Best Florida Beaches for Hikers

Grab a pair of comfortable shoes, a bottle of sunscreen and get ready to enjoy a long walk on a sandy beach.

Florida beach
From Anastasia State Park to Lovers Key State Park, Florida’s beaches are a hiker’s paradise. Pixabay

Florida’s shorelines are full of trails that wind through beautiful beaches. Here are our favorites.

Anastasia State Park

This park in North Florida stretches for four miles from Matanzas Inlet to St. Augustine. Birding and hiking fans will love exploring it. The park’s Ancient Dunes Nature Trail loops through a shaded maritime hammock. The surface is mostly flat but there are some uneven spots and hills.
Address: 300 Anastasia Park Rd, St. Augustine, FL 32080
Hours: 8 a.m. until sundown, 365 days a year
Fees: $8 per vehicle
Official website

Caladesi Island State Park

You have to take a boat to this white-sand gem northwest of the city of Clearwater—but that’s part of the fun. The beach is beloved by locals, but take time to explore the trail walk to the historic Scharrer Homestead through the island’s interior and savor the tranquility.
Address: Offshore island, Dunedin FL 34698
Hours: 8 a.m. until sundown, 365 days a year
Fees: $6 per boat 
Official website

Grayton Beach State Park

In the Panhandle town of Santa Rosa Beach, this beach is home to the softest, whitest sand in the state, abutting the clear, warm waters of the Gulf. Hikers can explore four miles of trails winding through a coastal forest full of scrub oaks and magnolias. It’s great for fishing and kayaking.
Address: 357 Main Park Road, Santa Rosa Beach FL 32459
Hours: 8 a.m. until sundown, 365 days a year
Fees: $5 per vehicle
Official website

Lovers Key State Park

This two-mile flat stretch of sand off Fort Myers is accessible by tram and boardwalk. Lovers Key has more than five miles of trails, including the Black Island Trail. Keep your eyes open for butterflies, birds and the gopher tortoise.
Address: 8700 Estero Blvd., Fort Myers Beach FL 33931
Hours: 8 a.m. until sundown, 365 days a year
Fees: $8 per vehicle
Official website

Cayo Casta State Park

Fishing, kayaking, hiking and snorkeling abound on this tree-laden island, which is only accessible by ferry or private boat. The trails of Cayo Costa are perfect for viewing a wide variety of birds, some endangered. Be wary of disturbing their nesting activities.
Address: 4 Nautical Miles West of Pine Island (26.685789, -82.245381), Cayo Costa FL 33922
Hours: 8 a.m. until sundown, 365 days a year. Ranger station is open until 4 p.m. daily.
Fees: $2 per person. Please use the honor box to pay fees. Correct change is required.
Official website

More Outdoors