Over spring break, we camped again at Hanna Park, located in Jacksonville. While we hiked there at the park, we also left the park to hike in nearby places. One of them was at the University of North Florida Wildlife Sanctuary and Loftin Nature Trails. The trails are open to the public and parking is free on the weekends (it's $3 during the week). I learned about these trails the way I do many hikes - from the Florida Hikes site. I love that site and find many great places to hike from there, this spot included.
Even though it was the weekend, there restrooms here were open, and there were quite a few other people out exploring the trails. There were older people, quite a few runners, and other families. It wasn't so busy that the trails were busy, but you did pass others here and there, so you knew you weren't alone. There are several trail options to take, including the golden rod and blueberry trail, which we walked some of each. In all, we hiked three miles through the Loftin Trails.
Most of the trails were well maintained and they are clearly blazed. There was one small area on the goldenrod trail where a tree had fallen down over the trail, but we enjoyed the challenge of getting over it. Those with a sturdy stroller should be able to make the blueberry trail (and the goldenrod one once the fallen tree has been removed). There are some boardwalks, you make your way around a lake, and through the forest.
We really enjoyed hiking the trails at the University of North Florida. They are family friendly, beautiful, and it was a great way to spend a morning. I'd love to go back there and do a trail run, too.
The trails are located at 1 UNF Drive in Jacksonville. You park at lot 100, by parking service. They are open 365 days and no dogs are allowed.
If you find yourself in the Jacksonville area and want a nice family friendly hike, stop here and check it out!