A sampling of National Recreation Trails in the news or recently designated. The NRT program showcases the diversity of trails across America, from our cities and suburbs to the deserts, waterways, and high mountains.
Every kind of trail activity is represented in the listing of designated NRTs. Besides hiking and bicycling, the system includes water trails, motorized routes, snow tracks, greenways, and equestrian paths.
Search all of Florida's designated National Recreation Trails in the Online NRT Database
Wildflowers on the Withlacoochee State Trail
J.R. Alford Greenway — Part of Tallahassee's nationally recognized park system, this 27-mile urban trail and 880-acre greenway in Leon County provides for numerous recreational activities, native habitat preservation, and environmental education (designated 2007).
Apalachicola River Paddling Trail System – Stretching through the panhandle of Florida to the Gulf of Mexico, this nationally-recognized water trail system offers approximately 100 miles of scenic paddling trails for canoeists and kayakers of all abilities (designated 2008).
Big Bend Saltwater Paddling Trail — Located along the Gulf Coast of Florida, this 105-mile water trail embraces one of the longest and wildest publicly owned coastal wetlands in the United States. The route includes abundant wildlife habitat, historical sites, and beaches. The trail offers a variety of recreational opportunities, including kayaking, hiking, and swimming (designated 2005).
Blackwater Heritage State Trail, managed by Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection’s Office of Greenways & Trails, is the westernmost rail-trail in Florida, extending from the historic town of Milton to United States Naval Air Station (NAS) Whiting Field. The 8.1-mile trail passes through pine woods, a cypress/bay swamp and an area of white-topped pitcher plants. The trail offers an enjoyable trip through a quaint North Florida town and out into the countryside where there are creek crossings on wooden bridges. An unpaved equestrian trail parallels a segment of the paved trail (designated 2010).
Centennial Trail — Located at Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge, this 0.75-mile accessible trail tells the story of the first national wildlife refuge and celebrates the entire Refuge System, offering visitors the chance to learn about each national wildlife refuge in the country while enjoying scenic overlooks and abundant wildlife (designated 2007).
Centennial Trail on Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge
Cross Seminole Trail - 13.9 miles of paved recreational trail through Seminole County (designated 2012).
Flagler Trail - 8.7-miles of rail trail on the Okeechobee Branch of the Florida East Coast Railway (designated 2012).
Florida Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail — Stretching from Pensacola around the Florida peninsula to the Georgia border, this 1,500-mile sea kayaking paradise is considered by some as the saltwater version of the Appalachian Trail for its scenic features and connections to federal, state and local parks and preserves along the coasts of Florida (designated 2007).
Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail (See more photos of the trail) — This 106-mile trail system and greenway will span the islands from Key Largo to Key West, using the historic Flagler Railroad Bridges and connecting national wildlife refuges, state and national parks, and underwater recreation areas. In addition to wildlife, scenic features, and cultural resources, trail visitors enjoy biking, canoeing, horseback riding and fishing (designated 2004).
Foster's Hammock Loop Trail - 8-mile, single track mountain bike trail in Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park (designated 2012).
Gayle's Trails — Located in Panama City Beach, this 4.5-mile trail system provides a natural haven in an urban setting, linking residents to a variety of recreational amenities (such as a stocked Youth Fishing Pond) and providing opportunities for rollerblading, mountain biking, and kayaking (designated 2007).
Signs for boaters on the Great Calusa Blueway
(photo by Doug Alderson)
General James A. Van Fleet State Trail — The 29.2 mile route is one of Florida’s most rural rail trails, passing through the 322,690-acre Green Swamp “Area of Critical State Concern.” Landscapes include the Green Swamp, former citrus lands, and cattle ranches with excellent wildlife viewing opportunities (designated 2002).
Fred Marquis Pinellas Trail (See more photos of the trail) — One of the busiest trails in the nation, this 47-mile multi-use rail-trail is seen as a green jewel in the midst of the state's most highly urbanized county. The trail traverses the entire western length of Pinellas County linking several cities (designated 2003).
Great Calusa Blueway — Located in one of the fastest growing areas of the country, this 30-mile ecological corridor that connects Federal, State, and local preserves, with historic sites in Lee County. Home of Florida's first "aquatic preserve," the water trail offers views of wildlife in their natural habitat, as well as kayaking, fishing, and swimming (designated 2004).
Jacksonville-Baldwin Rail Trail — Located in Duval County, this 15-mile rail-trail acts as an important ecological corridor traversing creeks, pine flatwoods, and upland forests. Trail users have the opportunity to visit Camp Milton, a Civil War site, and can participate in a variety of activities, including hiking, biking, and wildlife observation. The trail is a partnership between the City of Jacksonville, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, and various organizations.
Jacksonville-Baldwin Rail Trail restroom
(photo by Jody McDaniel)
Marjorie Harris Carr Cross Florida Greenway — A State recreation and conservation area formerly known as the Cross Florida Barge Canal. This 110-mile corridor stretches from the Gulf of Mexico to the St. Johns River, traversing rivers, floodplains, lakes, wetlands, ridges and uplands. The greenway offers a growing number of recreational and interpretive opportunities.
Miccosukee Canopy Road Greenway — Also part of Tallahassee's nationally recognized park system, this 20-mile urban trail and 503-acre greenway protects natural and historic resources and is part of a plan to connect Leon County by a trail system accessible via bicycle, horse, or on foot (designated 2007).
Nature Coast State Trail traverses the Suwannee River Valley for 31.7-miles. Managed by the Florida Office of Greenways and Trails, the rail trail connects the communities of Cross City, Trenton, Fanning Springs and Chiefland (designated 2010).
Peghorn Nature Park and Trails features a 58-acre park and trail system near downtown St. Cloud, including wetlands and wildlife habitat hosting migratory birds during the winter. Future plans will link Peghorn Nature Trails with a trail system to be developed on the adjacent Steven Plantation property (designated 2003).
Seminole Wekiva Trail - rail trail runs 14 miles from Altamonte Springs north to the Wekiva River (designated 2012).
Suncoast Trail — The 42-mile trail traverses through Hillsborough, Pasco, and Hernando Counties, and was the first to be designed and constructed by the Florida Turnpike Authority. It allows for safe, convenient recreational opportunities while providing for conservation of native landscape buffers. The trail also provides recreation for people who enjoy activities like biking and wildlife observation (designated 2002).
Tallahassee-St. Marks Historic Railroad State Trail runs 16 miles from Florida’s capital city to the coastal town of St. Marks. The paved trail provides an excellent workout for bicyclists, walkers and skaters and horseback riders can use the adjacent unpaved trail as well as the Munson Hills Off-Road Trail in Apalachicola National Forest. The trail is a completed section of the developing 120-mile “Capital City to the Sea Loop” (designated 2010).
Tom Varn Hiking and Jogging Trail — In the city of Brooksville’s Tom Varn Park, 1.5 miles of trail provide access to both active recreation activities and a scenic trail experience. The trail meanders beneath a lush canopy of overhanging trees and along serene ponds (designated 2011).
Timucuan Multi-Use Trail — This 2.31-mile urban trail/bikeway in Little Island State Park is the first piece of a larger trail system which will protect and connect pristine habitat and historically-significant sites of North Florida (designated 2007).
Withlacoochee State Trail — The longest rail-trail in Florida, it extends south 46 miles from near Dunnellon in Citrus Springs to Trilby and offers an enjoyable, varied journey through small towns, ranches, and six distinct natural communities. An unpaved equestrian trail parallels portions of the 12-foot paved trail (designated 2011).