Florida Parks & Recreation

With the largest state park system in the country, the opportunities to enjoy the outdoors in Florida are endless. From swimming and diving in rivers and springs to hiking and riding along scenic nature trails, Florida’s parks have something to offer just about anyone.

Every county in Florida, and many of the larger cities, has a department that is focused on parks and recreation in their region who work to provide recreational parks and facilities that are safe and accessible for the community's residents and visitors. The recreational activities and facilities at the parks varies by county and may include baseball fields, athletic fields for multiple field sports, tennis courts, basketball courts, skating parks, swimming pools, cross training courses, hiking and biking trails, boating, playgrounds and more. Finding recreational activities outdoors in Florida is easy and fun! 

See Also: Florida State Parks | Florida's National Parks

This diverse county places the splendors of nature on proud display. Whether it be in a botanical garden, playground swinging and team sports participation, viewing wildlife in a preserve, or walking Alachua’s trails, come view the wide array of plant and animal life in person.

Flagler Scrub

Sit back, relax, and take in the waves at Baker County. Your ATV and your boat are welcome here, but feel free to take a walk as well and go see a little league game as well. 

Bakery County Canoeing and Contact info

Bay County, home of Panama City Florida, has a lot to offer its residents during all times of the year. Sports are surprisingly big here, with golf, paddleboarding, and sports programs for flag football and softball all proving to be popular the year round. Check out a few of our favorites below. 

BoardWalk

Bob's River Place is a must go to water park if you are planning a Florida vacation during the summer. It is essentially a forest that has been decorated with ropes and platforms for 'daredevils' seeking an adrenaline rush. There are picnic tables and grills for family cook outs, volleyball nets, karaoke, log rolling, slides, and other activities that you won't find in many other places. Come visit this 'hidden gem' during the spring and summer seasons for an adventure that is sure to last a lifetime.

Bob's River Place

Bradford County has all the boating, parklife, and wildlife areas to make scheduling that nature outing a literal breeze. Youth football and cheerleading programs are also a great way for your kids to get outside. Come check out what this great Florida County has to offer.

Lake Hampton

Brevard County, located on Florida’s Space Coast, provides a wide array of natural resources in its three predominant areas: the Indian River Lagoon, the forest-laden coastal ridge, and the St Johns River valley. In addition to these natural features, Brevard County also offers sports programs and other community activities, including swimming instruction and championship level golf courses.

Lake Woodruff Otter

In half a century, the Broward County parks system has grown to 50 regional parks, nature centers, neighborhood parks, and natural areas. With a total of 6,500 acres that welcomes over 11.1 million visitors each year, this area has become a great spot for many residents to spend their days out and about amongst the natural amenities of the Florida landscape.

Frisbee Golf Course on a hill

Cady Way Park is a small park in the city of Winter Park that caters to children. There is a great playground equipment set for them to run around and play on as well as a swimming pool close by. Parents can watch their kids from the benches or the pavilion that sits close by. 

Calhoun County has quite a few examples of great locations to encourage outdoor recreation year round. Youth Baseball, Softball, and even T-ball, as well as their Greenway trail and locations along the Chipola River give plenty to do and see here in Calhoun.

Bear Creek Hunting Club

Central Park in Winter Park is a wonderfully peaceful place to visit for anyone who wants to get out and enjoy a sunny day. There is plenty of grassy areas for kids to play and laugh in, walkways for those who want to take a stroll, and even a rose garden to enjoy when they are in bloom. With benches for relaxing and fountains to enjoy, this is a great trip outside the house.  

Charlotte County seeks to provide safe and well maintained, fully accessible parks, athletic fields, beaches, playgrounds, boat ramps, and fishing piers. 

Sunset over a Charlotte County Park

Citrus County has a large number of diverse and intriguing activities to partake in year round. In addition to the extensive trails, waterways for boating, and playgrounds for the kids, there are several lesser-known activities to explore.

