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BellaOnline's Florida Editor

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 F E A T U R E   A R C H I V E  

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Visit Fort De Soto County Park
Ft. Desoto Park, largest of the Pinellas County Parks, is located south of St. Petersburg on 5 keys. The park contains the remains of historic Ft. De Soto, 2 fishing piers, a campground, 2 beaches and a dog beach, picnic areas, and a paved, multiuse trail that connects all these features.

Ft. Fraser Rail Trail
The Fort Fraser Rail Trail is a 7.75-mile paved trail connecting Lakeland to Bartow in Polk County. It follows a former CSX route. The trail has 3 trailheads and 2 spur trails that track east. Amenities include a restroom, picnic tables, and sheltered benches.

Civil War Sites of North Florida
Although Florida was not a major Civil War battleground state, several minor battles were fought here. This article describes the largest of these battles and the North Florida sites at which they took place.

Circle B Bar Reserve
Circle B Bar Reserve, a former cattle ranch, is one of Polk County's environmentally-sensitive land purchases. It is free to the public for educational and recreational purposes. It is renowned as a world-class birding and wildlife-viewing area.

Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Historic State Park
Visiting Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Historic State Park near Gainesville should appeal to those interested in history, particularly those who like their history with a literary connection. Tours of the Rawlings home are available for a nominal fee during the months of October through July.

Gainsville-Hawthorne State Trail
Cycle, hike, or skate your way through significant historic and natural areas along the Gainesville-Hawthorne State Trail. This 16.5-mile-long, asphalt-paved trail is rated one of the top ten Florida biking trails.

Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park
Just 10 miles from Gainesville, Paynes Prairie Preserve is unique among Florida state parks. It has an interesting history and geology, as well as herds of American bison and Spanish horses. It contains 30 miles of trails for hikers, cyclists, and equestrians. A full-service campground is available.

Chain of Lakes Trail
The Chain of Lakes Trail in Polk County is an urban trail that runs from Lake Alfred on its north end south to Winter Haven. Its primary appeal lies in the historic corridor through which it passes.

Van Fleet and TECO Rail Trails
If you enjoy biking, skating, or walking on paved trails, the 29-mile-long Van Fleet National Trail and the connecting 6.6-mile-long TECO trail may be just what you're looking for. The Van Fleet Trail is Florida's most rural trail. You are quite likely to see wildlife along the way.

Visit De Soto National Memorial
De Soto National Memorial in Bradenton, a national historic site on Florida's Gulf Coast, commemorates the landing of the Hernando de Soto expedition. It's a good place to learn American and natural history as well as fish, picnic, or walk your dog.

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