Life After Rehab: Top Ways to Get Outdoors and Enjoy Nature in Orlando
Best Places To Explore Outside in Orlando
The time shortly after leaving an alcohol and drug rehab can be challenging for many people in early recovery. During your stay in rehab, your days were filled with recovery activities, and you were surrounded by other people facing the same addiction challenges and sharing the same goals. Commonly people find themselves with a lot of free time and not sure what to do with it. Falling into old behaviors can be a trigger for relapse, as can boredom. It’s important to establish healthy new habits and routines as soon as possible after rehab.
Exercise has been shown to have many benefits for those recovering from addiction. Stress is often a problem in addiction recovery and can lead to relapse. Physical exercise can help to prevent this. Physical activity causes the brain to release hormones and endorphins that cause feelings of happiness and well-being. Exercise can help your body adjust to the changes happening by training your body to release these chemicals naturally. This can be an excellent way to improve mood, reduce stress and anxiety, and improve sleep. Studies have shown that regular exercise can increase the success rate for those recovering from substance abuse by 95%. It doesn’t have to be strenuous. Even just taking a stroll for 30 minutes can be beneficial.
Being in nature, even for short periods, has been calming and helping us feel better. Nature can offer feelings of natural euphoria and a greater sense of well-being and help get out of one’s head for a while. A change of scenery can often provide a shift in perspective which can be a positive thing for sustaining long-lasting sobriety and recovery.
Let’s explore some activities in the Orlando area that can provide an opportunity to get out in nature and get some exercise. If something doesn’t fit, try something else. Returning to activities that were once an essential part of your life before addiction will again bring enjoyment and become new activities to help fill your life with positive routines.
Hiking Trails in Orlando
Bear Creek Nature Trail
This trail is a popular loop where you will encounter beautiful nature, walkers, runners, and bikers. Full of gorgeous trees, this trail is like a little paradise.
1555 Winter Springs Blvd, Winter Springs, FL 32708
Black Hammock Trail
The Black Hammock Trail is a bit more off the beaten path and will get you away from the city’s noise. This trail is in Oviedo, about 30 minutes away from downtown Orlando. It’s a shady 4.5-miles covered by tree canopies the entire way.
1571 E State Rd 434, Winter Springs, FL 32708
Bill Frederick Park
Looking for a place where you can bring your furry friend? This dog-friendly feature makes Bill Frederick Park a favorite. While the hiking trail is approximately two miles long, the entire park is actually 187 acres. This little paradise offers places to boat as well as camp. There are numerous pavilions available for picnics and rest.
3401 S Hiawassee Rd, Orlando, FL 32835
Black Bear Wilderness Loop Trail
If you’re looking for a longer adventure, check out the Black Bear Wilderness Loop Trail. It’s in Sanford, approximately 35 minutes from Orlando. This trail is more remote and is a 7.1-mile loop with boardwalk bridges that take you around the marshy areas.
5298 Michigan Ave, Sanford, FL 32771
Biking Trails in Orlando
Little Econ Greenway
The Little Econ Greenway trail is a multi-use 7.5-mile paved pathway used by cyclists, joggers, and walkers. The course offers riverside recreation and picnicking. You can watch for wildlife, including osprey, red-shouldered hawks, turtles, and alligators. Also, the butterfly garden along the trail is a delight. The route will eventually link to the University of Central Florida and continue north to the Cross Seminole Trail system through Oviedo and back to Blanchard Park. There are also plans to extend the Little Econ Greenway’s western terminus to the Cady Way Trail at Lake Baldwin.
2451 N Dean Rd, Orlando, FL 32817
Cady Way Trail
While the Cady way trail is only a 6.5-mile paved bike path, it is a great way to link to plenty of other Orlando trails and is an excellent way to see the city. It offers convenient access to downtown Orlando and goes through industrial areas of the city and shady wooded areas to keep you out of the heat. One of this trail’s best features is that it connects to the Fashion Square Mall, Winter Park, Lake Baldwin Park, and the Cross Seminole Trail. Expansion plans will also join the Little Econ Greenway trail and to the University of Florida’s main campus.
