Tibet-Butler Preserve is a great place to hike, run, relax, and enjoy nature. The trail system is well groomed, restrooms are clean and orderly, there are several benches located strategically along the trail if you need a break, and rocking chairs outside the Vera Carter Nature Center perfect for relaxing and birdwatching and other activities. The trails are easy to moderate and very well marked. Signage is more than adequate, and an emergency number is posted in several places in case you need assistance. Tibet-Butler preserve is a popular destination for exercise and nature enthusiasts alike.

I visited for the first time over the weekend. After dropping my wife off for a conference, I figured I would just hang around the city instead of driving back home and give myself a day off. While scrolling through Google’s list of recommended places near me, I spotted Tibet-Butler Preserve and immediately set it as my next destination. The name alone was too unique to pass up. I arrived a bit before the gates open but didn’t have to wait long before one of the friendly staff greeted me and welcomed me in.

After checking out the nature center for a quick minute and glancing at the trail map, I was on my way. All the trails combined run for a total of 3.6 miles, so I decided to do them all. The first runner passed me after I had been walking for about five or ten minutes, then a few more. I saw people regularly until I made my way into Palmetto Passage. From then on, I enjoyed nothing but solitude and the sounds of nature until I was just about through Pine Circle.

The trails are extremely well marked. I’m pretty sure there was always some type of signage within my line of sight. Along the main parts of the trail “you are here” signage is even posted. Tibet-Butler is a fantastic destination for the directionally challenged. If the unthinkable were to happen and you felt lost or if you wanted out quick, just take one of the service roads out. It’s a fantastic setup. Rain shelters are available and emergency numbers are listed in several areas. I’ve never hiked any trail of significance with an emergency number listed before. Shootout to the park people for keeping people safe!

What I enjoyed most about the trails were how narrow they were in some placed and how solid the earth was. There were sandy areas but hardly any fluff. I don’t mind walking on fluffy sand to get to the beach, but I don’t want to walk mile after mile in it while I’m on a hike. That’s my least favorite feature of several of my most favorite hiking trails. At Tibet-Butler the ground is tight, and the trails are just the right width. It’s like getting a wilderness hug. I left feeling great and definitely plan on coming back sometime soon.

What’s your favorite Florida hike?