Dragon Boats

Clay County plays host to such a large number of activities and boasts so many great locations for park going, sporting, and outdoor recreation that it's impossible to list them all here. These are a few great places to check out, but there is always more to see at this unique resource. If you're interested in spacious fairgrounds and state parks that abound in water activities, this is the place to be. 

Lakeside in Clay County

Collier County offers unique options for physical recreation, beachside enjoyment, and community driven activities for all comers. Enjoy all these draws as well as the extensive array of sports programs and see what makes Collier so special.

Offerings in Collier

Columbia County has a host of activities to enjoy in its confines. Sports, community activities, and even a trip to a waterfall are all found in this great piece of Central Florida.

 

Falling Creek

Set some time aside and do your heart and soul a service by visiting some of the natural attractions in DeSoto County. Sports, trail walking, playgrounds, and areas of historical significance have all made their homes here for as long as can be remembered.

Morgan Park

Dixie County offers up a bevy of water paddling options for any park goer to make a splash in. Whether on boat or on foot, the whole of Dixie is open to those who wish to find it and learn about its particular ways of getting the best out of Northwest Florida. For the little sluggers in your life, don't forget to check out the Dixie County Little League.

Swamp in Dixie County

Duval County’s key city, Jacksonville, has the largest park system in North America, with its 300 public and recreational spaces and 22 community centers. With this outrageous number of parks, you might be able to visit a different park every day during a leap year, and not repeat one. We haven’t done the math, but it's probably around there. Anyway, here are some of our favorites.

Boardwalk bridge in fog

When you head outdoors in Escambia County, you'll find a number of things to do in the midst of their parks and recreation culture. Horseback riding, team sports, and great nature trails are just a few of the reasons why this is a great Florida County.

Playground

Flagler County is rife in history, fishing locations, sporting activities, and beautiful beaches. Take some time off and explore idyllic locales of this great Florida County.

Flagler wooden bridge

Franklin County is a great member of the gulf coast counties that line the panhandle of Florida. Here the beach is a great draw, with lots of ways to camp along the shoreline. Youth and adult sports and recreation are at home here as well. Come check a few of the attractions for parks and recreation to be found here in Franklin.

St, George Island Lighthouse

Come home to the outdoors in Gadsden County, Florida. A variety of lakeside activities will make your weekends a real splash. Youth and adult sports will also encourage physical activity all year round. Check out a few of the many amenities and features of this great Florida County.

Pat Thomas Boat Ramp

This is the ideal County for those who love to take a dip in the clear blue waters of Florida's pristine springs. Whether it be tubing, snorkeling, scuba diving, or just wading in the shallows to see what you can catch a glimpse of, Gilchrist County goes overboard with its collection of natural springs. Team Sports are also a great draw at the youth level, so check out a few of the activities to keep your child out and about all year long. 

Tubing in Gilchrist County

Come enjoy outdoor activities in one of Florida’s most essential symbols: the Everglades. Glades county offers 40 miles of Lake Okeechobee trailheads, as well as 60 miles of Caloosahatchee and 52 miles of canoeing trails on Fisheating Creek. High school football is also huge in the city of Moorehaven, as well as recreational squash and tennis.

T.Bevis

Gulf County Florida is a great destination for outdoor fun in the Panhandle of Northwest Florida. Great locations like the William J. Rish Recreational Park, the Dead Lakes, and the St. Joseph Bay Golf Club all provide unique recreational opportunities for all comers.

Boardwalk

From great musical history to edge of your seat white water rafting excursions, Hamilton County shows the best of Florida's natural attractions, while keeping up with the sporting events that really get your blood pumping.

Biking in the woods

Offering a wide array of historical and athletic attractions to its residents, Hardee County is a surprising visit for many. From festivals and historical museums to world class softball facilities, let’s dive into some of what Hardee County has available.

Pioneer Park Days

Hendry County offers a wide number of options for down to earth entertainment. The Big Cypress Indian Reservation is host to historic museums and recreation, a large number of festivals offer annual events of many varieties, and the town of Clewiston is host to a large number of parks and sport activities. Look out for the Hendry Athletic Complex as well.

