Florida Loop Trail is a 13.7 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Christmas, Florida that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, birding, and horses and is best used from September until April. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
Amazing old Florida hiking at its best. This hike takes you through a multitude of Florida ecosystems from sandy and dry to loamy and wet and you hike towards the St. John's River. Florida doesn't have altitude to speak of but the minuscule elevation changes have drastic impacts on the vegetation and habitats you walk through. Numerous bird and insect species are present and easily visible and there is a chance to see wild hogs, snakes, and other large species. If you're craving a getaway from urban central FL this is a MUST but this hike is not suitable for very novice hikers and children due to the remoteness and potential to be wading through ankle deep water even during dry season. This loop will take you through pine flatwoods, wet flatwoods, forested wetlands, and freshwater marsh as you combine the Myrtle Point Trail, the Blues Head Trail, and part of the Florida National Scenic Trail (hereafter referred to as the Florida Trail) into a 7.7 mile loop. This trail will be very underwater, hot, and buggy in summer/rainy-season so I would absolutely avoid it during those months unless you like hiking through (potentially) thigh deep water. Also be aware that hunting is allowed in certain portions of this park depending on season. Check the hunting calendar at the entrance and wear bright colors.
Debatably my favorite hike in FL (and one of my top 10 in the entire Southeast). A great way to see what FL used to look like before we drained all of it as you cross through beautiful pine/palm forests into the marsh and back. Fun wet/mud hike if you aren't afraid of getting dirty. My dog came with me and loved playing in the marsh!!! I would highly suggest avoiding it during summer because the water would be very high in the marsh and the bugs and humidity would be out of control.