"All work and no play" is not a recipe for success in graduate school. On campus, the Leach Center offers a wide range of fitness activities, including pool, racquet sports courts, cardio and weight rooms and more! The campus also hosts many IM sports teams. Just a short drive from campus, on Lake Bradford, is the Florida State University Reservation - called "the Rez" - where you can swim, canoe, kayak, and sail.
For those times that you want to get away from faculty, other students, and books, the Tallahassee area and Gulf coast provide plenty of opportunities for outdoor play. This list provides just a sampling of nearby outdoors activities.
Leon Sinks Geological Area
A short drive south of Tallahassee, Leon Sinks provides a unique opportunity to learn about the Woodville Karst Plain, a mature karstic area on the Upper Floridan Aquifer. It is one of the most extensive underwater cave systems in the world - but you don't need to cave-dive to appreciate the Sinks! The Sinks area has three hiking trails, each of which provide a great afternoon or morning outside:
Apalachicola National Forest
Nearly 600,000 acres of forest, woodland, rivers and springs. Bike, horse, and nature trails. Tent camping. Grills, shelters and tables also available, plus restrooms with showers.
Lake Talquin State Forest
More than 16,000 acres features abundant trails and recreational activities on Lake Talquin and Ochlockonee River, north of Tallahassee. Bike, horse and nature trails, boat and canoe rentals. Grills, shelters and tables available, plus restrooms with showers.
Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park
This park, located in Tallahassee, was built on the property surrounding the winter home and gardens of Alfred B. and Louise Maclay. The garden, first planted in 1923, is considered "a masterpiece of floral architecture," and is a popular site for weddings. High blooming season is from January 1-April 30 with the floral peak in mid-to-late March. The park affords access to two lakes. Lake Hall provides opportunities for swimming, fishing, canoeing and kayaking, and includes pavilions and grills for picnics. Hikers, bicyclists, and equestrians can enjoy five miles of multi-use trails winding through the woods surrounding Lake Overstreet, located on park property adjoining the gardens.
St. George Island State Park
Lovely sandy beach on the Gulf, 75 miles SW of Tallahassee. Camping, bike and nature trails; lovely kayaking, particularly on the bay side. Grills, shelters and tables available, plus restrooms with showers. http://www.floridastateparks.org/stgeorgeisland/default.cfm
Wakulla Springs State Park
Located about 15 miles south of Tallahassee, this park is built around one of the world's largest and deepest freshwater springs. The clear water is a refreshing 72 degrees - perfect for a hot summer day. Lifeguards notify you when the alligators get too close to the swimming area! Daily guided riverboat tours provide a closer view of wildlife, and glass bottom boat tours are offered as well. The Wakulla Springs Lodge, built in 1937 by financier Edward Ball, is on the National Register of Historic Places and is designated as a National Natural Landmark.