw of heavily populated areas with all the amenities you’d expect.
Another advantage is that you can roll this hike into a trip that involves another of Orlando’s biggest attractions; the Disney World resort. Just make sure to check when to visit Disneyland so that you can avoid crowds.
The Seminole Wekiva Trail
A longer hike this time, totaling almost 14 miles if you follow the full route, the Seminole Wekiva Trail is built on an abandoned railroad bed and is recognized for its beauty as well as its versatility.
It’s favored not only by hikers, but also by cyclists, and is a haven for mountain biking, in particular, so don’t be alarmed if you’re overtaken by riders as they clatter by at speed.
Several trailheads along the way offer amenities including parking, restrooms, and water fountains. This also means you don’t need to take in the full length of the trail, but can break it up into shorter segments if you choose.
Lake Lizzie Marsh Loop
This family-friendly trail is just under two miles long and lets you explore a fully-fledged conservation area in Orlando which is of course home to all sorts of interesting critters, so keep your camera close to hand and maybe bring some binoculars as well!
You don’t need to worry about actually traversing marshland by foot, as paths keep you away from any boggy areas. But be warned that in certain seasons, biting insects are prevalent, so bringing repellent with you to ward them off is wise.
Lake Baldwin Park Loop
If you’ve not looked at the map of Orlando, Florida, you might not realize how much of the city is taken up by bodies of water, and Lake Baldwin is another of the prominent, accessible examples of this that you should visit if you’re in the area.
It’s a two-and-a-half-mile loop that takes in the entire circumference of the lake, and benefits from being entirely accessible at all points, meaning even wheelchair users are not excluded from experiencing it.
This intermediate five-mile trail takes in the Econ River, a variety of forested areas, and of course a healthy dose of native wildlife, including the all-important alligators.
So long as you stick to the paths and steer clear of the water yourself, the bigger beasts that lurk in Florida’s natural surroundings won’t be a threat.
As you can see, Orlando is a great hub for hiking, so whatever your skill level and preferences, there’s something to enjoy during your trip to the sun-soaked heart of Florida.