Explore the breathtaking natural sights of North Florida. We’ve composed a list of our favorite outdoor activities in Tallahassee.
If you’re looking for places to escape the bustling city, look no further than the greater Tallahassee region! 103.1 square miles in size and home to the state’s capital, Tallahassee is known for being the largest city in the Panhandle region. However, in the midst of the busy city are endless miles for hiking, biking, paddling and many more outdoor activities. Anyone looking to explore nature should come and visit Tallahassee’s 4,000 scenic acres with 600 miles of trails to scout out and one of the most beautiful rivers in the state, the Wacissa River, to enjoy.
Newcomers and residents looking for a new experience or just something to do in Tallahassee must stop by and check out any of the picturesque escapes that the capital offers. Time to start exploring!
Trails of all different lengths and terrain are hidden in Tallahassee’s many beautiful parks. For more information on the best trails in Tallahassee visit https://visittallahassee.com/trailahassee/ to find itineraries and photos of each.
Maritime Hammock Loop
Located in Bald Point State Park, where the Apalachee Bay meets the Ochlockonee Bay, you will find a 1.1-mile unpaved trail for hiking or running. Walking through a mature maritime oak hammock, the views are breathtaking. At the end of the path, a gorgeous sandy beach awaits, perfect for fishing or spotting sandpipers.
St. Marks Trail
Additionally, on a more historical note, St. Marks Trail is found winding its way from the capital to the coast. With many entry and exit points, and 20.5 miles in length, this trail follows Florida’s first and longest-running railroad track. Along its path span many other trails for hikers to follow into the Apalachicola National Forest, playgrounds for children, and picnic grounds for breaks to enjoy the scenic route!
Double Springs Trail
Furthermore, hikers interested in a longer trek should check out the Double Springs Trail in Wakulla State Forest. Spanning 4.5 miles in length, this trail takes hikers through the winding hills of the Wakulla State Forest. Expect to get wet, as you’ll need to cross in some low-water. Then, make your way up the twisting trail of Double Springs.
If you’re interested in exploring the scenic side of Tallahassee, but hiking is not for you, biking is a great alternative. All the listed hiking trails are available to bike as well, so don’t worry about missing any of the beauty!
Capital Circle Southeast Trail
Bikers looking for a trail with all types of terrain will love the Capital Circle Southeast Trail. Also a noisy trail, at 5.7 miles long bikers, runners and walkers all share the trail. Starting on the sidewalk, the Capital Circle Southeast Trail leads you to the Southwood Nature Trail that outlines a pond right off of Shumard Oak Blvd. Another popular path, Lafayette Heritage, you will find just north of Capital Circle. The St. Mark’s Historic Railroad State Trail is at the end of the Capital Circle Southeast Trail, for those looking for a longer ride.
If thrill rides are your passion, the Karst Trail, in the Alfred B. Maclay Gardens, is for you. Geared towards beginners and intermediate bikers, the 2.3 miles of unpaved trail heads up 73 ft. of mountain that is sure to thrill all guests. Additionally, meeting up with the Lake Overstreet trail, bikers can enjoy some of the most beautiful points in north Florida.
Cadillac Mountain Trails
Intermediate and advanced bikers need to check out the Cadillac Mountain Bike Trail, which is one of the area’s “must-ride” trails. Kept and developed by the City of Tallahassee and the Tallahassee Mountain Bike Association (TMBA) so, the trails are carefully mapped and divided by difficulty. The West Cadillac stems 1.35 miles and the East Cadillac 2.44 miles, with a beginner option of 0.9 miles, named the Loblolly Trail. No matter your skill level, there is a trail and a challenge for you!
All of the trails are accessible through the Lafayette Heritage Trail Park, equipped with restrooms, picnic areas, playgrounds and even a bike wash. Clearly marked, each section has a black diamond, a double black diamond, or a blue square symbol to distinguish the levels. Spanning 7 miles in total, there are multiple obstacles that require skill. The East Trail provides man-made, optional courses including; narrow bridges, jumps and logs and even a wooden ramp system that is nicknamed the “mountain bike roller coaster”. In addition, the West Cadillac Trail has thick roots and quick terrain changes.
