May is here and the Florida Sun is calling your name. Experiencing the beauty of the great outdoors is a valuable way for people of all ages to recreate and spend free time. Explore the huge range of exciting outdoor opportunities in your area and discover your next adventure.
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:
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.
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!
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.
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.
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 2020, 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.”
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!
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:
Look and Listen
Obey Signs and Markings
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 AlwaysPut Safety First.
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is the state’s lead agency for environmental management and stewardship – protecting our air, water and land. The vision of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection is to create strong community partnerships, safeguard Florida’s natural resources and enhance its ecosystems.