10 Easy Florida Hikes You Should Definitely Do

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While I’m growing to love longer hikes (longer than I’m used to but still only 6-7 miles) I do still love a good short hike and there are so many short Florida hikes that are worth doing.

These are all easy Florida hikes that don’t require going through water (unless the trail floods, but don’t normally require it), are boardwalks, are short, or are flat.

But also, almost every hike in Florida is flat so we’ll go with short, boardwalks, and not in water. I’ve done all of these and will continue to update the post as I do more easy Florida hikes.

These are all great hikes to add to your Florida bucket list and hit along the way on an outdoorsy Florida road trip. Some make great destinations while others are great for breaking up a long drive.

fort matanzas st augustine florida
Boardwalk at Fort Matanzas

Map of short hikes in Florida

Map provided by Wanderlog, for itineraries on iOS and Android
birds on marsh trail ten thousand islands florida

What to bring hiking in Florida

Sunscreen – If you plan on being outside, you’ll want sunscreen.  I like the Neutrogena a lot, but if you’ll be visiting a beach soon, you’ll want a reef-safe sunscreen.

Hat – You’ll want some kind of hat to keep the sun out of your eyes.  A baseball hat should be fine but a bucket hat or sun hat could help keep the sun off your neck.

Sunglasses – This is a must no matter where you are.  Sunglasses are best paired with a hat on those really bright days.

Long sleeve shirt – A long sleeve shirt will help protect you from mosquitos.  This is a must for a summer visit, but not 100% necessary for January and February, but it would be helpful.

Bug spray – You’ll want to bring this no matter when you visit, but especially if you want to go in the summer.  I like the Ben’s bug spray as well as the Off! Deep Woods.

Good hiking shoes – If you’re sticking to boardwalks and other dry trails, Chacos will be good.  If you want to go in the water or flooded areas, you’ll want closed toe shoes so you don’t get cut by sawgrass. Chaco Odysseys with socks are my favorite for hiking in Florida.

pelicans on marsh trail ten thousand islands florida

Marsh Trail

Location: Ten Thousand Islands, Southwest Florida

Trail length: 2.2 miles round-trip

Is there a fee? Nope!

Why this is one of the best short hikes in Florida: This is a great easy hike in Florida if you want to see wildlife. Of course, it’s never guaranteed because it’s wildlife, but there is a very high chance of seeing some here.

This hike is pretty much all flat and once you pass the observation deck, it’s not the most thrilling hike, but it is nice if you want to avoid crowds, not that there are tons of crowds in this area. You can always turn around at the deck if you want.

It’s an awesome short hike near Everglades City and one I’ll probably at least do part of any time I visit the area. It’s especially great for birding.

Myakka state park canopy walk

Myakka Canopy Walk

Location: Myakka River State Park

Trail length: Just 0.8 miles round-trip

Is there a fee? $6 per vehicle to enter Myakka River State Park

Why this is one of the best short hikes in Florida: This is a nice short loop through the Florida Forest. You’ll be taking the William S. Boylston Nature Trail to the Canopy Walk.

The hike is easy but you will need to climb stairs to do the canopy walk 76-feet above the forest floor where you’ll have sprawling treetop views.

They may close the canopy walk if there is inclement weather or the forest area floods. If it’s open though, this is a great easy Florida Hike to get views you won’t get many other places in Florida. Shark Valley is another great place for treetop views.

Fakahatchee Boardwalk Florida

Big Cypress Bend Boardwalk

Location: Fakahatchee Strand State Park and Preserve, along the Tamiami Trail by Everglades City

Trail length: 1.2 miles round-trip

Is there a fee? Nope!

Why this is one of the best short hikes in Florida: Wildlife! I think we’ve seen at least one exciting animal every time we’ve done this. Sometimes it’s gators, sometimes it’s snakes, and sometimes it’s birds.

I just love it. This is half boardwalk half gravel path but all perfect Florida swamp. This is our go-to hike in Everglades City if we’re trying to pass a little time.

Everglades City tours

Corkscrew Swamp Florida

Corkscrew Swamp Boardwalk

Location: About 40 minutes from Naples and Fort Myers at the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary

Trail length: 2.25 miles

Is there a fee? Yes and it’s more than most places. It’s $14 per adult but it’s good for two back-to-back days.

Why this is one of the best short hikes in Florida: This is actually the longest boardwalk hike in Florida! I think that’s reason enough but you can also see a ghost orchid here! If you’re lucky. If you’re not, you can at least see it’s roots.

While this sounds like a longer hike, it’s still an awesome easy Florida hike since it’s all boardwalk. Those are usually pretty flat. We didn’t see tons of wildlife here but the swamp is beautiful.

Towards the end though, we did see those ADORABLE baby gators and I love them so much, they’re so cute! Just look at them! That said, this is a great hike and you should totally do it.

Read more about the ghost orchid in The Orchid Thief!

path at Alfred B Maclay gardens tallahassee

Alfred B Maclay Garden Walk

Location: Alfred B. Maclay Garden State Park is on the north edge of Tallahassee, about 15 minutes from FSU.

