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Office of Greenways and Trails

 

What has outdoor recreation looked like for you this past year?

For many of us, this past year has been full of changes. This includes how we recreate outdoors. As we look back on a very eventful year, the Office of Greenways and Trails wants to hear how you were able to continue enjoying the outdoors. Did you pick up a new hobby around your home, like gardening or birdwatching? Were you unable to play team sports at your local park? Perhaps you discovered a new park or trail not far from your home? Whatever outdoor recreation has looked like for you this past year, we would love to hear about it! After all, it’s your experiences during this unique time that will help us plan for future recreation opportunities around the state!

The survey should take about 5-10 minutes and is available in English and Spanish. Not a Florida resident? No problem. We have a survey for you too! 

Please click the link below to be taken to the survey:

Florida Resident

Out of state Visitor


 

#ActiveApril

The weather is warming up and everything is turning green. Enjoying an outdoor activity is a great way to spend your leisure time while playing, being creative or relaxing. Explore the huge range of exciting outdoor opportunities in your area and discover your next adventure.

To find a trail near you, use our statewide Online Trail Guide

Share your experiences on social media using #ActiveApril and encourage your family members and friends to participate, too.

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Dates to Remember:

April 1-7: National Public Health Week 

April 7: National Walking Day

April 14: National Gardening Day

April 26-30: Every Kid Healthy Week

The Powerful Health Benefits of Spending Time Outside – Total Wellness. This is a good article that not only describes benefits of getting outside but also provides “a few simple tips to help you spend less time inside and more time enjoying nature”.

  • Increased happiness
  • Improved memory
  • Stress relief
  • Reduced inflammation
  • Energy boosts
  • Vitamin D boosts
  • Stronger immune system

Health Benefits of Getting Outside – WebMd. Highlights the following benefits and more:

  • Increases exercise
  • Increases vitamin D
  • Reduces anxiety
  • Opportunity to be social
  • Improves sleep
  • Improves self-esteem
  • Improves focus
  • Improves immunity
  • Boosts creativity
  • Helps manage weight
  • Improved mental heath

Being outside can improve memory, fight depression, and lower blood pressure — here are 12 science-backed reasons to spend more time outdoors – Business Insider.

Benefits of Physical Activity-Center for Disease Control


Need some ideas to get outdoors? Check out the Document below

To find a trail near you, use our statewide Online Trail Guide



 

March is Florida Biking Month!

Hopping on a bike is a great way to enjoy the spring weather, get your daily dose of exercise, enjoy some sunshine and fresh air, or even grab your daily moment of Zen! Whether you bike occasionally for fun, need an activity to do with your kids, or are starting a new exercise routine, sign up for our #BikeforyourHealth challenge.

Biking is a great aerobic exercise, an economical and environmentally friendly transportation option and it’s fun! The health benefits are tremendous: Burn calories, strengthen your muscles, improve cardiovascular fitness, develop lower body strength and improve balance. Trails provide safe, clean open spaces where you can ride. Plus, you get to wear a cool helmet!

To find a trail near you, use our statewide Online Trail Guide.


Bike for Your Health Challenge

Over the course of a month, could you bicycle the entire East Coast Greenway? Whatever your ability, the Bike for your Health challenge will motivate you to get out there and ride for health, happiness and fun.

Getting started is easy:

1. Sign up for the Bike for Your Health Challenge here.

2. Find a trail in the statewide network of trails using this Online Trail Guide.

3. Use your favorite fitness tracker to count your miles.

4. Get Outside and Bike

5. Submit the form each day you participate.

6. Reach milestones and win digital prizes.

Share your experiences on social media using #BikeForYourHealth and encourage your family members and friends to participate, too.


 

February is Florida Hiking Trails Month and American Heart Health Month!

To celebrate, take a heart-healthy hike with your sweetheart to explore Florida’s hiking trails. Besides spending time with your sweetheart and making happy memories, you’ll enjoy the many benefits of outdoor recreation.

Trails provide safe, clean open spaces where families can exercise, relieve stress and get fresh air. You’ll find health benefits for outdoor recreation that include lower blood pressure, improved fitness, improved mood and more.

If you are looking for a destination hike, check out Florida’s Trail Towns. Each one provides a vibrant location for outdoor fun, including hiking, biking, horseback riding or canoeing and kayaking. To find a trail near you, use our statewide Online Trail Guide.

