Along this upland trail in Chassahowitzka WMA, Wild Turkey Trace immerses you in the turkey oaks and pines of the sandhill forest, with the surprise of a boggy marsh along the way.
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.
Wild Turkey Trace starts directly across from Cypress Circle at its own fence and sign. Follow the green markers into sandhill habitat, where you may spy a fox squirrel as you hike under the sand live oaks. While the habitat is sandy, it’s not very hilly. A corridor of mature turkey oaks shades a portion of the hike. A highlight along the walk is a very boggy, fern-dense marsh.
Wild Turkey Trace is to the west of the parking area.