Get full access to Outside Learn, our online education hub featuring in-depth fitness, nutrition, and adventure courses and more than 2,000 instructional videos when you sign up for Outside+ Sign up for Outside+ today.
Leading from the lush tropical paradise of Juniper Springs Recreation Area to the crystalline waters of spring-fed Hidden Pond, this dayhike on the Florida Trail offers a rare opportunity to cool down at both ends. From the entrance road near FL 40, turn right and hike 1.2 miles north into the Juniper Prairie Wilderness. Walk the well-trod footpath through a maze of young sand pines, then cross over a mosaic of prairies, flatwoods ponds, and oak hammocks. Logs bridge the gap at Whispering Creek where the whiskey-colored tannic water sluices under the bridge. Emerging from the shaded route, enter a scrub forest where the heat shimmers on the white sand of the ancient dunes. Skirt around a large sinkhole to reach Hidden Pond, then cool off in the shallow water before heading back to Juniper Springs.-Hike courtesy of Sandra Friend, “The Florida Trail: The Official Hiking Guide” (Westcliffe Publishers)
Juniper Springs Recreation Area
Location: 29.1830395, -81.7123604
Location: 29.2217553, -81.6935849