Tallahassee is a great place to walk and has beautiful scenery to enjoy too. With the many parks in the area and wide sidewalks, it's easy to get started with walking. But if you're looking for some new places to walk or want to learn more about this healthy activity, we've got you covered.
In this Tallahassee walking guide, we'll cover everything from tips for beginners to walking trails in Tallahassee that will get your heart pumping and excited for a healthy active lifestyle.
Health Benefits of Walking
Walking is a low-impact exercise that can be performed by people of all ages and fitness levels. It's important to note, though, that walking isn't just for beginners—it's also an excellent way to improve your health as you age.
Walking is one of the most effective ways to increase your heart rate and improve cardiovascular health. In fact, research suggests that walking for just 30 minutes per day can reduce the risk of stroke and heart disease by 50 percent!
Walking has also been shown to have numerous mental benefits. It lowers stress levels by releasing endorphins, which help elevate moods; it relieves tension in the back muscles, and it helps regulate blood pressure levels by increasing oxygen intake throughout the body (which reduces fatigue).
Walking Tips for Beginners
Wear comfortable shoes. If you are going to be walking for long distances, it is important to wear shoes that feel good and will provide support for your feet. These are great shoes (men and women) that I highly recommend for walking.
Start slow. Walking can be a strenuous activity for the body, especially if you are new to it or haven't been exercising regularly in the past. To start off slowly, begin with short walks and gradually increase your distance as time goes on.
Walk with a friend. Not only will this help motivate you, but also give some added motivation if they're ahead of you.
Bring water to stay hydrated, so that when thirst sets in, at least there is something available until you can get back home or find another source of hydration. This is a great walking hydration bottle that you can easily carry (it even has a pocket to hold your phone).
Start walking during the coolest hours of the day if possible. For instance, Tallahassee becomes hot and humid early in the day during the summer months, so try to walk in the morning or closer to sunset.
Bring sunglasses because walking can quickly become "not fun" when the sun is glaring in your eyes. I walk with these sunglasses because they can easily fit in pockets.
Top 5 Walking Trails in Tallahassee
Tallahassee has plenty of walking trails to get you moving on foot. From paved roads to dirt paths, from flat terrain to hilly landscapes, and from short distances to long ones, there are many options for getting in your daily steps here.
So if you have an hour or two to chill in Tallahassee Florida, or if you need a walk break, here is a guide to the best walking trails in Tallahassee, all within the city limits.
Here are some of my favorites:
Lake Ella City Park
Lake Ella City Park located at 645 Lake Ella Drive on North Monroe Street (US 27) has a lovely small lake with water features and plenty of waterfowl and turtles taking advantage of the placid 12-acre park. The lake is surrounded by a very walkable sidewalk (approximately six-tenths of a mile) and is a pleasant stroll around the lake. Make use of the convenient shops located right at the lake for your coffee or ice cream stroll or park bench sitting. Leashed pets are welcome.
One caution to be noted is the waterfowl (ducks and geese) are numerous and can become aggressive. Give them their space as you stroll, walk or jog around the lake. There are also restroom facilities, numerous benches along the sidewalk and lake, and picnic tables for your enjoyment.
Lichgate Cottage and grounds are not to be missed, although you need to keep a keen eye out for the narrow drive into the small parking area. Located at 1401 High Road just south of Tharpe Street, you will find this very peaceful area.
Take the short path from the parking area to the enormous live oak tree, where you will find benches or tables for relaxing and viewing your peaceful surroundings. Take a book or bring your hot or iced drink, and just rest or meditate for a few moments.
Don’t forget to walk the grounds to the fairy tale cottage nestled amongst the oaks, and named after the medieval gates of old England. Lichgate is open from dawn to dusk and encompasses 3 acres of shaded greenery, foliage, and several garden areas.
Lake Jackson Mounds Archaeological State Park
Lake Jackson Mounds Archaeological State Park is set amongst ancient native American temple mounds. Visit here for viewing small wildlife or birds, and walk the short trails to stretch your legs. The Butler Mill Creek Trail meanders 0.75 miles past the early 1800s grist mill remains.
The other trail is 2.2 miles (relatively easy) viewing flora and fauna along the way. If you decide to spend longer than an hour or two, there are multiple picnic tables on-site, as well as restroom facilities. Open dawn to dusk at 3600 Indian Mound Road, right off of Interstate 10 and US 27 North. This is a state park so there is a $3 fee per car (“on your honor” box, so bring the correct change) to enjoy the park and its amenities.
Another fabulous walkable park in Tallahassee can be found right downtown close to the State Capitol and other state buildings at 1001 South Gadsden Street. Welcome to Cascades Park, one of Tallahassee’s newest parks. There are numerous paved trails and small bridges meandering around the ponds and streams. There are three main trails, totaling 2.3 miles.
Most of this park is open to the bright Florida sunshine, though you can find a few shaded areas. There are three main memorials in this park: Prime Meridian Marker, Smokey Hollow Commemoration, and the Korean War Memorial. Be sure and check these out:
The Prime Meridian Marker is the beginning point of all land surveys in the state.
The Smokey Hollow Commemoration stands in remembrance of the African-American community that existed here from the end of the Civil War until the 1960s.
The Korean War Memorial stone structure
You will also notice the huge amphitheater located in the park for local and regional acts and entertainment. Check the City’s event schedule and come back another afternoon or evening for the entertainment. There are also restroom facilities, a children’s splash pad, a few benches, and picnic tables scattered about the park. And be sure to bring your pet on a leash, or a blanket to spread on the ample grounds for relaxation.
Located adjacent to Cascades Park is one of Tallahassee’s oldest and most well-known parks. Myers Park is set in the historical district of downtown Tallahassee located at 912 Myers Park Road. The park can be accessed from either Lafayette Street or Suwannee Street on Myers Park Road. Besides a nicely paved walking trail through the oak and hardwood trees, there are also a few tennis courts, a swimming pool (entrance fees required), playground areas, picnic tables, and a covered pavilion. Again, this is another spot to take a break or take your leashed pet on a shaded walk through nature. You are sure to see numerous squirrels and birds, and perhaps other small wildlife.
Conclusion of Walking Trails in Tallahassee
So come to Tallahassee Florida, the state’s Capitol City, and spend an hour or two outdoors walking, relaxing, meditating, or wildlife viewing. You are sure to be able to do all of these at the locations mentioned above. Enjoy!
Be sure and visit our other Tallahassee articles on “Things to Do” while in the city if you have half a day, and short day trips from Tallahassee, with exciting things to do and see.
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Marilyn Tabanelli is a Florida Family + Lifestyle contributing writer. She enjoys photography and writing about her travel adventures throughout the country.