Did you know the Lake City area was once called “Alligator”? While not the only swamp animal native to northern Florida, alligators tend to get more press than many others do.
Since settling the area, we humans have learned to coexist with the native wildlife. Indeed, enjoying the local flora and fauna is a popular activity for residents and visitors.
Alligator Lake Recreation Area
As the name might suggest, this is no swimming hole. However, there’s plenty to see and do in this 1,000-acre facility.
Landlubbers in the area enjoy hiking and mountain biking, while other residents bring their canoes or kayaks for a daytime float.
Anglers can drop a line in hopes of catching a fresh meal, and there are five covered pavilions for picnic gatherings.
Osceola National Forest
On the outskirts of Lake City, this 200,000-acre forest preserve offers opportunities to camp, hunt, ride horses or mountain bikes, hike and fish. There are several wildlife viewing areas offering visitors the chance to see animals in their natural habitat.
Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park
A short drive from Lake City, this park is named for the composer of Florida’s state song. A museum in the park features mementos and artifacts from the life of the composer.
Park rangers offer demonstrations on historic artisanal crafts such as quilting and blacksmithing. In addition to these learning opportunities, visitors can enjoy outdoor activities such as camping, boating, fishing, hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding.
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