There are tons of great spots for hiking in Jacksonville, and the UNF hiking trails are one of our favorite spots in town. Recently my daughters and I visited the University of North Florida Loftin Nature trails for the first time. Nestled just off the hustle of Kernan and JTB are 500 lush acres. The UNF campus offers hikers three main trails and two connector loops.
UNF Hiking Trails in Jacksonville
We chose the Blueberry Trail, a 1.5-mile trail that loops around Lake Oneida and guides you through pine Flatwoods and swamp. The trail had many stopping points and lookouts over the lake. Permanent workout stations are placed along the Blueberry Trail making sure you get that full workout in! While the trails had many families and young children on nature walks there are ample areas along the trail with big tree roots making these trails not stroller friendly.
The shorter Red Maple Trail has recently been renovated and would be perfect for a shorter walk with a stroller. The Red Maple trail is .3 miles and wheel chair friendly. Another popular trail is the Goldenrod Trail, a 2.85 mile trail that overlaps the Blueberry trail occasionally.
UNF Offers More Than Just Trails
The UNF Nature Trails also offer a beautiful picnic area nestled under the pine trees, catch & release fishing off a walkover bridge, and canoe rentals. The walkover bridge takes you to a little island to explore, view wildlife, and bird watch or have a picnic.
The University of North Florida Nature trails are located at 1 UNF Drive in Jacksonville. You park at lot 100, by parking service. There are clean restrooms located in the parking lot. The trails are open to the public and parking is free on the weekends, during the week parking is $3. They are open 365 days and no dogs are allowed. For more information about canoe rentals and other Eco Adventures available visit the Eco Aventures website.
Jillian Gishler is a New Englander at heart. Born in Jacksonville Beach, she grew up in Massachusetts but was beckoned back to Florida by Mickey Mouse for a Disney World Internship. She returned to the beach in 2005 after graduating from Florida State. Ten years ago she opened her handmade & vintage collective shop, Sew Vicious, in Neptune Beach. Jillian raises chickens, is a passionate gardener, a DIYer, a thrift store junkie, and a deal loving mama who runs Sunny Savings. She leads her daughters Girl Scout Troop, teaches sewing at a local Montessori School, and is a Parents Who Lead Alumni. She loves surprising her husband and daughters with mini-vacations around the Sunshine State.