Do you need something new to do for Earth Day this year in Central Florida? It is possible to escape the paved theme parks and spend some time learning about the ecology of the Sunshine State while experiencing a unique adventure. Forever Florida is a nature conservancy in St. Cloud that features a real working ranch, thrilling zip lines, a campground, and the chance to experience it all from horseback. They offer a wide range of afternoon excitement that will fulfill your need for a quiet drive through the woods or some serious adrenaline rushes, all while learning more about the history and land of the most popular tourist area in America.
4,500 Acres of Wild Florida
The family-owned park has slowly grown over the years from just a few acres to 4,500 acres of protected lands. You will have the chance to experience an unspoiled Florida, devoid of highways, fast food, and neon lights. Listen to the cry of herons, egrets, and a wide array of birds in the trees. There is swampland, rugged woods, pastures, and winding trails. The only car you will hear are those pulling into the parking lot.
Once you choose your day’s adventure, it’s all about getting to know Florida the way it was before humans took over several hundred years ago.
Learn About Native Species on a Horseback Ride or the Trail Buggy
The ranch supports a huge herd of Cracker Cattle, descended from the Spanish cattle that were introduced to the peninsula back in the 16th century. You can get to know more about this unique group of cattle by taking an exciting horseback ride through the conservancy on one of their tried and true mounts. Kids over 10 and anybody in good health can saddle up.
While visiting the different pastures, you have a chance to soak in the sights and sounds of our Earth at work.
If riding out isn’t your style, Forever Florida also offers a Trail Buggy ride which takes a leisurely two-hour drive through the park. It’s not about speed, but taking the time to appreciate any wildlife you might encounter along the way while the guide offers information about the differed flora and fauna. Of course, you will stop by the barn and ranch. It can be the perfect afternoon for grandparents and toddlers.
Zip Line Through the Trees and Find a New Perspective
Okay, so the teens are less enthused about skipping a day in the theme parks for a more rural exploration. Forever Florida offers three different zip line adventures for those seeking some thrills among the treetops. Whether you opt for the 7 Zip adventure with multiple zip lines and sky platforms or the pulse-pounding thrill of the zip line roller coaster, nobody will walk away without their adrenaline pumping. There is even the Panther Pounce which offers the feel of free-fall in a safe and secure environment. Meanwhile, you are surrounded by the sights and sounds of the woodland.
Experience the Peace of Your World on an Overnight Camping Adventure
If you really want to connect with your world for an entire day, they also offer overnight adventures that take you on a three hour horseback ride to the campsite. Toast some marshmallows, sleep in a tent, breakfast by the campfire and return to the ranch while your meals and the livestock are taken care of by the attentive staff.
Have a Group? Bring the Family, Your Friends, and Co-Workers
For schools, churches, larger family outings, and even team building days for businesses, the visitors center offers a private room for meals and daily use. There is a restaurant available that provides good food for lunch and dinner–including steak on the overnight camping excursion. For an added fee, there is also an adventure that visits a nearby big cat sanctuary along with the horseback ride through the park.
The heart of Forever Florida lies in conserving the dwindling undeveloped lands of our state while providing a day of entertainment and education for you and your family. For more information on rates, hours and directions, check out their website or give them a call to schedule your uniquely Florida experience on Earth Day.