Physical activity is one of the best ways to get your heart pumping to improve your heart health. Walking is a great way to start! The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends 150 minutes of physical activity a week, which is about a 30-minute walk, five times a week. There are many trails around the First Coast to help you get started.
Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens
There are a variety of trails and nature walks that define the beauty of Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens. Whether you are looking for a leisurely stroll or a challenging trail, there is something for everyone. The Lake Loop Trail is the easiest footpath. It is 0.3 miles long and encircles Lake Ray, a lake that is home to fish, turtles, amphibians, ducks, and other aquatic birds. Aralia Trail is one of the more difficult terrains, but the great scenery makes it worth it.
If you are looking for history, you can find it at Jacksonville-Baldwin-Rail Trail. It houses the Camp Milton Historic Preserve, which was once the largest military camp of Confederate soldiers during the Civil War. Today, this beautiful trail has been transformed from an abandoned railway station to a walking trail covered by a beautiful tree canopy–a haven for various wildlife including hawks and woodland storks.
Castaway Island Preserve
Castaway Island Preserve is the perfect place if you are looking for somewhere you and your dog can enjoy the outdoors. This 300 acre preserve lies along the Intercoastal waterway and features a mile-long walk alongside vibrant flowers. There is even a wooden boardwalk that leads to an observation platform overlooking the waterway.
Julington-Durbin Creek Preserve
The Julington-Durbin Creek Preserve offers more than just a hike. Visitors can take advantage of a wide range of outside opportunities including hiking, biking, horseback riding, and kayaking. There are many trails that delve into different natural landscapes, ranging from lower flatwood, sandhill, swamps, and marshes.