Hendry County Parks and Recreation

Hernando County is home to many parks, sports complexes, and activities to check out. This article will focus on the Tom Varn Stadium, a slew of summer camps for kids, and the Delta Woods Park which all offer their own reasons for leaving the house.

Delta Woods Park

This is a great County found in South Central Florida that has lots of options for finding outdoor activities for you and your family. Take a hike, dive for a foul ball, and take your board out to Highlands to have a great afternoon in the Florida breeze.

Highlands sunset

Hillsborough County has the variety you are looking for all year round with the quality and creative parks that best exemplify the culture of the Tampa Bay Area. Discover the history of Hillsborough with the Burgert Brothers Photo Collection. Take it outside and commune with the birds at the Upper Tampa Bay Park. Get of your car and step onto another four wheeled vehicle at the Providence Skate Park. Try a hand at baseball and a number of other sports activities. 

Hillsborough County Parks

Holmes County makes a splash both literally and with its wave of activities to catch a ride on. High school sports, as well as the Wayside Rock Bottom and Middlebrooks Parks allow this close-knit area of Florida to offer a great number of sights and activities for all comers. Come and check out a few examples of what Holmes has to discover.  

Holmes County Parks and Recreation

Howell Branch Preserve has a playground for kids but the entirety of the park is fitness based for adults. Sitting on a little more than ten acres of land, Howell Branch Preserve has a walkway for adults who want to exercise. There are even little exercise stations throughout the park to use freely. 

Indian River County can provide you with a variety of facilities to get together with people in your community, exercise, and learn more about the place you call home. Facilities like the Gifford Aquatic Center make staying cool a little easier and a lot more fun. The Intergenerational Center provides a cool and covered venue to take part in all sorts of activities (Tai Chi anyone). The Fairgrounds and Expo Center is likely to be the event of the week, with ability to house more than just a fair. Come check out these points of interest more in depth (or visit in person).

Gifford Aquatic Center

You might not think of cave exploration when you think of Florida, but if you're visiting Jackson County, you definitely could. With cave exploration, as well as a slew of walking trails, softball games, and river runs to paddle on, there is a lot to surprise you in this seldom seen gem of Northwest Florida.

Blue Spring Trail

Jay Blanchard Park houses a bunch of activities for people of all ages to partake in. There's a playground for the younger kids, plenty of grassy areas for the older kids to play a game of soccer, pavilions for family get togethers, tennis courts, and a paved eight mile road for walkers, joggers, runners, bikers, and even those who want to roller blade. 

Jefferson County has the eats, it has the wheels, and it has the classic parts of North Florida that still exist nowadays. Bring your bike helmet and check out some of the events in this great Florida County.

Bike contest

Put a little spring in your step in Lafayette County, home to as many natural springs as there are vowels in the name Lafayette. Take your paddle, take your boat, and bring a couple pairs of snorkels to dive into the aquatic magic of this great Florida County.

Riverside in Lafayette County

Lake County welcomes outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy bird watching, sporting events, aquatic trails, and historical architecture from the seat of their bike. Let’s get a closer look at some of Lake County Parks and recreational service’s most alluring features.

Scrub Jay

Lee County boasts a number of diverse locations for park goers to enjoy the great outdoors. Visit a number of Preserves, watch or play a game of baseball, and later cool off at a Swimming Pool.

Beautiful shallow waterway

Birds and butterflies oh my! This is the county that lets the beauty of North Florida soar and takes its park goers with them. Leon is home to the heart of the capital city, but the green plant trees and the blue fountains are given an equal spot in its great park locations. Sports and other activities have equal place too. Come check out a few of the programs and activities here in Leon. 

Leon County Parks & Rec

Levy County takes advantage of several travel mediums through which visitors can explore the area. A bicycle is a great option, horseback is something to remember, and a kayak adds some cool refreshing water to your workout. Check out these examples and look our for more in Levy County.

