Hiking Trails Jacksonville is one of the top websites in our area for hiking information, trail reviews, and everything you need to know when heading out to hike in Jacksonville. We’re excited to collaborate with them to bring you some of the top hiking spots on the First Coast. So what are some of the best trials for hiking here in Jacksonville? We’ve got a round up of favorites and information about how each one was scored. If you’re looking for even more great hiking trails in North Florida, be sure to check out our Hiking Trails Bucket List that has 52 different trails, one for each week of the year.
With a boardwalk and trail providing an opportunity for a quiet walk, Spanish Pond connects you to more trails through pine flatwoods, oak hammock, tidal marsh in the neighboring Theodore Roosevelt Area. Spanish Pond is located across from the entrance to Fort Caroline National Memorial and is open from sunrise to sunset daily.
Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens is a 120-acre urban woodland full of trails for you to explore and enjoy. There are three miles of rustic hiking trails wind quietly through a series of distinct ecological habitats. Along the trails, benches invite you either to pause and enjoy the view or to get in a good stretch during a vigorous walk. Open 8am to 5pm extended to 7pm Monday-Thursday throughout the summer.
Willie Browne Trail is located in the Theodore Roosevelt Area is a 600-acre natural treasure of hardwood forest, wetlands, and scrub vegetation. Hikers can experience miles of thickly wooded peaceful nature trails, vast grassland that supports both water and land animals and ancient piles of discarded oyster shells. Park hours are 9:00am to 4:45pm.
Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park is different than most parks you find in Jacksonville. Hanna Park offers RV sites, tent camping sites and cabins. There are also lakes, trails, and parks. But, the best part has to be the 1.5 miles of quiet beaches along the Atlantic Ocean that is dog friendly. The entrance fee is $3 per pedestrian and bicyclist or $5 a car.
There is a lot to see and learn about out at Fort George Island. Fort George Island is roughly 30 minutes North-East of Downtown Jacksonville. There are 3 places to to check out while you are there including Kingsley Plantation, Fairway Loop, and the Ribault Club Visitor Center. The Fairway Loop is 3 miles and is a pet friendly hike. Parking throughout Fort George Island is completely free.
Tillie K. Fowler Park is one of the widest best maintained hiking trails yet! The park is made up of a full kids playground area, huge dog park, biking trails and 2 main hiking trails. The full loop for the Tower Trail is just over a mile long, and has a lookout tower at the end with an amazing view.
Dutton Island Preserve in Jacksonville, Florida has 2 different sections to check out. The two sections are connected by road, and a bike trail, and both sections offer hiking trails. It’s free to visit and is pet friendly.
Julington Durbin Creek Preserve in Jacksonville, Florida has 3 potential trails to check out. You can hike the majority of each trail within 7 miles total. Each trail is unique but they do overlap one another. The trails are free to visit and are pet friendly.
Bogey Creek Preserve was officially opened in May 2019. The full loop trail is just over a mile long, and has a kayak entrance point with an amazing view. The trail is free to visit and are pet friendly.
If you’re looking for a bit of history right here in Jacksonville, head to Fort Caroline National Memorial. Fort Caroline is a short adventure, just .3 miles walk to the actual fort. If you’re looking for a longer hike be sure to check out Hammock Trail. You can catch it on your way back towards the visitor center and it’s a 1.2 mile loop. There is no fee to visit Fort Caroline and the trails are pet friendly.
Jacksonville Hiking Trails Ranking System
Hiking trails are ranked on a scale from 1 star to 5 stars. 5 being the best hiking trail 1 being the worst. Hiking trails are ranked based off of a few different criteria including, width of the trail, dog friendly, how well the trail is maintained, lookout points, total mileage of the hike, terrain of the trail, parking, cost, and accessibility to their listed location.
Width of Trail
How wide should a hiking trail be? There’s is a pretty good sweet spot between being to wide and being to narrow. While we don’t measure exact width there is a sweet spot that allows for comfortable hiking and enjoying some shade at the same time.
Most hiking trail in Jacksonville, Florida are dog friendly. However, certain areas like visitor centers, nature centers, and historical buildings are often off limits to dogs.
A few things go into hiking trails overall maintenance including how well the trail is made out, is it infested with spider webs making it un-walkable, are there trees that have fallen across the trail, is there water that blocks you from continuing along the path.
Look Out Points
The lookout points are a huge plus to any good hiking trail. Nothing is better than getting to a point where you can stop walking, and lookout at the beautiful marsh lands or other viewpoints in Jacksonville, Florida.
Total Mileage of the Hike
Total mileage of the hike is very important. If the trail is to short you feel like you didn’t get enough out of it, but if the trail is to long you might get exhausted, and that is not enjoyable. Everyone will feel differently about the perfect distance of the hike, so be sure to read up on a specific trail so you know what to expect.
The terrain of the hiking trail is important to the overall enjoyability of the hike. Features such as bridges, boardwalks, sand, dirt, stairs, and rocky terrains make a trail more interesting.
Most of the parking areas for hiking trails in Jacksonville, Florida are large dirt lots with ample parking spots. Only Historical Places like Fort George Island, Fort Caroline, and Yellow Bluff Fort have actual parking lots.
One of the best things about hiking is that it’s usually a fun free activity. There are a few trails in Jacksonville that cost $5 to get in so be sure to check the website before heading out.
Hiking Trails Jacksonville started a hiking blog back in June 2019 and since then has brought awareness to all the awesome hiking trails located in and around Jacksonville, Florida. While we’re not experts, we do love to go hiking, and share our experiences. Besides just writing a review about each trail, we also take dozens of pictures, and sometimes create full videos to show you how wide the trails were, how the terrain was, and what type of wildlife you might encounter. You can read more about hiking in Jacksonville at our website JaxHiking.com.