14 Trails to capture your imagination in nature's place to play Walk. Bike. Paddle.

step outdoors into the wide wonderful world.

take your experiences with you but leave no trace behind.

The outdoors await in Nature's Place to Play.

Take a stroll. soothe your soul.


32375 Cortez Boulevard, Ridge Manor 34602

One of eight Hernando County Environmentally Sensitive Lands, Cypress Lakes Preserve is a tranquil oasis in Ridge Manor. Sights include wildlife, flowers, birds, a freshwater lake and swamp areas.

In the summer months, keep an eye out for sand squares, these unusual white blooms are clustered in square shapes and are joined by foxglove and roseling along the path.

The well-marked easy trail includes a 1.7 segment of the Florida Trail, a national scenic trail that spanning approximately 1,000 miles across the state.

Cypress Lakes Preserve

Mckethan lake nature trail

5185 Broad Street, Brooksville 34601

The Nature Trail is approximately two miles long and features 24 identified points of interest. McKethan Lake is home to various species of migratory birds and is considered a bird sanctuary. Other wildlife often observed in the area include deer, quail, turkey, fox squirrels, gopher tortoises and armadillos. Please remember that alligators and snakes may also be present as they are part of Florida's natural habitat.

McKethan Lake Recreation Area

Croom River Trail, Withlacoochee State Forest

31475 Silver Lake Road, Brooksville 34602

Starting from Crooked River Campground at Silver Lake, the 5.2 mile River Trail is a nature walk through longleaf pines, scrub oak hills and along the Withlacoochee River. The trail offers abundant bird watching and nature viewing opportunities. Of particular interest is a wood stork rookery. Other wildlife to watch for include deer, wild turkey, squirrels, bobcats and a variety of waterfowl.

Croom River Trail

Buford Springs Boardwalk, Chassahowitzka Wildlife Management Area (WMA)

Commercial Way, north of Centralia Road, Brooksville

Difficult to access by foot in the past, this new 440-foot boardwalk at the end of a trail off of Three Bridges Road delivers a beautiful walk through forest and wetlands to Buford Springs. Deep in the Chassahowitzka WMA, this Spring is popular among certified cave divers. The boardwalk protects the environment and gives nature lovers a spectacular scenic walk.

Buford Springs Boardwalk

Chinsegut Conservation Center Trails

23212 Lake Lindsey Road, Brooksville 34601

Both the Big Pine Tract and the Chinsegut Conservation Center Tract have several hiking trails, including the "Prairie to Pines Trail" which connects the two properties by winding through a variety of landscapes. The Conservation Center Tract is .7 miles long and the Prairie to Pines Trail is 1.8 miles.

Chinsegut Conservation Center and WEA

Weekiwachee Preserve

2345 Osowaw Boulevard, Spring Hill 34607

This 11,206 acre conservation land is laced with trails, lakes and scenic vistas. A bird watchers' hotspot, there are many species of birds and other flora and fauna to enjoy. Bring your bike or walk 5.5 miles of paved and unpaved trails. The lakes are good for small non gas-powered vessels; there are no boat launches so they must be hand carried and launched.

Weekiwachee Preserve

fickett hammock preserve

Fickett Hammock Preserve15482 Centralia Road, Brooksville 34614

Fickett Hammock Preserve

Florida Mermaid Trail

Downtown Brooksville, beginning at 205 East Fort Dade Avenue.

Tour historic downtown Brooksville while searching for 21 hidden mermaids. Follow your Florida Mermaid Trail map and look carefully for these small bronze statuettes. Choose to walk the full 2.2 mile purple route or the 1.1 mile orange route. Each mermaid has a name and story about why she has chosen her place in Brooksville.

Florida Mermaid Trail Start

Croom Mountain Bike Trails

Tucker Hill Trailhead. 26416 County Road 480 West, Brooksville 34601

Boasting over 50 miles of single track trails, this winding forested system is coveted by serious cyclists of the fat tire persuasion. Varying terrains result from limestone pits and changing elevations of the Brooksville Ridge. Maintained by Tampa Bay's SWAMP Mountain Bike Club, the trail system often hosts organized rides. Visit the SWAMP calendar to learn more.

Croom Mountain Bike Trails

Withlacoochee State Trail

Ridge Manor Trailhead. 6410 Croom Rital Road, Ridge Manor 33523

The 46 mile long trail is presently the longest paved rail trail in Florida, covering neighboring Citrus, Hernando and Pasco counties. The Withlacoochee State Trail offers an easy ride for all skill levels traversing small towns, the Withlacoochee State Forest and other natural areas. This trail offers a variety of recreational opportunities with park, river and lake views. Use the trail for cycling, in-line skating and walking.

Withlacoochee State Trail, Ridge Manor

Suncoast trail

Trailhead at State Route 50

This 41.3-mile paved trail parallels the Suncoast Parkway from Hernando to northern Hillsborough County. Opened in 2001, this scenic award-winning trail traverses agricultural, suburban and natural areas and will serve as a regional connector trail, linking to Brooksville’s Good Neighbor Trail and others.

Suncoast Trailhead

Brooksville's good neighbor trail

Connecting historic Brooksville to the Withlacoochee State Trail, the Good Neighbor Trail is a joy for cyclists. Ten miles long, this scenic urban greenway joins the 46-mile long Withlacoochee State Trail. Its Russell Street Park trail head includes the 1885 Train Depot and Countryman One-Room Schoolhouse Museums, as well as a gazebo, picnic area and restrooms. From the park, this mostly level trail rolls east beneath a shady tree canopy, crossing and paralleling country roadways until entering the Withlacoochee State Forest. It then connects to the north-south Withlacoochee State Trail. Future plans call for the Good Neighbor Trail to join the paved north-south Suncoast Trail to the west, closing a gap in the planned Coast to Coast Connector, a 250 mile paved trail joining Florida’s west and east coasts.

Good Neighbor Trail

the withlacoochee River

The Withlacoochee River is an Outstanding Florida Waterway and mapped as a Florida Designated Paddling Trail. Within a one-hour drive of Tampa or Orlando, find an authentic primitive wilderness experience. Leave traffic and crowds behind when paddling this pristine river.

Withlacoochee River, Nobleton Outpost

Bayport-linda pedersen coastal paddling trail

Bring your kayak, canoe or paddleboard and discover a thriving estuary on this 1.7 mile (one-way) coastal paddling trail from Bayport Park to Linda Pedersen Park. Choose to launch from either point; depending on the tide, opt to use the Bayport or the Linda Pedersen Park kayak launch.

Linda Pedersen Park
Created By
Kim Poppke