Are you a nature lover with a passion for exploring new places? If so, Orlando North has got you covered! Just outside of Orlando North’s shopping malls and restaurants, lies an abundance of lush greenery filled with gorgeous views and natural wildlife. From hiking to kayaking and camping – there is no shortage of outdoor activities in this beautiful area.
To help you plan your next adventure, today we’re exploring 3 Hidden Nature Trails that are perfect for every level of nature enthusiast.
1. GENEVA WILDERNESS AREA
Be prepared to spot wildlife at this gorgeous location! The Geneva Wilderness Area offers two blaze trails – one of which connects to the Little Big Econ State Forest (which we’ll be talking about next). The trail begins with a narrow, shaded canopy of trees that eventually opens up to a large boardwalk on your right.
The boardwalk overlooks a large prairie pond covered in beautiful water lilies. The boardwalk welcomes fishing with a permit under a nicely shaded sitting area for relaxing by the water. Continuing on leads you through an open trail with an occasional gopher tortoise making its friendly appearance.
The trail eventually leads down to a split path with the option to continue right onto the longer “Flagler” trail. Keeping left loops back around near a campsite where you are able to stay with a permit. The location also offers outdoor restrooms, a small shower and an environmental center where eco summer camp activities are offered to children 7 and older. This location is pet friendly.
2. LITTLE BIG ECON STATE FOREST
If you’re feeling adventurous enough to hike the Flager trail at Geneva Wilderness Area, you’ll eventually end up at the beautiful Little Big Econ State Forest. It does of course also have its own entrance if you want to just begin here along with scenic bike trails for riding.
The hike begins on an open sand path for about a mile. This soon changes with a split in the road where hikers are directed to turn left onto a slightly more difficult trek. The path for about a half-mile is narrow until you are greeted with a beautiful open area leading to the river.
As you continue along, the view of the gorgeous river becomes larger with plenty of spots to stop and take it all in. My little one was especially excited to spot wildlife along the trail that included gopher tortoises, a pond filled with tadpoles, hawks and more. If your kids have a passion for exploring the outdoors Little Big Econ will not disappoint! The trail did continue further on but was blocked by flooding so be mindful of this during the rainy season.
3. ECON RIVER WILDERNESS AREA
Park your car and walk into the unsuspecting trails of the Econ River Wilderness Area. This 2.2-mile-long trail rests on 240 acres of beautiful greenery, trees and a hidden river. Bikers, hikers and four-legged friends are all welcome to explore this roughly 1.5-hour adventure.
The hike begins with a gravel path that almost immediately leads you to a large pond and small seating area. Past this, you’ll find a beautiful arch of live oak trees that eventually guides you to a small boardwalk across wetlands.
Further down, the trail splits into paths (red or yellow) with the red leading to the Econ River. The river is filled with large ancient trees and stunning cypress knees that resemble stalagmites. The view here is definitely worth the hike and is perfect for adults and children.
About the Writer
Chantel Rodriguez is a Latina wellness entrepreneur, artist, and creative mind behind Choose Love Blog. Her content focuses on a down to earth approach to mindful living, healthy eating, and natural practices. In addition to her blog, Rodriguez is also the host of the wellness-focused podcast, The Wellness Beast.