After an absence of more than ten years, it was good to take on the trails at San Felasco Hammock Preserve again. One of the downsides of trying to cover all of the trails of Florida is that there are always new trails to be seen, so the trails I’ve been to before often get neglected in favor of the new stuff.
In this case, however, San Felasco Hammock was a must. I remembered its botanical and geologic wonders, and wanted it to be a part of our new book. John had never hiked there, so I wanted to introduce him to it, too.
I remembered the hills, and the sinkholes. But the Creek Sink Trail was new ground to me – and indeed, looking back on my notes for the 50 Hikes series, didn’t exist back then. With the AT as our most recent comparison for steep slopes, this trail fit right up there, complete with waterbars to fight erosion after a rain. Some of the largest trees along the trails of the state park are on this short loop.
Hiking the perimeter of the main trail system – the Spring Grove Trail and Old Spanish Way to the north of Millhopper Road – brought a new perspective to the hike. Much of it is on broad forest roads, which in these expansive forests, isn’t a big deal. But the most enjoyable part of the walk is still where the trail narrows and squirms between karst features, with sinkholes around every corner.
We’ll be sharing details about these extremely popular trails soon. Meanwhile, we hope you take the opportunity to enjoy these trails in Gainesville. Just be prepared for ticks – and mosquitoes, around those sinkholes – this time of year!
Hiking trail maps from the Friends of San Felasco Hammock Preserve
San Felasco Hammock Preserve State Park