Cady Way Trail, Winter Park, FL 32792
Adventure Sports in Orlando
Orlando Watersports Complex
This complex features a boat and cable park operation that delivers customers an active, watersports lifestyle that is safe, healthy, family-friendly, and environmentally conscious. Orlando Watersports Complex is one of the largest cable wakeboard parks in the U.S. and one of the world’s most recognized parks.
8615 Florida Rock Rd, Orlando, FL 32824
At Paddleboard Orlando, you can rent a paddleboard or kayak or book a lesson or tour. They have one where you can paddleboard with manatees.
1014 Miami Springs Dr, Longwood, FL 32779
Aiguille Rock Climbing Center
Try out the great sport of rock climbing! Rock climbing is an increasingly popular activity great for people of all ability levels. It is one of the fastest-growing sports in the country. Climbing is both fun and exciting way to engage in a fitness activity. Unlike going to a regular gym, climbing is so enjoyable that you may forget you are getting in a workout. Many people think of climbing as an “extreme sport”. While fun and exciting, climbing is much more relaxed, and the atmosphere at Aiguille is quite easy-going. It is mistakenly believed that it requires great physical strength; however, many people who visit are first-timers with minimal sports prowess. You can climb at your own pace, choose to take things easy or challenge yourself with more challenging routes and problems.
830 S Ronald Reagan Blvd #252, Longwood, FL 32750
Orlando Tree Trek Adventure Park
Looking for something exciting to do? How about a treetop adventure? This is Orlando’s most thrilling treetop obstacle adventure with progressively challenging aerial obstacle courses. Orlando Tree Trek Adventure Park is a set high atop the trees in a natural pine forest, each one more exhilarating than the last. You can swing on Tarzan ropes, climb ladders 50-feet up, leap into hanging nets, cross wobbly suspended bridges, navigate swinging logs, balance on hanging skateboards, soar through the trees on giant zip lines.
7625 Sinclair Rd, Kissimmee, FL 34747
Parks in Orlando
Wekiwa Springs State Park
This unique park is just minutes from downtown Orlando. The emerald springs feeding the Wekiwa River and surrounding lush tropical hammocks make for an excellent place to go for a swim on a hot day or to observe wildlife. Plus, there are miles of trail here to be explored on foot, bike or horseback, and canoes and kayaks are available for rent on-site. The beautiful crystal clear azure waters of Wekiwa Springs make this one of central Florida’s greatest attractions.
1800 Wekiwa Cir, Apopka, FL 32712
Here you can enjoy a wide variety of activities. The park offers boating, camping, kayaks, canoes, paddleboards, hiking, biking, fishing, picnic areas, a swimming beach, bird-watching, and orienteering. There are also lots of trees and wildlife. The campground at Moss Park may be Orlando’s best-kept secret.
12901 Moss Park Road Orlando, FL 32832
Harry P. Leu Gardens
Located in Winter Park, this 50-acre botanical garden is full of blooming flowers, tropical plants, scenic vistas, and easy-to-walk trails. There’s even wildlife. It would be easy to spend several hours wandering and admiring this beautiful spot.
1920 N Forest Ave. Orlando, FL 32803
Outdoor Exercise Areas
Gaston Edwards Park
At Gaston Edwards Park, you will find a fitness station, grilling area, playground, and other amenities for visitors to enjoy, including parking and connectivity to the Orlando Urban Trail.
1236 N Orange Avenue, Orlando, FL 32804
Lake Underhill Park
This neighborhood park covers 8.8 acres of green space on the southern banks of Lake Underhill. Enjoy exercising on the .75 mile trail that is equipped with multiple fitness stations. This park also is a great place to observe the multitude of wildlife along the shoreline. Located on the Orlando Executive Airport’s south side, Lake Underhill’s loop trail is approximately 1.3 miles around.
4355 Lake Underhill Road, Orlando, FL 32803
Farmers Markets Orlando
Kayaking in Orlando
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.