Etoniah Creek State Forest offers a multi-use trail system of over 12 miles, great for hiking, biking, or equestrian. The trail begins at Fieldhouse Road where there is a large parking area providing ample room for cars and horse trailers alike. See Google Map below for directions.
The trails are primarily roadways and service roads, lightly trafficked by the Florida State Forest Service. Spending all day there, I was passed by only one truck and a woman on horseback, so you will have plenty of time to yourself or alone with friends. The trails can be taken as loops to keep the views fresh, and the AllTrails map above (both PDF and Interactive at desktop or with the AllTrails App) gives you a very good pathway.
The roadways are compacted sand for the most part with some paved areas, all firm enough for biking and to keep hikers from slogging. Altitude gain is minimal with no steep hills, and views range from old growth oak and pine areas to wide open prairies. In fact, it can feel blistering hot in the open areas much of the year, and I recommend over-packing on water if you plan to take the full 12 miles.
Finding Your Way through the Multi-Use Trails
About midway through, you’ll cross Etoniah Creek, one of the few noteworthy sites along the way. Nearby, you’ll also find a stone picnic table in a small clearing with ample cover from the sun. I made use of this delightful stopping place both ways through.
One issue with the trails is blazing. Etoniah Creek State Forest seems to follow that all-too-common principle: mark trails like mad for the first mile or so; after that, you figure it out.” In fact, these roadway trails often split and cross with no indication of which way to go. The good news is that I found no trails that dead end, and you’ll always end up back on a main roadway sooner or later. Again, I very much recommend using my map to avoid taking a longer route than intended.