Top Summer Backpacking Trips Near South Florida

May 3, 2014 8:00 AM

Big Cypress Bend Boardwalk at Fakahatchee Strand Preserve (Source:

South Florida may be nestled on one of the most coveted coastlines in the world, but is also rich with swampy wilderness that is home to exotic wildlife and amazing plants. Pack your gear and discover the exotic interior of the Everglades and Big Cypress Swamp. There are millions of acres to trek across the rich wetlands and adventure is waiting around every turn. And, unlike many other hiking reserves across the nation, the South Florida weather is perfect for backpacking trips year round.
big cypress Top Summer Backpacking Trips Near South Florida


Big Cypress Bend Boardwalk at Fakahatchee Strand Preserve
137 Coastline Drive
Copeland, Florida 34137
(239) 695-4593

Strap on your backpack and prepare to make your way through the most accessible region of Fakahatchee Preserve State Park just east of Naples. The Big Cypress Bend Boardwalk is your first peek into the beauty this park has to offer. Take note of the cluster of virgin cypress trees as you tramp through the heart of the swampland of South Florida’s own Amazon. You will find yourself surrounded by vast shades of green and majestic cypress trees in every direction.

bear cut nature preserve Top Summer Backpacking Trips Near South Florida


Bear Cut Nature Preserve
Key Biscayne
6767 Crandon Blvd.
Key Biscayne, FL 33149
(305) 361-3018

If you like your hikes to include the breathtaking beach scene of Miami, make plans to wander through Bear Cut Nature Preserve at Crandon Park on Key Biscayne. The Bear Cut Preserve winds along the shores of that sea, but offers unrivaled scenery, including lush tropical trees and wildlife habitats. Your journey is complete when you experience the overlook of a fossil reef set against the gorgeous downtown Miami skyline. Just before the sun dips below the edge of the earth, take a moment to stop at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Nature Center to learn about all of the plants and animals you encountered on your journey.

blazing star preserve Top Summer Backpacking Trips Near South Florida


Blazing Star Nature Preserve
1751 Camino Real Rd.
Boca Raton, FL 33486

Hidden in the midst of suburbia in Boca Raton is an unexpectedly well-preserved nature habitat: Blazing Star Nature Preserve. Despite the hub-bub of modern life that has grown up around it, the Blazing Star Nature Preserve is a standing remnant of the Atlantic Coastal Ridge – ancient dunes that were once the hallmark of the South Florida’s oceanfront. March your way through 26 acres of history to experience a rich forest with a unique feature: a floor of shimmering white sand.

Related: Top Seafood Restaurants in South Florida

babcock ranch Top Summer Backpacking Trips Near South Florida


Babcock Ranch – Ecotour Trail
8000 State Road 31
Punta Gorda, Florida 33982
(800) 500-5583

Yes, you can experience a prairieland in South Florida. The Babcock Ranch offers an Ecotour Trail that demonstrates why some ranchers feel right at home in South Florida. Discover the palmetto prairie, where wet flatwoods will soak your toes as you traipse deep into the expansive wilderness. See some of the rarest birds in the country that call Florida home or set your eyes on a number of other exciting wild creatures.

arch creek park Top Summer Backpacking Trips Near South Florida


Arch Creek Park
1855 N.E. 135th St.
North Miami, FL 33181
(305) 944-6111

Arch Creek Park is known as a tropical hammock nestled in North Miami. Between 500 B.C. and 1300 A.D., it was believed to be home to the Tequesta Indian village. Today, it is a backpacker’s dream, offering dark forestland to blaze a trail and a rich expanse of tropical plant life. Uncover ancient limestone and indulge in a little history at the “Gateway to Miami” arch, built in the 1800s.

Related: Five Reasons to Visit South Florida for Spring Break

Danielle C. Tworek holds a degree in Nutrition & Dietetics and is a NASM certified personal trainer and weight loss specialist. Danielle’s health-focused articles have been featured on multiple top-ranked news and blog sites. Her work can also be found on

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