Overhead view of a Levy County Spring

Liberty County offers a diverse array of activities in its relative small land area. Parks, trails, and youth baseball punctuate the activities listed here, but there is far more to offer in this important member of the Florida Parks and Recreation family.

Wright Lake Trail foliage

Some of Florida's key attractions live right here in Madison County. Swim around some of the content as you familiarize yourself with this great member of North Florida.

Madison Blue Springs

Manatee County is home to a variety of locations that invite its visitors to participate. The G.T. Bray Recreation Center welcomes guests the chance to improve their physical health while working in a cooperative environment. The Agriculture and Extensive Service serves to educate the residents of Manatee County with education from the University of Central Florida. Finally, the Florida Maritime Museum educates its visitors with important records of the essential relationship with Florida has always had with the ocean.

Manatee County Beach

Marion County includes 40 Parks Sites which feature boating, swimming, sports fields, hiking trails, and “one-of-a-kind” play areas for children. Some key locations include the Rainbow River, Brick City Adventure Park, John Van Fleet Sports Complex, and Horseshoe Lake Park and Retreat. Take a break from technology with the amenities of nature and reconnect with the world around you.

Horseshoe Lake

A variety of wonderful locations display the identity of Martin County’s parks and recreational areas. You will jump in the water as fast you can once you see the Sailfish Splash Waterpark and Aquatic Center. Camping is also a big draw along with Indian Riverside park's many features.

Martin County seaside parks

Miami-Dade is committed to improving the lives of its ever growing residents by offering opportunities for relief from the stresses of their expansion. Its natural holdings, some of the most beautiful in the United States and the World, are celebrated in this renowned area.

Beach Front Park

This scenic and ocean based area of Florida features 22 parks and beaches that comprise more than 100 acres from Stock Key to Key Largo. Beautiful beaches and a taste of historic Florida make Monroe County a great travel destination.

Lake view sunset

Nassau County features 19 park locations to provide entertainment and enrichment in North Florida’s natural environment.

Nassau County Cities

In Okaloosa County, activities like geocaching and youth sports are offered alongside locations like the Baker Recreation area to offer a huge number of possibilities for parks and recreation activities.

Beach side boardwalk

Okeechobee County specializes in a huge variety of sporting events to keep your healthy heart pumping from childhood and beyond. If you want a break, step off onto the extensive trails for a relaxing hike. Try what you like and come back for more in Okeechobee County.

Swamp Logo

Orange County offers more than 100 parks, trails, and facilities so that everyone can find a hobby, program, or just a day at the park. With bike riding, horseback riding, fishing, swimming, RV and tent camping, and canoeing there are innumerable ways for most parks park goers to spend their time. In addition to the traditional means of enjoying Florida’s parks, Orange County plays host to other programs which offer other types of enriching entertainment which might be lesser known.

Park Benches Around a Tree

Osceola County is committed to offering quality parks and recreation experiences to offer a “great place to play.” Some of the key places where visitors and residents can play are the Austin-Tindall Regional Park and Soccer Complex, the Ralph V. Chisholm Regional Park, and the Cherokee Point Conservation Area.

Cherokee Point

Palm Beach County gives its visitors a diverse array of ways to spend their time outdoors. The Okeeheelee Park plays host to unique equestrian events, while various parks offer fun radio controlled courses and inviting amphitheaters to offer options which few other counties can match.

Waterside Amphitheater

Pasco County has 22 active parks, 13 passive parks, 3 recreation complexes, 5 community centers, 2 swimming pools, 4,600 acres of environmentally sensitive land, and 15,000 acres of land dedicated to parks, trails, and open space. 121 recreational programs and 49 yearly events are also available all year round for those who want to get out and participate in its offerings. 

Skimboarding

Phelps Park is a great place to take the kids when looking for something cheap and fun to do in the Winter Park area! Parents can sit on the benches while kids play in the grassy areas of the park or the playground equipment!

