3 Wild Adventures for the Long Weekend
Oh beautiful, for spacious skies—that shine above the Florida Wildlife Corridor! This 4th of July weekend, we invite you to embrace your adventurous spirit with a journey into the wild heart of Florida.
Cool Off in a Natural Spring
If you’d like to beat the heat this weekend, look no further than Florida’s refreshing natural springs. Slip into one of the state’s 600 freshwater springs, most of which boast an average year-round temperature of 68 to 72 degrees, for an exhilarating and beautiful celebration of wild Florida.
Whether you prefer to swim, snorkel, kayak or simply sit on the shore and enjoy the beauty of the Corridor, there is a place for you here.
Here are just a couple of Florida’s natural springs to check out this holiday weekend.
Rainbow Springs State Park, Dunnellon
Rainbow Springs State Park is one of Florida’s first-magnitude springs, discharging more than 65 million gallons of cool, crystal-clear water every day. Often considered one of the most beautiful springs in Florida, Rainbow Springs is a popular spot for swimming, hiking, kayaking and snorkeling.
Wekiwa Springs State Park, Apopka
Just minutes from Orlando lies Wekiwa Springs State Park and the welcoming embrace of its 72-degree natural springs. With an average spring depth of just 4-feet in the swimming area, Wekiwa Springs is a great spot for families. Be sure to bring floaties for the kids! For lunch, pack a picnic for the family to enjoy on the grassy slopes of the park.
Pack a Wild Family Picnic
Gathering with friends and family for a meal enjoyed outside is as American as apple pie. This often takes the form of a good old-fashioned barbecue in the backyard, but why not get a little wild with this year’s Independence Day feast?
Throughout the Corridor, public parks offer comfortable spots to enjoy a picnic in nature. Prepare all your favorite 4th of July dishes, pack a gingham tablecloth and celebrate al fresco this weekend.
Riverbend Park, Jupiter
This hidden gem of a county park in Jupiter is the perfect spot to dip into the shade of a covered picnic table or pavilion and enjoy a meal with your friends and family. When you’re done, walk off your feast on a portion of the park’s ten miles of trails, including a stretch along the Wild and Scenic Loxahatchee River.
Faver-Dykes State Park, St. Augustine
Escape the crowds this holiday weekend at Faver-Dykes State Park in St. Augustine. Tuck under the cool canopy of towering longleaf pines along the calming presence of Pellicer Creek. Two covered pavilions with grills make the ideal destination for an afternoon outing, with nearby fishing and paddling access for those who want to explore the park’s intriguing landscape.
Glide Through the Corridor on an E-bike
Explore the Corridor with ease this weekend on an e-bike. E-bikes, or electric bikes, are bicycles that offer pedal assistance to make riding a breeze for everyone in the family.
Make the most of your e-bike experience by going in the morning or early evening, when the temperatures are coolest and the landscape comes to life, awash with the stunning colors of sunrise and sunset.
Not sure where to go? Check out these e-bike-friendly Corridor spots.
Shark Valley Trail, Everglades National Park
The 15-mile Shark Valley Trail through Everglades National Park is a wildlife lover’s paradise. Keep an eye out for birds, fish and alligators as you pedal through sawgrass prairie and hammock forest. The full loop takes around 2-3 hours to explore. E-bike rentals are available by reservation at Homestead Bikes.
Gainesville-Hawthorne State Trail, Gainesville
Cruise through Paynes Prairie Preserve Park and other conservation lands on the 16-mile, e-bike-friendly Gainesville-Hawthorne State Trail. Once a railroad bed, this trail is well-maintained and offers plenty of spots to rest, including thoughtfully-placed benches and even access to a few shops for snacks and cold drinks.
There’s nothing like ending a successful weekend in the Corridor with some seriously awesome Florida night sky views – and Paynes Prairie doesn’t disappoint!
Looking for more adventures in the Corridor this 4th of July weekend? Check out 5 Can’t Miss Camping Spots in the Florida Wildlife Corridor and Weekend in the Florida Wildlife Corridor: Miami Edition.