Trail length: I’m not actually sure, but 1-3 hours depending on how fast you walk and how much you stop

Is there a fee? Yes and it’s a little weird. It’s $6 per vehicle but from January to April when the gardens are blooming it’s an additional $6 (I’m not sure if it’s per person or group) to go into the gardens but it’s worth it.

Why this is one of the best short hikes in Florida: This is a great easy hike in Florida, it’s really more of a stroll. It’s almost like a stroll through the gardens of Alice in Wonderland.

The walk takes you through blooming camelias, dogwoods, magnolias, azaleas, and more, past a pretty good sized lake, through a secret garden, and to a small spring/pond.

This is a great walk to do while the flowers are blooming, it’s a wonderful short walk, and a great way to relax near Tallahassee.

Biscayne National park florida

Mangrove Trail

Location: Biscayne National Park just outside of the Dante Fascell Visitor Center, about 50 minutes from Miami

Trail length: 0.8 miles round-trip

Is there a fee? Nope! There is no entrance fee for Biscayne National Park

Why this is one of the best short hikes in Florida: AllTrails calls this the Jetty Trail but this is a wonderful short Florida hike that is part boardwalk until you get to a little jetty with mangroves along the way.

It’s also really one of the few things to do in Biscayne National Park without taking a boat. If you like fishing, you can even do that here! At least from the non-boardwalk parts for sure.

If Biscayne is on your national park bucket list, this is a great thing to do while you’re there. Definitely try to take a boat out to one of the islands, too, though. Also, put it on your park bucket list if it’s not there.

Anhinga everglades national park

Anhinga Boardwalk

Location: Everglades National Park

Trail length: 0.8 miles round-trip

Is there a fee? Yes, there is a $30 fee per vehicle to enter Everglades National Park

Why this is one of the best short hikes in Florida: This is an amazing short and easy hike in Florida that is particularly good for seeing wildlife.

We saw tons of different birds and quite a few alligators here. I think we did this trail twice and saw plenty of wildlife both times. If you see any gators on the trail, be sure to give them plenty of room as you pass by them and if you can’t pass by, then turn around.

This trail is all plat and it’s part paved, part boardwalk taking you over water and just through the glory that is the Everglades. I love this trail and everyone that visits this park should do it.

National Park Pass + Other National Park Deals

La Chua Trail Paynes prairie gainesville florida

La Chua Trail

Location: Paynes Prairie State Park in Gainesville

Trail length: 2.9 miles round-trip but it is currently closed at the end of the boardwalk because of flooding and has been for a few years, so it’s shorter for now

Is there a fee? It’s $6 per vehicle to enter the state park

Why this is one of the best short hikes in Florida: This is one of the best trails in Gainesville and it’s great for seeing wildlife. I love this trail.

In 2016 I was lucky enough to hike the whole trail and I think it flooded the next year (or 2018?) I’ve gone back a couple of times to do just the boardwalk part since then.

This a fantastic place to see wildlife including alligators, birds, snakes, horses, and even bison. There’s a Geocache on the boardwalk, too! While this is normally an easy slightly longer trail, now it’s just a great short hike. This is another one I love.

Sweetwater Wetlands Trail

Location: The southern edge of Gainesville just ten minutes from La Chua Trail.

Trail length: Up to 3.4 miles, depending on how many loops you do. There are three.

Is there a fee? $5 per vehicle to be paid in the parking lot entrance fee box

Why this is one of the best short hikes in Florida: This is another great hike to see wildlife. It can be anywhere from one-three miles and is flat so it’s nice and easy.

There isn’t much shade on this trail (almost none) so it can get pretty hot. But, it’s totally worth it, just bring lots of water. I’ve done this hike twice and saw tons of wildlife both times.

We saw snakes, alligators, lizards, turtles, and tons of birds. The three loops take you through, obviously, a wetland area and there is a one-mile boardwalk section as well. This is another trail I like a lot.

Fakahatchee hilton hike florida alligator on log

Fakahatchee Hilton

Location: The end of the Janes Memorial Scenic Drive in Fakahatchee Strand State Park and Preserve near Big Cypress

Trail length: 4 miles round-trip

Is there a fee? To enter this part of the park there is a $3 fee per vehicle

Why this is one of the best short hikes in Florida: Ok, so this isn’t all that short but it is easy and it’s totally worth it. This is definitely one of my favorite hikes overall in Florida

While it’s longer compared to everything else on here, it’s still an easy hike because it’s so flat. It’s just along an old road (it does still get used occasionally) so it’s fairly wide, too. I think in the summer it can sometimes get a little wet or muddy but in the winter this is wonderful!

There isn’t tons of wildlife along the way (occasional birds) but at the end there is a little swamp shack, the Fakahatchee Hilton, with a pond full of gators out back.

I’ve done this hike three times now and still love it. You could bike this trail if you wanted to switch things up. The main cover photo for this post is the Fakahatchee Hilton trail. I think this is my favorite easy hike in Florida so far.

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Have you done any of these short Florida hikes? Which ones? What is your favorite easy Florida hike?

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