DEP Encourages Floridians to Get Outdoors and Create Healthy Habits

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CONTACT: DEP Press Office, 850.245.2112,

DEP Encourages Floridians to Get Outdoors
and Create Healthy Habits

~Florida Park Fit initiative promotes outdoor activity in state parks~

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is kicking off the new year with a new fitness initiative, Florida Park Fit, promoting outdoor activity in Florida's award-winning state parks. Visitors can observe interesting plants and rare wildlife, all while burning calories and enjoying Florida's natural spaces.  

Spending time outdoors provides a multitude of health benefits, and I stay fit by walking, bicycling and swimming in parks,” Florida State Parks Director Eric Draper said. “We are proud that our parks provide safe and relaxing places for people to enjoy the outdoors while moving around and getting fit, and we invite visitors to participate in group fitness events this January and all year round.” 

Florida is home to more than 10,000 miles of land-based trails and 4,000 miles of paddling trails, providing opportunities for visitors to get #FLParkFit by hiking, biking, paddling, swimming, geocaching and more. There is a small fee to enter each park, however, visitors can purchase annual individual and family passes online or in-person. 

Additionally, many parks host group recreational activities, including yoga classes, stand-up paddleboarding classes and ranger-led hikes. Find your path to fitness with the following events: 

Guided Bike Tour at Oscar Scherer State Park 
Friday, Jan. 4, 2019, 10 a.m. to noon  

Join park staff for a 10-mile guided bike tour on the historic Legacy Trail. Helmets, water and sunscreen recommended. Participants must bring their own bike. 

Paddleboard Yoga at Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park  
Friday, Jan. 4, 2019, 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.  

Enjoy a weekly paddleboard yoga class and the serenity of the beach. Paddleboards are limited, so reservations are strongly recommended. Classes are $20, or $10 if you bring your own board. 

Yoga on the Beach at Lovers Key State Park  
Monday, Jan. 7, 2019, 9 to 10 a.m. 

Grab your yoga mat and start your week off right. All skill levels are welcome, and the class fee is $10, plus park entry fee. 

Bike Ride to Hidden Spring at Wakulla Springs State Park 
Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.  

Join a park ranger and ride through the varying forest communities to “Hidden Spring.” The six-mile round-trip journey will take participants through hardwood uplands, longleaf flatwoods and cypress sloughs. The tour is free with paid park admittance. 

Tai Chi at Devil’s Millhopper Geological State Park  
Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019, 10 to 11 a.m. 

Join the park’s volunteer instructor for 11 Tai Chi Chuan movements intended to increase balance at a slow, introductory pace. Good support shoes and comfortable clothes are recommended.  

DEP is proud of its commitment to providing accessibility for all visitors to Florida’s state parks and other state-managed areas. The department continues to expand access to facilities, swimming areas, boat ramps and more so that visitors with disabilities can more fully enjoy Florida’s natural resources.