News Release: Florida Department of Environmental Protection
TALLAHASSEE –The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Florida Park Service invites Floridians and visitors to celebrate Valentine's Day at a state park or trail. From early morning hikes and day-long festivals to picnics with friends and family you love or sunset watching and full moon walks with your Valentine, you are invited to share Florida’s natural treasures.
Governor Scott said, “I encourage Floridians and their visitors to get outdoors and experience the many hiking, biking and walking trails or special events our parks and trails offer this holiday weekend. We are blessed to live in a state with access to our natural resources and recreational opportunities, and Florida’s award-winning state parks have activities for people of all ages.”
Recognizing the importance of providing a healthy and affordable outdoor activity for Florida’s families and visitors, Governor Scott has proclaimed February as Florida Hiking Trails Month. Florida’s hiking trails give visitors access to natural and cultural resources, as well as promote healthy lifestyles, nature-based tourism and economic benefits for the state. With more than 2,500 miles of hiking trails on public lands, from urban trails in the midst of cityscapes to wilderness trails that run through Florida’s award-winning state parks, there is a hiking trail for everyone.
“Florida state parks and state trails offer many heart-healthy activities to share with those that you love,” said Florida Park Service Director Donald Forgione. “Valentine’s Day and heart health go hand-in-hand. Research by the American Heart Association, shows that every $1 spent on biking trails and walking paths could save approximately $3 in medical expenses.”
Here are some of the special Valentine's Day activities happening at Florida’s state parks:
- Thursday, Feb. 13 through Saturday, Feb. 15 - Valentine’s Day Sunset Cruise at Crystal River Preserve State Park. Cruise departs at 5:30 p.m.
- Friday, Feb. 14 - Take a hike with a park ranger on Valentine’s Day at Ravine Gardens State Park in Palatka from 9 to 11 a.m. You’ll enjoy the beautiful ponds, plants and creatures throughout the park while you hike.
- Friday, Feb. 14 - Renew your vows at Lovers Key State Park’s 5th Annual Valentine’s Day Vow Renewal Ceremony. Vow renewals will begin at 10 a.m. or 3 p.m. and include a champagne toast, hors d’oeuvres, coffee, desserts, photos and a special gifts. $75 per couple donation to the Friends of Lovers Key.
- Friday, Feb. 14 - Love birds are able to take a full moon beach stroll at Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreation Area at Flagler Beach. Join a ranger underneath the light of a full moon and learn about some interesting moon facts.
- Friday, Feb. 14 and Saturday, Feb. 15 - Enjoy a romantic moonlight paddle at Manatee Springs State Park in Chiefland. The two-hour tours are available on both days and begin at 6:30 p.m. Canoe rentals available. Shuttle service is $10 per vessel.
- Saturday, Feb. 15 - Sweethearts Forever boat cruise, dinner and jazz music at Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park south of Tallahassee. Meet at the Waterfront Visitors Center at 5:15 p.m. for the evening cruise. A buffet dinner will follow in the Lodge with live music of the Dorian Q Jazz Quartet. $25 per person.
Visit our website for a complete list of activities in Florida’s state parks and trails.