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Tuesday, December 06, 2022

Visting Florida's parks: Adventures in the wilderness

Last weekend, I went with my family to the State Park that is directly across from our house. Jonathan Dickinson State park is 11,500 acres of wildlife sanctuary, Loxahatchee River and space to roam. It was only the second time I visited the park that I have lived across from for four years now. When I realized this I found it rather absurd. How could I have ignored the wilderness that lay in front of me all these years?

I have dreams of hiking the Appalachian Trail and yet I couldn’t even bring myself to explore the State park and the Florida Scenic Trail that was right in front of me. It is quite sad because most of us are so busy in our day to day lives that we completely look past what miracles are right before us. There is beauty in Florida, but sometimes you have to go  a little out of your way to get it. You must leave the Miami skyline behind and the pollution and hit the trails.

Last Saturday, I convinced my family that we had to go do something fun and something wild for a change. My parents willfully agreed and so we set off to do some kayaking on the Loxahatchee. It was freeing and it was an adventure, though sharing a kayak with my little brother was less than perfect we all made it out alive.

After soaking in the nature that thrived before us and walking to the top of the Hobe Sound Observation Tower we tried to spot our house at the edge of the park. I realized that these adventures in the wilderness are necessary to really get in touch with who you are and where you live.

Florida is home to plenty of open space for you to roam. We have the Everglades, the Florida Scenic Trail and the Ocala National Forest (less than an hour from Gainesville, Fla.). We are blessed with tropic weather (and plenty of mosquitoes), so I urge you to take advantage of it and go on your own adventure in the wilderness. Pick up bird watching, take a picnic with you, or grill out with your friends just be open to these new experiences.

Visit the Florida state parks or national  parks and you will learn that there is more to life than your weekly run to Publix and happy hour with your friends at the Swamp.

Take advantage of your summer and go into the wild!

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