Long before the theme parks came to town, Florida was known for its natural beauty. From the famous Everglades to picturesque beaches, there are some truly unique spectacles provided by Mother Nature herself. Though Central Florida may not be home to the likes of Yellowstone or Joshua Tree, there are certainly more than enough state and national parks within driving distance for the outdoorsy adventurers among us.
Though our parks are an asset worth visiting, you should also understand that there are inherent dangers involved with the great outdoors, especially if one strays from the beaten path. Before you or yours expose yourself to potential dangers, be sure to consider the following before your next trip.
Florida State Park and National Park Safety Tips
- Not a Theme Park: Locals and tourists more familiar with our local theme parks may forget that, though state and national parks are relatively safe, they are still in the often unpredictable outdoors. From erratic weather to wildlife dangers, you must still keep your eyes and ears open while exploring.
- See the Signs: Posted signs are incredibly important to your safety and the safety of others. Warning signs that caution visitors about dangerous wildlife, loose footing or fast currents can be the difference between a fun hike and a trip to the hospital if you are not careful.
- Keep to the Path: Though going off of the beaten path can be fun for the adventurous types, it is also an easy way to put yourself at greater risk than necessary. Keep to marked trails or designated visitor areas, especially if you are not an experienced hiker or outdoorsman. Note that some areas off of a trail may be prohibited, so always keep an eye out for cautionary signage.
- Come Prepared: Being in the great outdoors can be exciting, but exhausting, especially in Florida’s sweltering summer heat. If you will be spending any amount of time in the elements, apply sunscreen, bring water and wear appropriate footwear and clothing for your adventure.
Hopefully, your next adventure in Florida’s great outdoors is a safe one. By using caution, heeding warning signs, keeping to designated paths and coming prepared, you can avoid serious injury and enjoy all of the natural wonders the Sunshine State has to offer.
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