From the salt marshes in Cedar Key Wildlife Refuge, to the hammocks and sand hills, maple, ash, and cypress swamps at Manatee Springs State Park, to the floodplain swamps, upland mixed, hardwood, and pine forests at Fanning Springs, and the Nature Coast Trail State Park, hikers will never want for scene variation. Everywhere you look; there are examples of Florida's beautiful natural diversity: plants, trees, animals, flowers, and environment. Spend a day or even a weekend hiking through the numerous natural and man-made trails throughout the area. Hiking is not complicated so bring a fishing pole or tent and supplies to make the most of your camping experience.
Lower Suwannee Hiking:
• Levy County: 9.0 mile Loop Road that passes through managed upland pine forests and hardwood swamps. There are several spurs off this main road which end at saltwater creeks or refuge ponds. There are also gated roads for foot or bicycle traffic. There are several walking trails available which provide a glimpse of the historical and natural features of the refuge. There is also a canoe trail.
There are several boardwalks and observation towers available for wildlife/wild lands observation and photography. Wildlife observation is best in the early morning or evening hours and in the winter and spring months.
• Fishbone Creek an elevated observation deck provides breathtaking vistas. There is also a small boat launch.
Many of the same trails used for hiking can also be used for bikers. Manatee Springs and Fanning Springs offer biking trails. The Lower Suwannee Wildlife Refuge, open year-round, offers 40 miles of roads for hiking, biking, and motorized vehicles. Fifty miles are designated for hikers and bicyclers. The Nature Coast Trail State Park extends more than 31 miles. The trail is open year-round from 8 a.m. to sunset and equipment, including the bicycles themselves, can be rented along the trail. For those taking a daylong excursion, sandwich shops and other rest areas are also located periodically along the trail. Bicycling offers great exercise at a quicker pace, but there are some safety guidelines that one should follow.