The Ultimate Guide to an Outdoor Adventure
Tallahassee is one of Florida’s premier destinations for outdoor enthusiasts. With over 700 miles of breathtaking trails, Florida’s Capital City offers countless opportunities to explore this beauty of nature. Whether you’re looking to hike, bike, paddle or even bird watch, we’ve put together the perfect itinerary for outdoor adventure. To unearth even more of Tallahassee’s trails and to get some help mapping out your next adventure, be sure to check out Trailahassee.com.
Maclay Gardens (Lake Overstreet)
Although a popular destination for tranquil walks through nature, Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park is also home to an amazing mountain biking trail that winds through the woods before circling Lake Overstreet. This trail can be combined with both the Elinor Klapp-Phipps trail system and the much more challenging Redbug Trail located nearby.
St. Marks Historic Railroad Trail
Pedal along this perfectly paved path as it follows the route of Florida’s first and longest-operating railroad. Start at the Capital City trailhead and continue all the way to the historic town of St. Marks, where you can finish the trip with a bite to eat at any of the town’s quaint waterfront overlooking the St. marks River.
Gun Range Loop / Magnolia Trail
Tallahassee’s Gun Range Loop, also known as the Magnolia Trail, is located within the very popular Tom Brown Park. The trail offers mountain bikers a thrilling excursion along a rugged nature path with plenty of elevation changes Here you’ll follow the blue blazed trail marks as you venture into nature and discover a path with terrain that is unlike anywhere else in Florida.
A hike through Leon Sinks Geological Area offers a delightful introduction to the wonders of karst topography. Here, you’ll get an up-close look at one of the most extensive underwater cave systems in the world that connects to Wakulla Springs. Learn all about Florida’s unique geological wonders as you explore one of Tallahassee’s most popular hiking destinations.
Mission San Luis
Although this rugged little nature trail at Mission San Luis doesn’t top a half-mile, it gives visitors a good excuse to go play in the woods – and learn all about Florida’s great archaeological treasures. Your hike starts at the “Julia Munroe Woodward Nature Trail” sign located at the edge of the reconstructed Spanish village and it end at the open grassy hilltop, where the trail emerges just below the reconstructed fortress walls.
Elinor Klapp-Phipps Park
Lined with ancient magnolias, massive tulip poplars, and sinuous alluvial streams, Elinor Klapp-Phipps Park is overflowing with beautiful outdoor scenery. As the city’s most expansive and wild urban park, its 670 acres provide recreation for all, with separate hiking, mountain biking, and equestrian trail systems. Unwind as you hike through any of the park’s three stacks loops, each increasing in difficulty and length.
Just seconds from Florida’s Capitol building, Cascades Park is quickly becoming one of the city’s most modern, upbeat destinations. Its winding nature trails and paved sidewalks are perfect for a brisk outdoor jog. And when you’re finished, you can cool down beside the park’s colorful interactive water fountain or even grab a bite to eat at The Edison.
Apalachee Regional Park
The 100+ acre, award-winning Leon County Apalachee Regional Park is one of Tallahassee’s premier destinations for runners. The trail has hosted record-setting cross-country events and continues to be one of the most highly anticipated trails for runners across the state of Florida. Designed and built specifically with runners in mind, the trail offers easy accessibility, fast surfaces and breathtaking scenic views.
Fred George Greenway
Fred George Greenway and Park is one of Tallahassee’s newest outdoor recreation areas, created to satisfy the needs of nearby families and residents on the southwest side of Leon County. At the trail’s head, just feet from the multipurpose fields, walkers, joggers and bikers can find one of two storm water ponds, formerly a manmade lake, that now doubles as a habitat for wood storks and other local wildlife.
Lake Bradford is located on the southwest side of Tallahassee, adjacent to the Tallahassee Museum. On the most southern portion of the lake lies the Florida State Reservation. Here, you can rent kayaks, canoes, paddleboards and even sailboats to explore the wonders of Lake Bradford.
Piney Z Lake
Located within Lafayette Heritage Trail and adjacent to the J.R. Alford Greenway, Piney Z Lake offers aquatic adventures for locals and visitors alike. Those at a beginner level will enjoy a leisurely paddle through open water via kayak or canoe, while more experienced paddlers can make an easy portage from Piney Z Lake into Lower Lafayette to begin a 6-mile round trip journey to the western end of the lake and back.
Wakulla River / Wakulla Springs
Just a short drive from Tallahassee, outdoor adventurists will revel in one of Florida’s bucket list adventures along the Wakulla River. Enjoy a tranquil cruise by kayak or canoe and you’ll immediately recognize the spectacular beauty and serenity surrounding its crystal-clear waters. Also, nearby is Wakulla Springs, one of the world’s largest and deepest freshwater springs. here, you can enjoy guided boat tours that will provide an up-close look at the area’s unique wildlife, from manatees to bald eagles.
Lafayette Heritage Trail / JR Alford Greenway
Whether you’re a beginner looking to break in your first pair of binoculars, or an experienced birder in search of a new adventure, Lafayette Heritage Trail and JR Alford Greenway offer some of the most spectacular spots for sightseeing. The beautiful, unpaved paths that curve around Piney Z Lake offer breathtaking views of the most spectacular spots for sightseeing. The beautiful, unpaved paths that curve around Piney Z Lake offer breathtaking views of the woodland’s picturesque sights of the lake, and majestic glimpses of local wildlife like turtles, alligators and native birds.
AJ Henry Park
Spot a unique array of rare bird species as they soar overhead at AJ Henry Park. This 72-acre tract of parkland is centrally located amidst seven surrounding neighborhoods in the Killearn area. Raptors like the Mississippi kite and broad-winged hawk hunt for prey here in late spring and summer. The blue-winged teal, ring-necked duck and the occasional common goldeneye can be found on the lake in winter.
Apalachicola National Forest
The woods of Apalachicola National Forest teem with a plethora of rare bird species. Some specialty birds in the area include bald eagle, limpkin, red-cocked woodpecker, brown-headed nuthatch, and Bachman’s sparrow – to name just a few. See them all for yourself and start planning your next adventure at Trailahassee.com.
Established in 1931 as a wintering home for migratory birds, the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge serves as the gateway to the Panhandle Section of the Great Florida Birding Trail, it is a popular spot for viewing more than 250 different species throughout the year. Waterfowl are commonly seen from mid-November through late December, shorebirds are most common during late spring and early fall and songbirds arrive from their wintering areas in early spring (April). Multiple trails on the refuge are open to hikers, cyclists and horseback riders. The refuge includes 49.5 miles of the Florida National Scenic Trail.
The River Boat Tour along the Wakulla River is one of the most visited tourist destinations in the Tallahassee area. The 45-55-minute world-class wildlife viewing event takes visitors on a two-mile loop downstream and back among majestic bald cypress trees, elegant wading birds and toothy alligators. A camera is highly recommended to capture the candid images of the river’s fauna including the Anhinga, White Ibis, Blue Heron, Cormorant and others.