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  1. #1
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    08-23-2014
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    Sandy Lake, PA
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    Default Moving to Florida, looking for an area with good hiking!

    So I've decided to move to Florida, tired of the snow! I've been in Pennsylvania for over 20 years now. I'm trying to decide which area of Florida to live in. I'm looking for area that has a lot of good hiking and camping that is within an hour drive of some nice beaches as well. Any suggestions?

  2. #2

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    Northwest Florida: Panama City, Panama City Beach, Destin, Walton County.
    Came here from Chicago in 1979 and stayed!

  3. #3

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    Moved to SFL back in 1969 and although I have enjoyed the Everglades immensely and the knowledge gained there within as a swampbilly (that's what the surf boys used to call us - we called them pier rats) I have to agree with seminoles on the Panhandle. We've got family in Pace, FL - outside of Pensacola and really enjoy that entire area such as Blackwater River SP and the FNST in that area that goes up to Alabama. Don't get me wrong I really like the hiking in the southernmost part of the state, it's just that the weather in NFL (Flabama) is a little more tolerable all year long except for right now in the dead heat of the summer. Your hiking season is longer up that way. We live in N Alabama and winter in SFL and stop and stay in the Panhandle on our way down. It's nice there. Different. Good people.
    "Hiking is as close to God as you can get without going to Church." - BobbyJo Sargent aka milkman Sometimes it's nice to take a long walk in THE FOG.

  4. #4
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    04-15-2014
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    Wilbur By The Sea FL
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    If you are looking for hills...up by tally has a few. I hike at Alafia River State Park several times a week. Not many hills but so e nice trails. The Florida Trail takes you through so e nice areas but also a lot of road walking. I regularly see gators and such on my hikes. You will be happy to know that WaWas have arrived recently on Florida.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  5. #5
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    12-04-2009
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    Panama City Beach, FL
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    Default

    be ready for insufferable heat and humidity and bugs here in Florida in the summers. I'm not sure which is worse, the long PA winters or the long FL summers. That said, I agree with Seminoles, the NW Fla beaches from Pensacola to St. George Island are real nice.

  6. #6

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    I've lived all over Florida and most of the state meets your stated requirements. That said, depending on your climate preferences, south of Daytona is where the Gulf Stream affects the climate somewhat. It becomes more tropical down there. As you get further north, there is more cooling during the winter. Not PA cold, but distinctly cooler than south of Orlando/Daytona. Summers can be brutal anywhere in the state.

    I prefer the cooler (again, FL standards) of the Panhandle. Anything along the I10 corridor is great with me. White Springs is sometimes mentioned as being as close to a trail town as we have here. College towns aren't bad, especially if one stays at least a mile or two away from campus. Other than that, I lean away from cities as I'm just not a city person.

    I live on two acres outside a small town near Tallahassee. Lots of woods and I even have a stream in my backyard. Tallahassee is a decent college town and also state capitol, so plenty to do in less than a 30 minute drive. If you like I wrote a PDF guide of short trails in the area. PM your address and I can send it to you to help you explore (anyone welcome to this). More than 30 nice trails within an hour or so of Tallahassee. Canoeing is also popular around here and the gulf beaches of St. George Island (an hour from Tallahassee) are often rated in the top ten in the country.

    If you have any specific questions on areas, please ask.

  7. #7

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    I forgot to mention, cost of living rises sharply as one moves further south. In the Panhandle one can live fairly inexpensively. Stay a few miles outside of a large town (where the jobs are) and the cost goes down further. For example, one can get a nice home in Tallahassee (job hub for the area) starting around $150K. One can also spend over a million of one so desires. One can find homes, depending on neighborhood and condition, under $100K. I saw several places inside city limits starting at $10K (older single wide mobile home with small lot) and several at around $25K (site built fixer uppers in neighborhoods that you might not want to leave your family alone if you had to go out of town on business for a week but otherwise convenient locations). If you don't mind living in the country, getting a reasonable place under $100K is very do-able. I suppose this depends on ones definition of reasonable (smile) but I don't think my idea is too far out.

  8. #8
    Registered User
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    04-14-2014
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    Ocala Florida
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    47
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    Default

    Ocala. Has the cross florida greenway trail. About an hour from both coasts and Disney. As well as home to the ocala national forest. With lots of outdoor activities.


