Florida Guide > State Parks
STATE PARKS - an overview
Most tourists who visit Florida probably never visit a State Park-what a shame! They offer a wide choice of completely natural days out that leave you refreshed after the hub bub of the (wonderful) theme parks!
Florida was discovered by Ponce De Leon in 1513 whose expedition landed in St Augustine. He originally named all of America Florida. . . or Feast of Flowers in his native tongue.
The whole peninsula whcih would later be exclusively called Florida was a lush land of wetlands. tropical forest and lakes much of which was later decimated to make way for towns and farms.
Slowly a backlash started emerging against the clearing of Floridas natural heritage and eventually the Florida Park service came into being and they started a protection programme that has made Florida the glorious place it is today.
From Homossassas which offers an experience rich in animal life to Itchnetucknee where you can tube down crystal rivers for 3 hours there is something for all tastes.
Lake Louisa has spectacular lakes and a beach just minutes from the mouse and there are stunning gardens at Alfred B Maclay State Park in the north of Florida.
There are many ocean side parks which have done a great job of preserving the natural habitat for birds, animals and butterflies.
During the winter you will find manatess in the Blue Springs state park; this is a very nice place to visit.
One of the highest areas of Florida is the Falling Waters State Park where you can take a boardwalk to floridas highest waterfall or go to Edward Ball Wakulla where there is the largest deepwater springs in the world.
Birding is good at Faver Dykes or how about a cave tour at Florida Caverns State Park to see the stalactites and stalagmites? What an experience.
Forest Capital museum is a step back in time when you visit the 1864 cracker barrel homestead. Or visit an antebellum mansion at Gamble plantation; best to take the guided tour which take place several times a day.
During the winter months, manatees swim up river with their babies to Manatee Springs State Park where they enjoy the warmer waters. 100 million gallons of water flow through every day.
Rainbow Springs was a firm favourite with our children who loved swimming with the fish in the crystal spring waters. More recently we enjoyed a lovely walk down Stump Beach Pass.
All State parks open from 8am til sundown 365 days a year and cost a dollor or so o get in. I hope I have inspired you to incorporate at least one into your next visit to Florida.
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