3 Must Do Adventures in Northern Florida

Orlando, FL: It’s the beginning of the week, which gives us all plenty of time to plan for the next adventure. The Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers have spent the last two weeks in Florida and have found some amazing gems in the outdoors. The following list is for you to discover some of these unique places in the sunshine state.

When we first thought of Florida, we pictured white sand beaches, sunshine, and all the theme parks one imagination can think up. All of these things do exist, but there is a whole other side to the Florida lifestyle. Floridians love a good adventure and we were fortunate enough to explore some of the coolest spots.

1.) Juniper Springs Run: Coming in on top is a serious must do, backcountry adventure. Bring your canoe or kayak to paddle the 8-mile, spring fed Juniper River. Crystal clear water, jungle looking flora, and lots of those scary looking mega fauna, alligators! This run is in the top 25 river runs in the U.S. and requires all visitors to use non disposable containers for their food and water; talk about a great way to Leave No Trace! Juniper Springs is in the Ocala National Forest and hosts dozens beautiful clear fresh water springs. We were going to spend one day here and ended staying in the area for 4. We would highly recommend the Juniper Springs region for anyone looking for a fun place to visit.    


2.) Blue Springs: As pretty as it sounds, Blue Springs State Park protects a gorgeous spring and aquifer. Scuba divers with expert skills have been known to dive here and explore miles of underwater caves. Not a scuba diver? Bring along your snorkel and float in the springs to take a look at the blue water, pretty fish, and check out the entrance to the caves. During the winter, manatees hang out in the springs to take advantage of the constant 72-degree temperatures. So take a walk on the boardwalk and you might just see manatee slowly floating up the river.


3.) Little Talbot Island: Not into the river or springs scene? Little Talbot Island is just north of Jacksonville and hosts tons of shore birds and beaches. We enjoyed the seclusion of the beaches at Little Talbot Island. Most tourists tend to flock south to the popular shorelines of Daytona Beach, Cocoa Beach, and West Palm. Staying north keeps you away from the crowds with great camping options and the ability to enjoy some stress free time on the beach. A unique time to visit would be during a full moon; this lunar phase causes tides to swell, edging the water line right up to your campsite.


No matter where you plan your next adventure, we can all do our part to help protect natural wonders, by practicing Leave No Trace. Each of the recommendations listed here are beautiful places, please follow the seven principles during your trip to keep these places open for future generations to come.

  • Plan Ahead and Prepare: Bring that bug spray!
  • Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces: Stick to the trails.
  • Dispose of Waste Properly: Bring reusable containers to minimize waste.
  • Leave What You Find: Don’t forget your camera though!
  • Minimize Campfire Impacts: Use only designated fire rings.
  • Respect Wildlife: Watch out for alligators, and be sure to give manatee plenty of space, as they are an endangered species.
  • Be Considerate of Other Visitors: Say hello and revel in the beauty of the area.


Have fun out there and adventure on!


Steph and Andy – Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainer Team East

Leave No Trace’s Steph Whatton and Andy Mossey are part of the 2016 Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainer Program that provides free, mobile education to communities across the country. Proud partners of this program include Subaru of America, REI, Fjall Raven, ENO, Deuter, Thule, and SmartWool.