This was our first trip into the Tosohatchee Wildlife Management Area, and we’ll definitely be back.
The entrance to the area is at 3365 Taylor Creek Rd, Christmas, FL. Here you will find an information kiosk with maps and a few other pamphlets available. Sign in and pay a $3 fee for the vehicle, and you’re ready to go. To get to the starting point for this hike, we drove just under 4 miles of dirt road to get to parking area 24. A quick note about the drive – I was surprised at how smooth it was; there was no washboarding along the way at all.
Heading north from the parking area we entered the woods. This is mostly a palm forest, but there are patches with a lot of pine trees. The trail is very well marked with red blazes, and very easy to hike through; it’s almost as wide as a one lane road and very few obstacles along the way. Purple, yellow, white and orange wildflowers all along the way added to the colors, and wild sage and wild dill enhance the fresh air.
After about 1.5 miles, we left the woods for the open grasslands. From here the view is amazing. There was a slight breeze blowing and the grass waving reminded me of some of the trips I made in Colorado. I was surprised to find that the next part of the hike was a little more difficult that the first part. Hiking through the saw grass, we generally stuck to the cattle and hog trails where we could.
Once we made it to Big Blue we started hunting for the Geocache. I got us there, but Tina actually found it – she had a good eye for the hiding place! After finding the cache and signing the log, we moved on. We wanted to try to make it to the river, but the saw grass and mangroves just kept getting bigger and thicker. We finally got to the point where our choice was to either use a machete and clear a path, or turn back. Discretion being the better part of valor, we decided to head back. On the way back we stopped for lunch under a group of palm trees; it was a nice break for enjoying the cool breezes in the shade.
As we got close to the woods again, Tina found an opossum skull that had been picked clean of all flesh. It was easy to tell the type of animal because the pelt was right next to it. From there we headed back to the truck where we finished off the rest of our lunch and had cold drinks waiting in the cooler for us.
It was a beautiful spring Florida day. The sun was out, temperature was in the upper 70’s, there was a cool breeze blowing, and the humidity was low. It just doesn’t get much better than that!