Jacksonville is a destination made for the outdoor enthusiast with our stunning views, cool breezes, oak covered roads, natural biking and hiking paths, exciting sites to explore, and a fitness culture that makes you want to head outdoors and hit the trails!
Expanding along the St. Johns River, the Riverwalk perfectly combines the serenity of the water with the urban core’s upbeat vibe.Perhaps the most popular running route in Jacksonville, joggers begin at the YMCA in historic Brooklyn and head toward the San Marco Southbank crossing two pedestrian bridges to traverse Downtown. This route creates a perfect five mile out-and-back loop.
Keep cool in the shade of the oceanfront homes along Beach Avenue as you watch the sun rise over the Atlantic Ocean. Beginning at the Beaches Town Center near One Ocean Resort in Atlantic Beach, this breezy avenue spans 22 blocks. Out-and-back, the route is a 5.5K, filled with joggers and bicyclists of all skill levels at every hour of the day. The midpoint of this running route scales the 19th Street hill, a hot skateboarding spot known for its surprisingly steep incline.
Jacksonville-Baldwin Rail Trail – 850 N. Center St, 32234
The Baldwin Rail Trail is an expanse of railroad track converted to a 14.5 mile running trail. Beneath the oak and pine trees’ branches, runners and bikers zoom down this 12-foot-wide forested path. This rail-trail combines the best of both worlds—a long, smooth trail in the midst of a woodland, filled with the aroma of freshly-fallen pine needles.
S-Line Urban Greenway – Myrtle Ave and Norwood Ave
The S-Line is an old railway transformed into a wide, paved trail for runners, walkers, and bikers alike. Located in the outskirts of downtown Jacksonville, this 5k begins in the Durkeeville area and winds through Historic Springfield, a neighborhood with one of the largest collections of Victorian homes in the Southeast.
Why stick to the pavement when you could jog along the sand? At low tide, Neptune Beach’s smooth shore is filled with runners whose only obstacles are tidepools and sandcastles. Just under 4K out to the Jacksonville Pier and back, the length of this small beach town makes a quick, scenic running route. Afterward, take a dip in the waves at Seagate Avenue, a popular surfing destination among the locals.
Theodore Roosevelt Area at Timucuan Preserve – 13165 Mt. Pleasant Rd, 32225
Considered the toughest running route in Jacksonville, this trail snakes through the highest elevations in Jacksonville. The hills along the trail rush back down to the marshlands, where manatee sightings are common in the Springtime. This six-mile loop spans rough terrain covered in exposed oak and pine tree roots, creating a stunning wooded path.
A1A Timucuan Trail – 9953 Heckscher D., 32226
Cutting through the middle of the Timucuan Preserve, amidst the beauty of local State Parks, the A1A Trail connects Big Talbot Island to Little Talbot Island on a paved path surrounded by marshes, wild vegetation, and the occasional wildlife encounter with a tortoise, and hundreds of different bird species. There are parking lots by the trail and it is protected from traffic by vegetation and barriers making it very safe for long distance runners.
3. Eco Tours
Nature enthusiasts enjoy historic tours that explore significant historical and natural sites in Jacksonville including Fort George Island, Kingsley Plantation and the Talbot Island State Park. All the while, guides discuss flora and fauna, while telling the history of the island. These tours are offered throughout Jacksonville in our lush natural habitats. Book your next eco tour through EcoMotion Tours or Kayak Amelia.
Bicycles – E2Ride Bike Tours
Experience first class fun as you cycle scenic back roads laced with sunlit Spanish moss, architectural gems, cool breezes, and spectacular riverbank views on this attraction. Relax with excitement as you glide through historic Riverside-Avondale, San Marco, Olde Mandarin, Springfield or the Beaches. A helmet, snacks, water-bottle and bicycle rental provided. www.e2ride.com
Explore Jacksonville from the water! These guided tours will take you to the must-see spots and point out the area’s beautiful wildlife and vegetation. Kayak Amelia offers many different kayak excursions, including Little Talbot’s famous Boneyard Beach, the tidal marsh of Egans Creek and Amelia Island’s lighthouse. Adventure Kayak Florida will take you around the heart of Jacksonville, through Ortega River, Julington Creek and Thomas Creek Preserve. www.kayakamelia.com or www.adventurekayakflorida.com
You can’t come to Northeast Florida without learning how to surf! Jax Surf and Paddle will take you out and teach you how to surf in an hour. They are kind and patient and will get you on your board in no time. Saltwater Cowgirls specializes in teaching girls and women hot to hang ten! The surf here is one of the most in Florida for beginners. More info: www.saltwatercowgirlssurf.com, https://jacksonvillesurfandpad...
Top Parks to Explore
Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park - 500 Wonderwood Dr, Jacksonville, FL 32233
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, so you’ll want to bring your furry friend along.
The Jacksonville Arboretum – 1445 Millcoe Rd, 32225
Located in the historic Arlington neighborhood, the Arboretum is by far one of the best hidden spots in Jacksonville. Great hiking trails, different ecosystems, wildlife (turtles everywhere!), streams, and a beautiful and peaceful pond covered in lilies. The arboretum is pet friendly and a great outdoor spot for a family hike.
Betz-Tiger Point – 13990 Pumpkin Hill Rd, 32226
Trails are known for providing glimpses of dolphins and rare birds.
Cedar Point Preserve – 7116 Cedar Point Rd, 32226
More than 600 acres of outdoor natural beauty, with horseback riding and dogs on leashes both permitted.
Seaton Creek Preserve – 2145 Arnold Rd, 32218
Historians believe it was the site of the southernmost battle of the American Revolution, and the preserve is still in the same undeveloped, pristine condition it was then.
Pumpkin Hill Creek Preserve – 13802 Pumpkin Hill Rd, 32226
The Ultimate bird watching affair. Enjoy a five-mile hike to see the eagles nest. Over fifteen miles of hiking by foot, bike or horse.
For more parks check out our parks section.
Jacksonville offers a variety of beautiful courses for golfers of all skillsets. Additionally, Jax also has a variety of other golf-related activities, including Top Golf and a PGA Tour Superstore. Jacksonville is also local to one of the most recognizable PGA TOUR tournaments, THE PLAYERS Championship.
More info: www.florida-golf.org.