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Best State Parks in Florida

Florida’s nature is dynamic and diverse. From the flat wetlands and swamps of South Florida to the gently rolling hills and winding rivers of Central and Northern Florida, the Sunshine State boasts a broad variety of beauty which can be seen in Florida’s state parks.

Alafia River State Park

You will find camp sites with electric and water, solar-heated showers, mountain bike and horseback riding trails, and dramatic elevation changes at Alafia River State Park, on County Road 39 – southeast of Tampa. Alafia River State Park is open year round.

Fees vary. A carload of 2 to 8 people is $5, and $22 plus tax for overnight camping stays. Alafia River State Park’s address is 14326 South County Road 39 in Lithia.

Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park

Located in the region of Lake Okeechobee, one of the largest freshwater lakes in the country, Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park offers visitors a unique view of a flatter Florida. Hikers, horseback riders, and others who love rambling about nature will enjoy the park’s 100 miles of trails. Campers can stay for $16 per night (plus tax), and tourists will enjoy buggy rides.

Fees vary, but begin as low as $2 per pedestrian. Kissimmee State Park is at 33104 NW 192nd Avenue in Okeechobee. The park is about two hours south of the Orlando-area attractions.

Myakka River State Park

Myakka River State Park, in Sarasota, is an expanse of Florida beauty as it exists around the 58-mile-long Myakka River. Hikers will love the trails and those wanting a different view of the park can take tours of the park’s two lakes on airboat tours. Myakka River State Park offers boating, camping, and pavilions for picnic and other events.

The fee structure begins as low as $2 per pedestrian and includes a $70 fee for nightly stays in one of the park’s cabins. Myakka River State Park is located at 1930 Clematis Street in Sarasota. The park is open every day beginning at 8 A.M.

Skyway Fishing Pier State Park

Some of the best fishing in the Tampa Bay Area can be experienced at Skyway Fishing Pier State Park, the longest fishing pier in the world. Located on the old western approach ramps for the old Sunshine Skyway Bridge (built in 1954, closed in 1987), the Skyway Fishing Pier State Park brings anglers right out in the middle of Tampa Bay. The Skyway Fishing Pier is open 24 hours a day and can be accessed for $4 per adult. Other fees may apply.

The Skyway Fishing Pier State Park is located in St. Petersburg, at 4905 34th Street South #5000.

Suwannee River State Park

You can be “way down upon the Suwannee River” when you visit Suwannee River State Park, located near Live Oak. This historic place offers visitors canoeing, several trails, cabins for overnight stays, a look at Civil War earthworks, and many other points of interest for the vacationing family or seasoned hiker.

Suwannee River State Park’s fees range from $2 for pedestrians to $100 per night for cabin rental. Campers can stay for $22 per night. Suwannee River State Park is at 3631 201st Path in Live Oak.

To find out much more about these and other parks in Florida’s State Park system, be sure to visit the Florida State Parks website or call the Florida State Parks Information Center at (850) 245-2157.

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