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Hiking trails

1) Withlacoochee State Forest, Richloam Tract: Passes through a variety of plant communities, including pine flatwoods, pine plantations, cypress ponds and hardwood hammocks. It may be wet during certain months. Call (352) 754-6777, ext. 64.

2) Withlacoochee State Forest, Croom Tract: A dry-to-damp, all-weather route that winds through longleaf pine and scrub oak hills, live oak thickets, past creek bottoms and cypress ponds. Call (352) 754-6777, ext. 64.

3) Withlacoochee State Forest, Citrus Tract: A dry, all-weather trail passing through sandhill scrub, oak thickets, sand pine and longleaf pine timber stands. Call (352) 754-6777, ext. 64.

4) Myakka River State Park: Known for its abundant wildlife. The terrain is flat and seasonally wet, but the trail mostly is dry. Call (941) 361-6511.

5) Ocala National Forest: Perhaps the state's most scenic trail, it offers varied terrain and several springs to cool a weary hiker. Call (904) 625-7470.

6) Big Cypress National Preserve: Passes through the great swamp of dwarf pond cypress and alternates with pine islands, hammocks, giant ferns and prairies with cabbage palm and saw palmetto. Call (941) 695-4111.

7) Collier-Seminole State Park: Traverses the zone where lush tropical forest meets the Big Cypress Swamp. One of the largest royal palms anywhere grows along the trail. Call (941) 394-3397.

8) Lake Kissimmee State Park: Traverses lakeshore flood plain prairies, marshes, pine flatwoods and live oak hammocks. Buster Island is a dry, sandy area of high ground bordered by hardwood hammock. (941) 696-1112.

9) Little Manatee River State Recreation Area: Flat and mostly dry along the river bank and through oak hammocks, sand pine and palmetto uplands. Call (813) 671-5005.

10) Green Swamp: Wanders through pine flatwoods, tree farms, hardwood forests and the floodplain of Withlacoochee River. Call (904) 796-7211.

Sources: Florida Department of Environmental Protection's Florida State Parks and Florida Hiking Trails, The Official Guide to the Florida Trail on Public Lands, edited by Nancy B. Gildersleeve and Susan K. Gildersleeve, published by Maupin House, Gainesville.

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