When you need to get away from the hustle and bustle of Orlando, there’s no need to drive hours to find something scenic and quiet. If you're looking for hiking trails in Orlando, there's one in particular that will feel like a safari adventure.
Even with its boisterous city life, there is no shortage of flora and fauna to admire in Orlando. If you’re looking to get back in touch with nature and clear your mind for a bit, your first stop, ironically enough, should be Disney.
And no, we’re not talking Mickey Mouse or Epcot or even Animal Kingdom. Where you need to go, after grabbing your most comfortable hiking shoes, is the Disney Wilderness Preserve.
Impressive for a company that is constantly expanding itself and buying land to develop on, Disney very deliberate in purchasing what was once an 8500-acre cattle ranch.
An essential part of the Everglades ecosystem, the preserve contains over 3500 acres of restored wetlands and over 1000 animal and plant species.
Walt Disney Co. worked with The Nature Conservancy in the State of Florida to purchase the land as a way to mitigate its theme park expansions and focus on conservation.
Inspired by the movement, the greater Orlando Aviation Authority bought and donated another 3,000 acres to balance out airport expansion in 1995.
This brings the preserve to its current size of 11,500 acres.
Needless to say, there is plenty to see. Keep an eye out for bald eagles, cranes, snakes, and tortoises. The Florida panther has even been documented on this trail!
There are several different paths to follow depending on`WESD how long you want your trip to be. Overall, it is recommended that you allow for at least three hours to complete everything.
Make sure to bring your own water, sunscreen, and snacks. But be sure not to litter! Florida Man is watching.
Disney Wildlife Preserve
When: Open daily
Address: 2700 Scrub Jay Trail, Poinciana, FL 34759
Why You Need To Go: Escape back to nature and enjoy a peaceful walk through a beautiful preserve!