I received an email yesterday from Bonnie, a reader who’s visiting the Port Richey area soon. She asks:
I’ll have a few days to do some hiking – perhaps a 2 -3 day backpack trip – something within a 50 mile radius of the Port Richey area preferably…So – which one of your books would provide the best information for me?
Bonnie, 50 Hikes in Central Florida would be your best guide to planning a backpacking trip in the region. You have quite a few choices, including the Starkey Wilderness Park, which is right there in New Port Richey.
But a trail I strongly recommend is the Citrus Tract of Withlacoochee State Forest. The loop trail system there is 40 miles long with various cross-trails to enable you to do shorter mileage. It’s a beautiful hike, with real variety of terrain: serious hills, trailside caves (some you can hike right into), sinkholes, ponds, and more. The land is very high and dry so you may need to cache water.
Hiker’s Guide to the Sunshine State will help you find a LOT of options within 50 miles of Port Richey, but provides less detail. It does, however, point you to where to find the maps and gives land manager contact info and trailhead coordinates. As I’m currently working on a new version of the Florida Hikes! website, I’ll be expanding on that information greatly.