Southern Live Oak Dade Battlefield

Overlooked State Parks To Visit In Florida

By Shandley McMurray


Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park is home to wildlife like deer, alligators, owls, and turkeys and has over 100 miles of trails to hike on foot, bike, or horseback.
Visit during spring or fall to be wowed by wildflowers and stay the night at one of four campgrounds, including an astronomy campground with unobstructed views of the stars.
Florida Caverns
Visitors to this ethereal locale will find dry caves and plenty of things to do, like checking out a sinkhole, hiking trails, and paddling along the Chipola River.
Travelers have rated the park 4.8 stars on Google, raving about the fun tour guides, friendly vibe, and overall beauty. A cave tour costs $5 per vehicle and $15 per person.
Gold Head Branch
Mike Roess Gold Head Branch State Park has received praise from travelers for its reasonable rates, trails, peaceful environment, and historic relics.
The park has original cabins dating to the 1930s, three campgrounds, multiple hiking trails, 3 miles of paved road for biking, and a lake for fishing, paddling, and swimming.
Cayo Costa
Cayo Costa State Park is only reachable by boat and offers 9 miles of unspoiled land. Manatees roam the crystalline water, especially in the nearby Crystal River.
Cayo Costa is also home to myriad bird species, turtles, and dolphins. The park is a must-visit destination for fans of scuba diving, snorkeling, swimming, fishing, and kayaking.
Koreshan State Park is a historic region settled by a religious sect in the 1890s. Visitors can explore their homes and receive insider knowledge about the settlement.
When you aren't ogling the old architecture, you can wander the bamboo trails, fish, hike the River trail, or canoe. You can also stay in one of the park's 60 campsites.