Tallahassee is home to numerous beautiful lakes, springs and rivers that satisfy any fisher, paddler, or anyone looking to have fun and take a dip! Check out all the beautiful rivers of Tallahassee here!
Rentals & Guided Tours
If you’re in search of kayak, paddleboard, or canoe rentals, look no further than TNT Hide-A-Way Rental. Whether you’re considering lessons or a guided tour, professionals are available year-round.
If you’re looking for kayaking or a guided eco-tour or fishing trip through the cypress swamps and other coastal waterways, Harry Smith Outdoors provides some of the best tours in the area.
Only 20 miles south of Tallahassee, FL the Wakulla River resides, in the Wakulla Springs State Park. An underground network of springs connects to the Wakulla River, which leads out into the Gulf of Mexico. You can find various species of turtles, birds, eagles and ducks living around the banks. The slow-moving river is also home to otters, alligators and manatees. Whether you’re looking to paddle or wildlife watching, the Wakulla River is beginner and family-friendly.
Aucilla & Wacissa River
North Florida is famous for its network of rivers and springs that flow through the state. Starting in central Georgia, the Aucilla River runs for about 89 miles into the Gulf. While the Wacissa River flows into the Aucilla providing strong currents. The Wacissa River is great for beginners, be aware paddling upstream is a workout! The Wacissa River feeds many smaller rivers and springs to enjoy. Because of swampy terrain, all types of animals linger in the water and on the banks.
Tallahassee is rich with culture and history to be learned and explored. So, if you’re looking for a more educational outdoor activity, Tallahassee is home to a multitude of museums and memorials.
The Tallahassee Museum
The Tallahassee Museum has so much to offer with many exhibits to explore. For thrill lovers, there are zipline and aerial courses, all age inclusive. Afterwards, take a stroll down the boardwalk and experience all the wildlife exhibits. With a wide variety of animals, expect to see wolves, bears, panthers, turkeys and so many more Tallahassee native species! Finally, visit the past and check out the Tallahassee Museum’s Old Florida exhibit, with structures dating back to the 1800s.
The Grove Museum
For history-buffs, the Grove Museum is for you! Undoubtedly one of the best-kept pre-Civil War estates in Florida built in the 1830s by enslaved African Americans. The Grove Museum housed the affluent generals of the Call and Collins families. Thus, the museum critically evaluates slavery and the Florida Civil Rights Movement to teach guests from all over the country. Guided tours take visitors through the deep history of civil rights in Florida to encourage conversations about a better future, because of past failures. Alternatively, there is also a Women Making History tour, detailing women’s rights and their history in Florida.
Mission San Luis
Mission San Luis de Apalachee was a Spanish Franciscan mission built in the 1600s, just two miles west of the present-day Florida Capitol Building. For approximately 50 years, Mission San Luis served as the principal village of the Apalachees and was the Spaniards’ westernmost military, religious, and administrative capital. Today, visitors can explore first-hand what it was like to live in the late 1600s and early 1700s at this living history museum. From the ring of the blacksmith’s hammer to the smell of food being cooked over an open fire, you’ll discover what it was like to live and work at the fort many years ago.
All throughout the capital, various memorials commemorate the soldiers who fought for Florida and America. The Florida Fallen Firefighter Memorial is in the northeast sector of the Capitol plaza. This memorial commemorates the lives of 181 firefighters who lost their lives on the line of duty since 1885. Other memorials include; the Vietnam War Memorial, Korean War Memorial, World War II Veterans’ Memorial, Florida World War II Memorial and the Civil War Memorial.
Tallahassee is home to Florida’s capital and all the cultural history of Florida’s past. However, beyond the bustling city, there is a world of natural beauty to explore, from parks to rivers to wildlife exhibits. Get out there and go explore!
After a long day of outdoor activities, you’re probably going to need to refuel! Head over to https://choosetallahassee.com/tallahassee-restaurants/ and check out all of the amazing dining options Tallahassee has to offer.