Explore 15 miles of wood paths by bike or by foot within Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park. The hard-packed white sand along the ocean also offers a great spot to run. Dogs are allowed on the beach at Hanna Park, so you’ll want to bring your furry friend along.
For an easy hike through old Florida, try this Westside gem. The 1.2-mile Tower Trail reaches an observation tower in the middle with great views that makes it more than worthwhile. There is a nature center at the trailhead, complete with a butterfly garden that houses milkweed and pentas flowers. The trail is shaded by tall pine trees that make the hike more than bearable even on hot sunny days. It starts off as concrete, then alternates between boardwalk to cross the wetlands and a soft, sandy trail littered with pine needles. It’s easy to follow the blue and orange marking on the trails. If you’re up for hiking a longer trail, there’s a 2.25-mile loop called the Island Trail that goes deeper into the woods.
Within the Timucuan Ecological & Historic Preserve and next to the sandy hills of Fort Caroline, The Theodore Roosevelt Area offers a variety of peaceful hiking trails where you can truly get away from it all and experience Northeast Florida’s amazing biodiversity – as well as its highest elevation! Three different trails meander through steep hills and beautiful wooded and grassland areas. Try the 1.2-mile Hammock Trail, it gives you an opportunity to immerse yourself in nature, and then immerse yourself in culture. The trail ends in the Fort itself.
Location: 13165 Mt Pleasant Rd, Jacksonville, FL 32225
This is a completely paved trail. This “linear park” is made from an old railroad corridor, so you get to choose how far you go. When you’re starting to feel tired, you can just turn around. The trail runs for 15 miles through tall oaks. In some places, the trees almost form an archway covering you from the Florida sun. There are also eight miles of spur trails that run through public conservation lands for hiking and horse riding.
The 50-acre nature preserve features seven trails, natural gardens, native animals, a petting zoo and a hands-on natural history museum. Tree Hill has paved and natural trails that showcase the best of the local wildlife.
Location: 7152 Lone Star Rd, Jacksonville, FL 32211
So bring the hiking shoes and get ready to explore the outdoors in Jax!
Located in the historic Arlington neighborhood, the Arboretum is by far one of the best hidden spots in Jacksonville. This 120-acre urban woodland has 3 miles of rustic hiking trails, a variety of natural ecosystems, native wildlife, beautiful streams, and a peaceful pond covered in lilies. The arboretum is open seven days a week, it is pet friendly, and a great outdoor spot for a family hike.