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  9. #9
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    09-29-2008
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    West Palm Beach, Florida
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    Default

    Florida is full.

    New York and New Jersey should be empty by now, try there.

    The trouble I have with campfires are the folks that carry a bottle in one hand and a Bible in the other.
    You never know which one is talking.

  10. #10

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    Pensacola is amazing. Lots of work, low cost of living, very small city(downtown is all sidewalk cafes), uncrowded beaches. Near Blackwater River State forest, with lots of trails, rivers, lakes.
    Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair. -Kahlil Gibran

  11. #11
    Registered User
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    03-08-2014
    Location
    Mobile, AL
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    Default

    Never underestimate the effects of the humidity/heat combination in the South. Drink more than you think you should and use every tool to stay cool (Frozen water bottles -will melt fast, frozen towels, etc.)

    Hubby & I just got back from a 10 Mile walk and the "feels like" temp is 105.

    Also be prepared for seven months of summer and almost no winter. (February's ice storm was a novelty for us all down here. Everything shut down - except the hospitals. Of course, being a nurse, that's where I had to be. )

    Also, enjoy all the wonderful abundance of water sports in our area. We especially love kayaking.

    You will find few true hills, but there are so many outdoor opportunities -and for most of the year- you will find plenty to do.

  12. #12

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    From my visits there, and correspondence with friends, I'd choose Tallahassee, if I were to move to Florida. It's not as crowded as central Florida, it has hills and interesting hiking and boating, plus nice beaches and wilderness areas. Southern Florida is too miserably hot and humid, year around. Central Florida is a zoo, unless you go inland to ranch country.

  13. #13

    Join Date
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    Default

    As in most of the lowland southeast, camping and hiking is an oct-april activity. Summer months are just plain unpleasant
    .

  14. #14

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    I would have to agree with Lifescout, the Ocala area has tons of pristine hiking/camping areas along with alot of history. Just do us a favor, when you come down, please don't bring ideas like a state income tax, mandatory union memberships for getting a job, and the idea that more government is good government. No offense, but that sort of thing will kill a state. That being said, welcome to Florida!
    Maintainer of the Unofficial Trail GPS Map Page(Updated 3-8-16) Now updated with the Florida Trail, Lone Star Hiking Trail, Arizona Trail, and Appalachian Trail.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by WingedMonkey View Post
    Florida is full.

    New York and New Jersey should be empty by now, try there.

    The Vill-a-ges
    Flo-ri-das friend-li-est home town.

    send us your weary, your tired, your re-tired.

  16. #16

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    Last week we had 4 mornings with lows that got into the upper 60s in Tallahassee. Hiking season can't be too far away. Hiking season runs mid fall through the winter into mid spring. Definitely not in the summer!

  17. #17

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    Funny you should mention that oilman, we're having a "Summer's Last Gasp" hang at Hidden Pond in the Ocala National Forest. If you guys are interested, check out the hang here: https://www.hammockforums.net/forum/...Last-Gasp-Hang We even welcome tenters!
    Maintainer of the Unofficial Trail GPS Map Page(Updated 3-8-16) Now updated with the Florida Trail, Lone Star Hiking Trail, Arizona Trail, and Appalachian Trail.

  18. #18
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    01-25-2014
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    Jacksonville, FL
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    Default

    Ocala is also a short drive away from hundreds of fresh water springs and endless paddling/floating opportunities. Check out this website too:
    http://floridahikes.com/

  19. #19
    Registered User Teddy's Avatar
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    09-16-2014
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    Ft. Lauderdale, FL
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    I'm here in SoFla, and I can tell you this: listen to the other posters! Stay north! (Panhandle area is nice, and offers you more day-trip options.)

  20. #20
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    Default

    Tallahassee good for a small city. Forget Ocala, despite its favorable and central location, it's growing like a weed and is one of the hottest locations. Small town, Live Oak, FL has a very modest housing market and proximity to Suwannee River country.
    Have a look here;

    http://www.floridastateparks.org/wilderness/
    Let no one be deluded that a knowledge of the path can substitute for putting one foot in front of the other.
    M. C. Richards

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