While Florida may not have much in the way of fall foliage, what we do have is a hidden (and we mean hidden) sea of wild sunflowers that bloom from late September to early October, and they are hitting their peak right now! If you're looking for a wildflower field in Florida, this one might just be the best.
Located on the shore of Lake Jessup, where you can also find an airboat tour that takes you over a lake of 10,00 alligators, the field is a bit of a hike to find, but totally worth it.
We got to speak to a seasoned photographer, Jeff Stamer, who frequents the sunflower fields yearly, and he advised that the bloom would be incredible.
Jeff has put together an impressive guide for aspiring photographers, and those who just want to frolic in a field of wildflowers (we won’t judge). You can find it here.
Jeff reported in his blog post that for the first time in years, the field has not flooded, so conditions are perfect.
Nicknamed “Sunflower Island,” the field stretches across the horizon, broken only by a patch of palms towards the center.
Nary a soul can be found in this hidden floral oasis, just the occasional bald eagle. Not fifteen minutes from the hustle and bustle of The City Beautiful, it’s a picturesque getaway, but you’ll have to work to earn the prize.
To reach this hidden paradise, you’ll have to hike about 20 minutes each way through mud and mosquitos. Lake Jessup is also one of the most highly populated alligator lakes around, so be mindful.
Thankfully Jeff has put together an extensive map on how to reach the area. Not all heroes wear capes.
Treat this like any other hike in Florida; bring water, boots, long pants, and bug spray. For photographers, the flowers can be very tall, so come prepared with a tall tripod.
Finally, the sunsets can be exceptionally stunning, so plan ahead! If you’re looking for more amazing Florida wildlife, check out this hidden safari-feeling hiking trail, and this eco-friendly island oasis.
Hidden sunflower field
When: Late September through early October
Address: Shores off of Lake Jesup
Why You Need To Go: These fields are incredibly beautiful, and they're only in bloom for a few more weeks!
We strongly advise that before you go swimming or visit any location, you check the most recent updates on potential hazards, security, water quality, and closures. If you do plan to visit a location, respect the environment.