7 Of The Best Walks In Orlando

When you think of Orlando, you might think of theme parks, neon lights, palm trees, shopping malls, and apartment complexes. But there’s so much more to Orlando than meets the eye. The Floridian city is teeming with beautiful hiking and nature spots – it actually has over 100 lakes! It also benefits from a sub-tropical climate, which fosters fascinating areas of swamps, wetlands, and luscious forests. There’s a lot to explore in this vast and diverse area, so we’ve narrowed it down to 7 of the best walks in Orlando.

Best Walks in Orlando

1. The Seminole-Wekiva Trail

Length: 13.6 miles
Duration: 4 hours

The Seminole-Wekiva Trail is one of the most popular hiking routes in Orlando, and for good reason. It has everything you could want, especially for an urban hike – wildlife viewing, shaded and unshaded sections, paved and unpaved sections, and a myriad of trees and tropical plants. It’s quite a long trail (again, especially for an urban hike!) coming in at 13.6 miles, but you can always shorten it, depending on how long you want to walk. You’ll see lots of joggers, cyclists, and other hikers along the way too.

Seminole Wekiva Trail in orlando

2. Disney Wilderness Preserve Nature Trail

Length: 3 miles
Duration: 1 hour

What’s a trip to Orlando without a bit of Disney? Okay, don’t let the name put you off – this isn’t a walk through a theme park. The Disney Wilderness Preserve is a hidden gem, despite spanning a huge 11,500 acres. It actually connects to the lungs of Florida, the iconic Everglades. With over 3,500 of wetlands, which act as the sponges, it’s home to 1,000 species of plants and animals. It actually got its name due to the Walt Disney Company donating funds for restoration and wildlife monitoring on the preserve. There are three trails here – the red trail, yellow trail, and nature trail. Bear in mind that there isn’t much shade, be sure to wear a hat and bring lots of water with you.

disney wilderness preserve orlando

3. Split Oak Forest Green Trail

Length: 3.4 miles
Duration: 1 hour

Split Oak Forest is a fascinating area of swamps, lakes, and unthinkably tall old-growth forest trees. There are up to 6.4 miles of hiking trails, and this loop takes you through pathways encaved by sunken trees and by the lake. It’s a beautiful walk, especially in the morning before the mid-day sun gets a bit too hot and the morning light shines through the trees. It does get hot, though, so make sure to bring lots of water. It’s a popular route for horseback riding, joggers, and hikers, so you’re bound to see a few people, but on the whole, it’s a peaceful and quiet walk. The path is mostly sand, so be sure to wear appropriate shoes.

split oak forest

4. Wekiwa Springs Hiking Trail

Length: 6.3 miles
Duration: 2 hours

Wekiwa Springs State Park has over 7,000 acres of wetlands, forest, tropical plants, waterways, and an enchanting blue-green Wekiwa River. It’s also home to eight trails, including the particularly beautiful Wekiwa Springs Hiking Trail. Much of the trail is shaded, covered by picturesque, caved-in trees. Be sure to pack your swimming costume – the Wekiwa Springs water is crystal-clear, too tempting not to jump in. Boardwalks wind through tropical greenery, which is the home to a diverse ecosystem. You might spot a deer, a snake, turtles, otters, ospreys, racoons, and more. There are some alligators too, but they don’t venture to the swimming area.

wekiwa spring orlando

5. Kolokee Loop

Length: 5 miles
Duration: 1 hour 20 minutes

The Koloke Loop traverses through the Little Big Econ State Forest, which is one of the most popular hiking spots in Orlando. The ‘Econ’ in the forest name comes from the Econlockhatchee River, which is a beautiful tropical waterway. It’s home to alligators, river otters, foxes, wild turkeys, deer, and more. The extensive wildlife makes this walk particularly special, it’s the true Floridian experience.

little big econ forest

6. Black Bear Wilderness Loop Trail

Length: 7 miles
Duration: 2 hours

If you’re looking for peace and quiet, you’ve found it with the Black Bear Wilderness Loop. This is one of the remote trails in Orlando, located thirty-five minutes out of the city. It’s a bit longer than most of the other walks, but similarly, it’s relatively flat. The marked path winds you through marshy areas, wetlands, and dense forests with wildflowers in abundance. And are a lot of bugs, so we encourage you to pack plenty of bug spray.

The trail offers some of the best wildlife viewings in the region, primarily for being home to (like the name suggests) Floridian black bears. You’re not likely to spot a black bear while you’re there, but you might find bear scratchings on trees, bear prints in the ground, and bear scat.

two black bears

7. Lake Eola Loop

Length: 1 mile
Duration: 20 minutes

There’s been an ongoing theme so far, so we thought we’d break it up with a city walk. This trail loops around the lovely Lake Eola, and while it doesn’t offer the same nature or wildlife viewing as the others on the list, it is a beautiful walk in its own right. The path is wide and smooth, so you can put your walking boots away. It’s a great outing if you’re looking for wholesome weekend plans or you’re visiting Orlando, offering a nice respite from the hustle and bustle of the city without having to travel at all. It’s dotted with benches, picnic spots, and even boasts a sculpture park. And being in the heart of Downtown Orlando, you’re treated to a beautiful cityscape view.

lake eola orlando

Aleyna Yilmaz

Aleyna loves learning about a culture through its food, whether that's closer to home or being out there in the world. She’s always happiest when experiencing somewhere new, but her base in Manchester is a close second. A blend of her love of writing, food, travel, and culture has naturally led her to travel writing full time.

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