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Central Florida Parks & Recreation

After the thrill of theme park adventures wears off, make sure to save time to explore central Florida’s scenic natural beauty and take advantage of perfect year-round weather.  Located off the Wekiva River, Wekiwa Springs State Park offers visitors the opportunity to enjoy a picnic in a natural setting or take a swim in the crisp spring. Adventure-seekers can hike, bike and horseback ride through 13 miles of scenic trails.

Over on the west central coast of Florida, the Ybor City Museum State Park invites visitors to experience a rich cultural history immersing themselves in the Latin Culture. This urban park surrounds itself with decorative gardens worth touring. The Ybor City Museum offers tours of the former Ferlita Bakery for a history lesson of Cuban bread and cigar making that allowed the city to thrive in its heyday.

With a series of diverse natural habitats, miles of hiking trails, and wildlife observation, explore the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary on the south side of Titusville on Florida's Space Coast. Encompassing 470 acres, hop on the Tomoka Trail, Magnolia Loop, or Ridge Trail to soak up the Sunshine State's natural beauty.

Hardee County Pioneer Park

Located in Zolfo Springs, the Hardee County Pioneer Park is set in western Florida near Bowling Green. The park consists of three parts: Cracker Trail Museum, Pioneer Village, and the nine-acre Pioneer Park Lake.

Found at the intersection of State Road 64 and Highway 17, Pioneer Park also hosts the annual Pioneer Park Days in early spring. Established in 1967, Cracker Trail Museum houses roughly 4,000 items from Florida’s early days.

Winter Park Welcome Center and Chamber of Commerce

A great destination for all Winter Park visitors, the Winter Park Welcome Center and Chamber of Commerce is open Monday through Friday. Enjoy 11 video monitors and 3 laptop computers, all showcasing an abundance of information and events in Winter Park and the greater Orlando region.

The Welcome Center also houses the Winter Park Health Foundation Community Room, perfect for meetings, luncheons, and social functions. Don't forget to visit the Center's Galloway Gallery, which features local non-profits and educational institutions.

Rock Springs Run State Reserve

Featuring 17 miles of pristine trails, Rock Springs Run State Reserve is the perfect getaway for avid hikers, bikers, and outdoorsmen. Guided trail rides and horse rentals are available along the Wekiva River, just minutes outside of Orlando in the Space Coast region of Florida.

Primitive sites can only be accessed by canoe, as swimming is not permitted in the Wekiva river. The entire family, including pets and horses, can share the great beauty of Rock Springs Run. Public restrooms, trails, and outdoor activities allow for a short getaway just a few miles outside of the city.

Cradle Creek Preserve

Located within the salt marshes of the Intracoastal Waterway, this northeastern Florida coast preserve includes a raised platform for viewing abundant wildlife, areas for bird watching, and walking trails that overlook marshes and loop through a “hardwood hammock.”

Kayaks and canoes can be launched from this Jacksonville preserve as well.

Enchanted Forest Sanctuary

Encompassing 470 acres, the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary features a series of diverse natural habitats, miles of hiking trails, wildlife observation, and more. The Sanctuary is located on the south side of Titusville on Florida's attraction-fiilled Space Coast.

The sanctuary hosts a number of reocurring events thoughout the year as well – including Music in the Forest, Forest Funday, and Pond Tour and Plant Sale. Hop on either the Magnolia Loop, Tomoka Trail, or Ridge Trail and take in a piece of the Sunshine State's natural beauty.

Tomoka State Park

Just northwest of Ormond Beach in east central Florida, Tomoka State Park is a 1,800 acre Florida State Park. The park features landmarks like the 1,000 year-old Native American village, the Fred Dana Marsh Museum.

The park also features a half-mile nature trail through a hardwood hammock, a boat ramp, and a store offering snacks and canoe rentals. Don't miss glimpses of alligators, West Indian manatees, and over 160 bird species.

Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park

Set on U.S. Highway 19, Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park is located on Florida’s northwestern coast near Crystal River. Preserving 150 acres, the park offers boat tours, a nature trail, and concessions at the Wildside Café.

A Florida State Park, the site also features a Visitor Center, bird watching on the Pepper Creek Birding Trail, and picnicking in the Garden of the Springs. Rangers guide three tours through the park: Manatee Program, Wildlife Encounters, and the Alligator & Hippopotamus tours.

Ybor City Museum State Park

Housed in the former Ferlita Bakery, the Ybor City Museum State Park is surrounded by ornamental gardens and entrenched in a rich cultural history. Ybor City was founded in 1886 with the opening of its first cigar factory and soon flourished into the Cigar Capital of the World.

Located just outside of Tampa, the Ybor City Museum invites visitors to immerse themselves in the Latin history of Cuban bread and cigar making that allowed the city to thrive in its heyday.

From a video presentation to the guided tours of an authentically restored cigar worker’s house, there are many ways for visitors to experience the authenticity of Tampa and west central Florida.