• theLexperience

Go Wild In Florida For Under $10!

Updated: Jan 4


Take a walk on the wild side in Central Florida

Although we are advocates for wearing a mask and social distancing, we also love finding places where we don't have to cover up, or get close to anyone and lose ourselves in natural Florida. So, if you're like us and looking to rip off your mask and get a little bit, or extremely, wild, then we have some great places for you to discover. All these spots allow you to roam in nature either free, or under $10 a car!


We would like to point out that you should be mindful of others when visiting any of these recommendations, although we barely passed anyone, when we did either we, or they, would step out of the path to pass by safely. Also, always bring your own drinks and keep hydrated as many of these places do not offer any kiosks for supplies.


Hillsborough River State Park

This park is a real oasis, we loved the seven miles of nature trails, especially along the river bank. From hiking to biking, there's something for everyone to enjoy! There is an entry fee of $6 per car for this park and it's definitely worth it.

The River Rapids Nature Trail is spectacular, whether you like a leisurely stroll or an adventurous hike there's so much to enjoy, with boardwalks and plenty to places to stop and enjoy the view along the way.

As you enjoy exploring take in the magnificent Cypress Tree and their exposed knees!

The historic wooden suspension bridge, built by civilian conservation corps between 1934 and 1941, is a must see, as you walk across the river you can take in spectacular views up and down the river. Almost makes you feel you could be in Jurassic Park not just minutes from Downtown Tampa!


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When you've had enough walking you can take a rest and enjoy a picnic, there is a large picnic area with many tables with plenty of distance between them. We would warn that the squirrels there are very happy to come and enjoy a snack with you, so don't leave any food unattended. Under normal circumstances there are many amenities at this park, do check for updates, they do have restrooms available.


Address

15402 U.S. 301 North Thonotosassa, FL 33592

Hours of Operation

8 a.m. until sundown, 365 days a year

For more details please see here


Crooked Lake Prairie

Crooked Lake Prairie wetlands

Crooked Lake Prairie in Babson Park, has 4 ecosystems, it is set in 525 acres and offers a couple of walks. The Lake View Trail is easy and leads you to a short boardwalk with beautiful views across the lake and spots to sit. The Scrub Trail offers a moderate walk through scrubby and sandy terrain. During your hike look out for wildlife, including bald eagles, osprey, rabbits, deer and tortoise. Watch out for the prickly pear cactus!


If you are avid photographers like us there is plenty to capture here. There is no entry fee or parking costs and portable restrooms are available. During our time there we didn't pass anyone, so bring your own picnic and enjoy this peaceful spot.

Address

985 Ohlinger Road, Babson Park, FL 33827

Hours of Operation 6 a.m. — 6:30 p.m. (Standard Time) ~ 5:30 a.m. — 8 p.m. (Daylight Savings Time)

For more details please see here


Lake John/Peterson Park


Lake John is situated in Peterson Park, Lakeland and covers 97 acres, there is no entry fee and parking is free. Walking is easy, there is a shaded boardwalk as well as paved pathways. It offers plenty of picnic tables and a play area for those with kids. There is so much wildlife to see, a mix of turtles and anhinga's sunning themselves to heron's, egrets and many other birds including this cute limpkin which was strutting its stuff for us as we strolled along the boardwalk!


Address

3700 Cleveland Heights Blvd, Lakeland, Florida 33803

Hours of Operation

Always open


Circle B Bar Reserve

Circle B Bar Reserve is one of our absolute favorite places and we highly recommend it, in fact we love it so much we have devoted an entire feature to this place. You can read all about it here!


We hope that you enjoy checking out our recommendations and please come back for more of our explorations!


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