Showcasing one small corner of Chassahowitzka WMA, Cypress Circle introduces you to both upland and lowland habitats as it circles around a cypress dome.
Open daily from dawn to dusk. Leashed dogs welcome. There is a picnic table at the trailhead.
Enter the main gate of Chassahowitzka WMA on the west side of US 19 north of Centralia Rd. Pass the Hunt Check Station and take the graded road, Indigo Lane. Follow it for 1.5 miles until you see the trail parking area for the two hiking trails in the preserve.
Chassahowitzka WMA is a huge swath of public land along Florida’s Adventure Coast, protecting more than 34,000 acres of coastal forests and wetlands north of Weeki Wachee. It was once the location of Centralia, a bustling early 1900s timbering community with a large sawmill and its own rail line. In less than 30 years, Tidewater Cypress Company tapped out all of the virgin cypress and moved on, leaving a ghost town.
Starting at the fence with the Cypress Circle sign, follow the footpath, which is marked with brown hiker markers. Duck under a low canopy of scrub oaks to follow the trail through sandhills and scrub. It heads down a corridor lined with saw palmetto before it emerges on the edge of a pine flatwoods. Near the end of the loop, the trail crosses a bog bridge over a wet prairie.
Cypress Circle is to the east of the parking area.