Last week, my buddy Bob and I hit the Florida Trail to knock off another segment in the Ocala National Forest — this time, Hopkins Prairie. My first visit here was with Deb Blick, cartographer and data collector extraordinare of the Florida Trail Association, and it was a walk at a data collector’s pace. On …
Here’s what the Juniper Prairie Wilderness looked like prior to the fire. The loss of this beautiful area is heartbreaking. I was fortunate to visit in February on a hike on the Florida Trail with my friends Bob & Bonnie Coveney. We witnessed a lot of damage from the 2006 blaze, more than I expected. …
A few years ago, I had the honor of walking a section of the Florida Trail at Clearwater Lake with the trail’s founder, Jim Kern, to celebrate the beginning of the Florida Trail at this spot in 1966. As we walked, Jim said “we blazed the trail on the other side of the lake.” We …
Get acquainted with Big Scrub on this 8.4-mile stretch of the Florida Trail in the Ocala National Forest as it rises through longleaf pine forests to meet the world’s largest sand pine scrub, punctuated by a variety of ponds and prairies. Connecting a first-magnitude spring with one of the more beautiful lakes in the Ocala National Forest, it’s a delightful immersion into the woods.
Paralleling a segment of the Cross Florida Barge Canal, the Buckman Lock to Rodman Dam hike on of the Florida Trail sticks to a high berm for most of the 5.3 miles.
The oldest section of the Florida Trail runs 11 miles between between Clearwater Lake and Alexander Springs in the Ocala National Forest, showcasing longleaf pine forests and scrub
A six-mile-long prairie, a vast marshland in the middle of the dry Big Scrub, Hopkins Prairie is a beauty spot along which the Florida Trail lingers on this 9.5 mile section.
Winding along and around a mosaic of both dry and wet prairies that make up the Farles Prairie complex, this 8.5 mile segment of the Florida Trail provides a deep immersion into the Big Scrub
10.6 miles. One of the few designated wilderness areas that the Florida Trail traverses, the Juniper Prairie Wilderness in the Ocala National Forest is a wildlife-rich mosaic of ancient scrub forests, pine islands, and broad open prairies.
72.2 miles. Of all of the sections of the Florida Trail statewide, the Ocala National Forest is both the oldest section of the trail and the most compelling for backpackers.
One of the most scenic segments of the Florida Trail, the hike from Pat’s Island to Hidden Pond immerses you in the Big Scrub en route to an oasis in Florida’s desert.
Providing a fine balance between the Big Scrub habitats and breathtaking old-growth longleaf pines, the Florida Trail from Rodman to Lake Delancy is simply superb.