By Sally Perkins
Get the endorphins rushing and the adrenaline going with an adventurous hike near Orlando. Believe it or not, you can find exciting trails in Central Florida that provide beautiful views, wildlife, and some challenging treks.
Looking for a date idea that doesn’t cost a dime? Hiking is perfect for avoiding those uncomfortable silences. And best of all, there’s the added benefit of saving heaps of money in comparison to the cost of a traditional dinner and a movie combo.
Luckily, Orlando and the surrounding areas have plenty of hiking trails for the perfect date or a unique day out with friends.
Three hiking spots near Orlando:
Black Bear Wilderness Loop Trail
5298 Michigan Ave., Sanford, FL 32771
One of the wildest trails in the Orlando area, the Black Bear Wilderness Loop trail is ideal for the more experienced hikers. Its 7.1 miles allow plenty of opportunities to meet up with the area’s native wildlife…and yes — that includes bears.
This trail is a bit rustic in the amenities it provides which means it offers no public bathrooms and the campsite resting area is a bit rough around the edges. All in all though, this just adds to the charm for the more adventurous!
Florida Trail, Mills Creek
1350 Snow Hill Road, Geneva, FL 32732
Although short, only about 2 miles long, the Florida Trail offers a wide variety of habitats where you will be able to admire ancient oaks, bayhead swamps completely covered in dense foliage, and prickly pear cactuses. With so much to explore, don’t be surprised if this seemingly short trail takes awhile to finish.
Plus, as the trail lies on the more relaxed side, your furry four-legged friends are more than able to accompany you on your trek. With its majestic views, designated campsite and a well-accommodated picnic area, this trail offers the perfect setting for that outdoor experience.
Big Tree Park
761 General Hutchinson Parkway, Longwood, FL 32750
This one is for the history lovers. Best known for what used to be the oldest Cypress tree in the world, The Senator, the park has attracted thousands of visitors throughout the years. Senator M.O Overstreet gifted the 3,500-year old tree to Seminole County in 1929. Sadly, this tree legend perished in 2012 at the hands of a fire. However, the park still boasts Lady Liberty, the Senator’s 2,000-year-old sister tree. Pack a lunch and enjoy a meal in the park’s designated picnic area.
For more hiking spots and trails near Orlando:
- Orlando hiking map by Florida Hikes
- Seminole County trails
- Orange County trails
- Lake County trails
- Volusia County trails
Now that you’ve got some locations in mind, it’s time to get out there for an amazing experience. Who knows, maybe you’ll love it so much you’ll becoming a full-fledged hiker — even in Florida.
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Sally Perkins is a professional freelance writer with many years experience across many different areas. She made the move to freelancing from a stressful corporate job and loves the work-life balance it offers her. When not at work, Sally enjoys reading, hiking, spending time with her family and traveling as much as possible.