Dates to Remember

Feb. 7 – Wear Red for Women’s Heart Health Day

Feb. 14 – Valentine’s Day

For an extra special Valentine’s Day, take a hike with your sweetheart for both your hearts.

Hike for Your Health Challenge

Hikers are invited to complete a virtual 5K to celebrate Hiking Trails Month. Just walk a 5K or 3.1 miles on any given day in February. Register here to tell us when you completed the 5K and which trail you enjoyed. You will receive cool race gear for your photos on social media. You’ll be able to down a virtual race bib, photo frame and background for your virtual meetings. Use #HikeForYourHealth.

Getting started is easy:

1. Find a trail in the statewide network of trails using this Online Trail Guide.

2. Use your favorite fitness tracker to count your miles.

3. Get Outside and Hike or Walk (5K or 3.1 miles)

4. Register here to tell us you completed the Hike for Your Health Challenge.

5. Complete challenge and win digital prizes.

Share your experiences on social media using #HikeForYourHealth and encourage your family members and friends to participate too.



 


In October, 30 participants hiked, walked, ran, bicycled, mountain biked and paddled 1,503.13 miles across Florida! 


Drum roll, please. And the winners are:


1st Place: Miri Hardy of Sarasota walked/biked and mountain biked at Myakka River State Park, Longboat Key Bike Trail, Celery Fields Trail for a total of 273.5 miles. Miri says: “Got out on my bike a LOT and hit many of my favorite trails.  Often with my camera.”

(Photo Credit: Miri Hardy) @MiriInTheWild

2nd Place: Jonathan Mays of Alachua County ran and bicycled 174.82 miles on the Gainesville to Hawthorne State Trail and the trails of Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park and San Felasco Hammock Preserve State Park. “Just like I celebrate all months, by utilizing to the fullest extent possible Florida's State Park System, greenspaces, and trail network.”

3rd Place: Molly of Leon County “walked outside the whole month on a variety of local trails for 99.91 miles.

Congratulations to the winners of the Trailblazer Challenger! They get some bragging rights. We challenge everyone to continue their outdoor activities. October may be over, but the weather is still ideal for getting outdoors!



October is Finally Here!

Celebrate Greenways and Trails Month with Us

Click here to find a trail near you, read stories about Trail Towns and other partners around the state, and join our Trailblazer challenge!


New Trail Safety Video

With our sunny skies and active lifestyles, Florida’s residents and visitors enjoy exploring our many miles of trails. Trail safety is important, particularly where trails and roadways cross. We all need to do our part to protect one another and prevent crashes. Whether as a motorist or trail user, we have a shared responsibility to:

  1. Look and Listen
  2. Obey Signs and Markings
  3. Take Control of Our Own Safety

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP), Division of Recreation and Parks, have joined together to put the spotlight on this important topic by developing this Trail Safety Video.

Feel free to share or download the video, along with the extra information found below...and remember to Always Put Safety First.

                                         More Trail Safety Information
Trail Safety Poster
Trail Safety at Crossings

For even more information on trail safety, please visit our Assistance and Resources section.



Do you enjoy hiking, biking, paddling or horseback riding? The Office of Greenways and Trails  (OGT), within the Division of Recreation & Parks, provides statewide leadership and coordination to establish, expand and promote non-motorized trails that make up the Florida Greenways and Trails System, pursuant to the Florida Greenways and Trails Act (Ch. 260, Florida Statutes). More can be found in the Office Overview and Historical Timeline


Outdoor Florida features recreational opportunities across Florida's local, state and federal lands. Download the free Outdoor Florida App.


"Florida's Growing Trail System" article in the March/April, 2019 issue of Quality Cities Magazine, provides an overview of Florida's trail system and Trail Town program.


To be included in OGT's online calendar or Connections newsletter, send announcements and articles to OfficeofGreenwaysandTrails@floridadep.gov.


Featured Publications: 2019-2023 Florida Greenways and Trails System PlanUnpaved Non-Motorized Trail GuidelinesTrail Design Standards Infogram2019 Outdoor Recreation Economic InfogramEstablishing and Promoting a Paddling Trail or Blueways System.


Florida trails 500-plus miles in length:
Florida National Scenic Trail
Florida Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail
East Coast Greenway

Peruse the Online Trail Guide page for more trail links.  

    

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