Florida is home to 3 National Forests and 38 State Forests.
Florida’s National Forests are Apalachicola, Ocala, and Osceola. Most if not all of these National Forests offer water-based recreation, trails, and roads that accommodate hiking, mountain bike riding, horseback riding, and more, as well as sites designated for camping. Visit the official USDA Forest Service – National Forests in Florida information. Florida also has 38 State Forests that are managed by the Florida Department of Agriculture.
So what is the difference between a State or National Forest and a Park? Florida Forest Service maintains the integrity of the forest environment while providing for multiple public uses including timber, recreation and wildlife habitat, and managing the land for the state’s future natural resource needs whereas State Parks are designated more for recreation and/or preservation.
If you love hiking or want to explore the State’s forests, check out the Florida’s State Forest Trailwalker Program. The program offers choices of trails and incentives to keep you motivated to keep exploring. Explore Florida’s Forests “One Step at a Time” and join the Trailwalker Hiking Program.
Learn about the history of Florida’s State Forest on the Friends of Florida State Forests Website: