Friday, April 14, 2006

Florida Geography

Florida is situated mostly on a large peninsula between the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Straits of Florida. It consists of the panhandle extending along the northern Gulf of Mexico and the large peninsula with the Atlantic Ocean as its eastern border and the Gulf of Mexico as its western border. It is bordered on the north by the states of Georgia and Alabama and on the west, at the end of the panhandle, by Alabama. It is near the countries of the Caribbean, particularly the Bahamas and Cuba.

At 345 feet (105 m) above mean sea level, Britton Hill is the highest point in Florida. This is also the lowest highpoint of any U.S. state. Contrary to popular belief, however, Florida is not an entirely "flat" state. Some places, such as Clearwater, feature relatively high vistas rising 50 to 100 feet (15–30 m) above the water. Much of the interior of Florida, typically 25 miles (40 km) or more away from the coastline, features rolling hills with elevations ranging from 100 to 250 feet (30–76 m) in many locations. Lake County holds the highest point of peninsular Florida, Sugarloaf Mountain, at 312 feet (95 m).

Areas under control by the National Park Service include:

  • Big Cypress National Preserve near Ochopee
  • Biscayne National Park near Key Biscayne
  • Canaveral National Seashore near Titusville
  • Castillo de San Marcos National Monument in St. Augustine
  • De Soto National Memorial in Bradenton
  • Dry Tortugas National Park at Key West
  • Everglades National Park
  • Fort Caroline National Memorial at Jacksonville
  • Fort Matanzas National Monument in St. Augustine
  • Gulf Islands National Seashore near Gulf Breeze
  • Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve in Jacksonville