Time, nature, and history created parks in Florida.
There are 50 states, each with their own collection of state parks, but only one—Florida—has received the National Gold Medal Award for Excellence in the management of state park systems four times.
With its diverse ecosystems and an army of managers, rangers, volunteers, and support staff dedicated to preserving our waters, woods, springs, prairies, barrier islands, and historic sites, Florida State parks have had a head start.
Since 1935, Florida has been adding to its collection of beautiful, historic and calming places that reflect the natural essence of the state. Travel from Pensacola to Key West and you'll find 174 state parks where hiking, wilderness, and equestrian trails are spread across 800,000 acres. State parks include 100 miles of white beaches and many more miles of paddling trails. So alluring are parks in Florida that more than 25 million guests a year rely on them to decrease stress and increase adventure. They'll spend time swimming and diving and fishing in rivers and springs. They'll follow migrating birds along the Great Florida Birding Trail, mount up for a horseback ride, descend into a cavern, pitch a tent or park an RV, visit a museum, attend a festival, art show or concert, or climb a lighthouse to see Florida from a different perspective.
And you're welcome to join them at our Florida parks.
Florida is one of the most fascinating places on earth and each day its state parks prove it. In the Florida Keys you'll find the only state park that's underwater, John Pennekamp State Park, inviting you into a world teeming with sea life and vivid coral reefs. North of Jacksonville is what could be the only state park that's a fishing pier, George Crady Bridge Fishing Pier State Park, spanning Nassau Sound and providing access to epic fishing. And you'll find Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park west of Tallahassee, a masterpiece of floral architecture that some interpret as the original Garden of Eden since the rivers and trees here were described in the Book of Genesis.
In Florida parks, there are botanical gardens and caverns, flowing rivers where visitors on inner tubes float gently down the stream, islands that have remained untouched and unpopulated for thousands of years, clear springs where you can watch mermaids at play or peek through the deck of a glass bottom boat and into the depths below.
And that's just Florida's state parks.
Travel across the state and you'll find nearly every county and nearly every city has parks they're proud of, providing residents and visitors with an even wider range of activities including lakes, beaches, picnic shelters, trails, restaurants, beach campgrounds, and historic sites.
Now it's time for you to see the parks in Florida.
Big Talbot Island State Park
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