Pinellas County has over 20,000 acres of parks and preserves and a host of unique examples of Florida Beauty.

Heritage Village Trading Post

Polk County offers 40 parks and 11 mini-parks to its visitors as well as 40 boat launching sites, 120 sports fields, 27 youth athletic leagues with more than 12,000 participants.

Polk County Camp Out

Putnam County plays host to several interesting locations to spend your afternoons. Those seeking activities for seniors and park goers who want to hit the trails while retracing an historical journey will find themselves well sated with options.

Meadow in Putnam County

Try a little bit of everything here in Santa Rosa County. With a huge number of options for physical activity, like horse riding, sports programs, and some great dog parks, check out the details of just a few of what this area has to offer.

Boardwalk along the water side

Sarasota County is an area that shows great appreciation for its natural resources and the role they play in the culture of this area. Its natural preserves, specialty parks, and the special location of Snook Haven offer a little bit of everything.

Sunset beach

Seminole County boasts their “It Starts in Parks” initiative which supports its “three pillars of the value of parks and recreation.” These three pillars are Coaching, Connecting, and Community.

Seminole County Florida Parks and Rec

Shady Park is a great place to take kids for a simple afternoon! The playground equipment will keep them busy and the spray ground is super fun when it's working from April to October!

St. Lucie is a highly unique County that wears its rich resources right on its short sleeves. Take a horseback ride on the beach, head to Fairwinds for 9 holes, and visit the Savannas recreation area for a few tastes of St. Lucie County’s many options. 

St Lucie Sign and moss

St. Johns County offers a diverse variety of activities for its visitors and residents. Try a Geocaching treasure hunt, have a few at bats at Mills Field, and participate in one of the many Naturalist Programs in this intriguing area.

Kayaks on the water

Sumter County lets its visitors have fun while enjoying some spectacles unique to the area. The Webster Market is a more laid back form of outside fun, unless a stubborn haggler gets you fired up to make a good deal.

Sumter Boaredwalk

Bring your guitar pick and your favorite towel because at Suwannee County Parks, the day ahead is going to be a busy one. Come see all this great place has to offer.

Clear Blue Spring Water

Taylor County is hosts a unique celebration of Northwest Florida's outdoor culture. Past and present mix in a tangy BBQ rub, while fisherman take their rods out on the water in a concert of Florida culture. 

Cracker House

Union County, the smallest county in the state of Florida, is host to several great locations for outdoor recreation. Hit the water at a freshwater beach, visit the local hiking and biking trails, and make a trip to its local museum.

Lake Butler

Volusia County offers a wide list of activities to dive into, including its Art and Culture, Parks and Trails, and County Attractions.

Lake Woodruff

Try a little bit of everything at Wakulla County. A horse is welcome of course, and so is your bike, your running shoes, and your diving mask. Any way you get here, you will enjoy your time at this great ode to the attractions available in Northwest Florida.

St Marks Lighthouse

In Walton County, park goers have a wide number of options to choose from. Youth Sports Programs, Morrison Springs, and Padgett Park offer a diverse number of ways to spend your afternoon. 

Morrison Springs blue water

Sitting on 66.44 acres of land, Ward Park is an exercise lovers dream! There are baseball and softball fields, tennis courts, soccer fields, and football fields as well bike trails, hiking trails, and an asphalt walking path. There is also playground equipment for children and picnic tables to enjoy the afternoon with friends and family. 

With a number of Youth Sports options, Holmes Creek, and Falling Waters State Park, Washington County has a number of places to visit and an even larger number of activities to try. Read on to learn more about a few of these and to whet your appetite for the outdoors of Florida's panhandle.

Falling Waters

Wekiva Island is an environmentally friendly destination located in Longwood, Florida along the beautiful Wekiva River offering canoe, kayak, and paddleboard rentals, a boat launch, a bar serving beer and wine, a food truck, and river cabana rentals for your next party or event. Visit Wekiva Island day or night and experience an island oasis just outside of Orlando.