Description - The Central Travel Region is in the heart of Florida bisected by US 4 and the Florida Turnpike. The elongated heart of Florida is a colorful area of the state. Featuring high-tech theme parks, which do have environmental overtones including Sea World Orlando's manatee exhibit and Disney's Animal Kingdom's Conservation Station, this region still boasts water recreation as its main attraction. Springs begin in Marion County with more than 1,000 lakes dotting the area down to the shores of Lake Okeechobee. Visitors to the region will find the beautiful Bok Tower and Harry P. Leu Gardens, Ocala National Forest, several state hiking trails, and nearly a dozen state parks and recreation areas are enjoyed and open year-round. Florida's Audubon Center for Birds of Prey lies within this region, as well as America's oldest African-American municipality and home of author Zora Neale Hurston. Victorian period cottages are plentiful along with several buildings at Florida Southern College boasting designs by Frank Lloyd Wright. Antique lovers will enjoy the historic towns of Sanford and Maitland.
Copyright: Joyce Rankin-Interactive Outdoors, Inc.
Hiking Florida's Interior
- Raising cattle and growing citrus once dominated Florida's central landscape. Today, US 4 and Florida's Turnpike bring visitors to major attractions such as Universal Studios, Disney World Orlando, and Sea World. Despite this urban association, the Central Travel Region offers tourists a look at the historic past through sites including Dade Battlefield State Historic Site, Paynes Creek State Historic Site, the Mulberry Phosphate Fossil Museum, Central Florida Railroad Museum and much more.
Outdoor recreation teems at facilities including Ocala National Forest, Lake Griffin State Recreation Area, Rock Springs Run State Reserve, Silver River State Park and more. Also featured is working 1876 cow camp at Lake Kissimmee State Park. Superb natural sights include habitat for the area's black bear, otters, and alligators found within the Lower Wekiva River State Reserve. Trail users will be please to know the Withlacoochee State Trail and the General James A. Van Fleet State Trail offer 75 miles of lush green hammocks available to bicyclists, hikers, joggers, and horseback riders.
Recreation - Central Travel region flaunts two state trail systems covering an area of 75 miles along a converted railroad bed. These easy-grade routes are open to hikers, joggers, horseback riders and bicyclists. The area's numerous state parks offer miles of meandering easy trails as well. Fishing remains a favorite sport with 1,000 lakes lying in the region. Paddlesport enthusiasts will enjoy the seven-mile St. Francis canoe trail found at Ocala National Forest along with another popular canoe trail located in Wekiwa Springs State Park. The state park canoe route offers visitors a chance to observe native black bear and the American bald eagle. For those looking for nature study, Silver River State Park includes the Silver River Museum, Environmental Education Center, and a pioneer village. The list of recreations is endless including camping, canoe and bicycle rental, championship golf courses, world-class water ski schools, airboat rides, moonlight riverboat trips, and more.
Climate - Florida experiences mild, comfortable winters and warm to hot, humid summers. Summer Fahrenheit temperatures average in the mid to high 80's (28 - 29 Celsius). Winters are mild and dry with temperatures averaging 58 - 64 degrees Fahrenheit (14 - 18 Celsius). Precipitation for the central area averages anywhere from 56 inches to less than 52 inches per year. The region offers a great warm escape for outdoor recreation during the cold northern months. August and September are peak months of the hurricane season that lasts from June 1 through November 30.
The Central Travel Region is in the heart of Florida bisected by US 4 and the Florida Turnpike. The elongated region includes Ocala National Forest to the north and Lake Istokpoga to the south.