Orlando is blessed with an abundance of national parks and beautiful gardens thanks to its sunny tropical climate. There are plenty of state parks near Orlando Florida that offer amazing outdoor activities.
State Parks Near Orlando Florida
You can find seven state parks within a 50 mile radius of downtown Orlando. These Florida state parks near Orlando offer a wide range of activities and even accommodations for families visiting Central Florida. The state parks near Orlando Florida are open from 8 a.m. to sunset every day. These parks provide plenty of time for families to explore and enjoy the natural beauty and recreational opportunities they offer.
Top 5 State Parks Near Orlando Florida
If you are looking for a break from the hustle and bustle of theme parks then visiting state parks near Orlando Florida is a best option. Here is a list of top 5 state parks near Orlando Florida where you can get relaxed in nature and do a lot of fun outdoor activities.
- Jetty State Park
- De Leon Springs State Park
- Lake Louisa State Park
- Lake Kissimmee State Park
- Little Big Econ State Forest
1. Jetty State Park
For a unique surfing experience under the stars make your way to Jetty Park in Port Canaveral on the Space Coast. This stunning 35 acre park is a haven for outdoor lovers offering a wide range of fun activities to enjoy.
Here is what you can expect at Jetty Park:
Surfing and Water Fun: If you are a surfer, boogie boarder or kayaker. Jetty Park provides the perfect backdrop for water based adventures.
Beach Bliss: Soak up the sun and relax on the pristine beaches that stretch along the coast.
Fishing Fun: Cast your line from the impressive 1200 foot lighted fishing pier and try your luck at catching local fish species.
Nature Trails: Explore the natural beauty of the area by taking a stroll along the walking trails.
Family Friendly: Jetty Park is family friendly with playgrounds where kids can play.
For more fun consider booking a spot at the Jetty Park Campground. Reservations are available for those who want to immerse themselves in this natural paradise and make the most of every moment spent on the Space Coast.
2. De Leon Springs State Park
Around 8000 years ago the Mayaca tribe made their home in Acuera which is now known as De Leon Springs. This stunning Florida state park is located just an hour north of Orlando. De Leon Springs state park offers a range of activities for nature and outdoor lovers.
Visitors to De Leon Springs State Park can enjoy:
- Crystal clear swimming spring
- Hiking trails
- Spring run
- Eco tours
- Wildlife viewing
After a day of outdoor adventures you can satisfy your hunger at the Old Sugar Mill Pancake House situated inside the state park. This unique restaurant allows you to cook your own pancakes right at your table and serves freshly made bread and cookies. The restaurant is housed in a 100 year old replica of a sugar mill from the 1830s adding to the park’s historical charm.
3. Lake Louisa State Park
Lake Louisa State Park is situated approximately 30 minutes from Orlando. It proudly proclaims itself as a “natural theme park” where you can immerse yourself in the beauty of Mother Nature. This expansive park offers some of the most breathtaking natural views.
Here is what you can see at Lake Louisa State Park:
- Diverse natural plant communities
- Abundant wildlife, including deer, bobcat and gopher tortoises
- A variety of bird species
- Three major lakes (Louisa, Hammond, and Dixie) perfect for family friendly water activities like paddle boarding, canoeing and kayaking
- Extensive hiking trails that wind through the park’s scenic landscapes
- A family campground for those looking to spend the night in the great outdoors
- Cozy cabins for a more comfortable stay
Lake Louisa State Park offers a fantastic escape into nature’s wonders just a short drive from Orlando.
4. Lake Kissimmee State Park
If you are eager to witness wildlife without venturing too deep into the wilderness Lake Kissimmee State Park should be on your list. It is located an hour and a half from Orlando. This park is a haven for nature lovers and offers fantastic opportunities for wildlife sightings even for campers.
Here is what you can expect at Lake Kissimmee State Park:
Wildlife Encounters: Keep your eyes peeled for deer, wild turkeys, bald eagles, sandhill cranes, alligators, tortoises and bobcats all of which call this park home.
Birding Paradise: Birdwatchers will be in heaven with numerous bird species to observe.
Cow Camp Reenactment: Visit on weekends to see Cow Camp which is a live imitation of life in 1876 as a cow hunter. It will be a unique and educational tour for the whole family.
Relax and Disconnect: Lake Kissimmee State Park offers a beautiful environment where you can disconnect from everyday life and immerse yourself in nature.
So if you are looking for a place where you can feel nature and enjoy wildlife encounters. Lake Kissimmee State Park is your ideal location for all of this.
5. Little Big Econ State Forest
Located just an hour’s drive from Orlando Little Big Econ State Forest is a vast natural wonderland. This wide forest park is intersected by the scenic Econlockhatchee River from which it derives its name. The river winds its way through the forest for an impressive 17 miles before ultimately flowing into the St. Johns River.
Here is what you can see at Little Big Econ State Forest:
Crucial Wetland Conservation: The forest plays a vital role in preserving and protecting various ecosystems including wetlands, wet prairies and pine flatwoods.
Rich Wildlife: Little Big Econ State Forest is home to a diverse range of wildlife making it a prime spot for nature enthusiasts.
Extensive Trail Network: The forest provides a big network of hiking and horseback riding trails offering opportunities to see its natural beauty up close.
Econlockhatchee River Paddling: Adventure lovers can go on the Econlockhatchee River Paddling Trail which stretches for either eight miles or the full 20 miles. Along the way you will find a pavilion where paddlers can rest, enjoy a meal, take a break or seek shelter from wild weather.
Little Big Econ State Forest provides an incredible escape into nature. It is conveniently located for those in the Orlando area.
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State Parks Near Orlando Florida are best to visit for their beautiful nature and calm atmosphere. In these state parks you can do a lot of fun outdoor activities. You can do hiking, camping, snorkeling and wildlife watching. These Florida state parks near Orlando are preserving and protecting various ecosystems including wetlands.
Frequently Asked Questions
What activities can I enjoy at these state parks near Orlando Florida?
Florida state parks near Orlando offer a variety of activities including hiking, camping, swimming, picnicking, bird watching, kayaking and wildlife viewing.
Do I need an entrance fee to access these state parks near Orlando Florida?
Yes there is usually an entrance fee per vehicle which can vary from park to park. Some parks offer annual passes for frequent visitors.