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10 Dog-Friendly Hiking Trails in Central Florida You Can Visit in 2023

Jeff Weishaupt

By Jeff Weishaupt

labradoodle with the owner outdoor

Central Florida has some of the best hiking trails in the country, with scenic views that will leave you gasping for breath. Some examples include the Aucilla Sinks, Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, Highlands Hammock State Park, and Prairie Lakes Loop.

But can you take your furry little four-legged buddy with you? Below, we do a round-up of the best dog-friendly trails in Central Florida for your next hiking trip.

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The 10 Dog-Friendly Hiking Trails in Central Florida

1. Lake Louisa Nature Trail

πŸ—ΊοΈ Address πŸ“ 7305 US Hwy 27, Clermont, FL 34714, United States
πŸ• Open Times 8 am to sunset
πŸ’² Cost $5 per vehicle entry fee
πŸ• Off-leash allowed In some places
  • Open year-round and beautiful enough to visit at any time
  • Takes about 2 hours to complete
  • Visit during quiet hours to enjoy the wildlife in peace

2. Big Shoals Trail

πŸ—ΊοΈ Address πŸ“ White Springs, FL 32096, United States
πŸ• Open Times 8 am to sunset
πŸ’² Cost $4 per vehicle entry fee
πŸ• Off-leash allowed No
  • 28 miles of hiking trails to take your dog on an adventure
  • Take the Woodpecker Trail (3.4 miles) if your pooch is new to hiking
  • Don’t forget to keep your pup on a 6-foot leash
  • Enjoy the beautiful views and vast wildlife

3. Wekiwa Springs White Trail Loop

πŸ—ΊοΈ Address πŸ“ 1800 Wekiwa Cir, Apopka, FL 32712, United States
πŸ• Open Times 8 am to sunset
πŸ’² Cost $4 per vehicle entry fee
πŸ• Off-leash allowed In some places
  • A challenging trail that takes about 3 hours and 50 minutes to complete
  • Also popular for mountain biking and camping
  • Does get muddy during winter, so bring waterproof shoes
  • Ideal for a single-day hike or multi-day backpacking

4. Yearling Trail

πŸ—ΊοΈ Address πŸ“ FL-19, Fort McCoy, FL 32134, United States
πŸ• Open Times 24 hours
πŸ’² Cost Free
πŸ• Off-leash allowed In some areas
  • Popular for walking and hiking, taking 1 hour and 42 minutes to complete
  • Free unless you want to visit the Juniper Springs Recreation Area
  • Look out for interpretive signals to find points of interest in the trail

5. Fern Trail, Governor’s Park

πŸ—ΊοΈ Address πŸ“ 700 N Blair Stone Rd, Tallahassee, FL 32301, United States
πŸ• Open Times 6 am to 6 pm
πŸ’² Cost Free
πŸ• Off-leash allowed No
  • Off-leash dogs allowed on the nearby fenced dog park
  • An hour-long trail for a short hike
  • Be wary of surrounding construction sites if your dog doesn’t appreciate noisy areas
  • Enjoy the stream along the trail
  • Most part of the trail is shaded by woodlands

6. Steffee Homestead Trail

πŸ—ΊοΈ Address πŸ“ 4280 W Vine St, Kissimmee, FL 34741, United States
πŸ• Open Times 8 am to 5 pm
πŸ’² Cost Free
πŸ• Off-leash allowed No
  • Situated in the Shingle Creek Regional Park
  • A short and sweet trail with nice scenery
  • Open throughout the year
  • Consider checking before visiting, as the area experiences flooding seasonally

7. Moses Creek White Trail

πŸ—ΊοΈ Address πŸ“ St. Augustine, FL 32086, United States
πŸ• Open Times 24 hours
πŸ’² Cost Free
πŸ• Off-leash allowed No
  • An hour-long hiking trail with an out-and-back route
  • Passes through eight natural communities, such as mixed upland forests, sandhills, marsh, mesic flatwood, and scrubland
  • Be mindful of the cyclists

8. Smyrna Dunes Park

πŸ—ΊοΈ Address πŸ“ 2995 N Peninsula Ave, New Smyrna Beach, FL 32169, United States
πŸ• Open Times 6 am to 7:30 pm
πŸ’² Cost $10 per vehicle
πŸ• Off-leash allowed In some places
  • Over 2 miles of boardwalk
  • Scenic views overlooking the Indian River and the Atlantic Ocean
  • Wheel-chair-accessible loop, ideal for people with disabilities
  • Take the route counterclockwise to see the biggest dunes first

9. Bell Creek Preserve Trail

πŸ—ΊοΈ Address πŸ“ 10940 McMullen Rd, Riverview, FL 33569, United States
πŸ• Open Times 8 am to 6 pm
πŸ’² Cost Free
πŸ• Off-leash allowed In some places
  • Most of the trial is sandy, passing through a flatland ecosystem and dunes
  • Bring sun protection for the exposed part of the trails
  • Scenic lake views along the trail
  • Look out for tortoises and butterflies

10. Soldier’s Creek MTB Trail

πŸ—ΊοΈ Address πŸ“ 2400 FL-419, Longwood, FL 32750, United States
πŸ• Open Times 8 am to 10 pm
πŸ’² Cost 15 per vehicle
πŸ• Off-leash allowed In some places
  • Primarily for mountain biking, but also allows hiking
  • Most of the route is shaded with hard-packed sand and dirt
  • A river flows by the side of the trail
  • Read the signage to stay on the right route

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Conclusion

There’s no shortage of dog-friendly hiking trails in Central Florida. Whether you’re looking for a trail along the river or want to take in the beauty of the majestic sand dunes, there’s something for you.

Make sure to read the instructions about hiking with dogs on the trail’s or national park’s website. Plus, be mindful of other visitors, and make sure your pup is comfortable and aware of their surroundings.

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Featured Image Credit: Ann Lillie, Shutterstock

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