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Let's go Backpacking Ocala Forest Juniper Prairie Wilderness

We claim to be backpackers I think we need to prove it!!!!! Let’s go backpacking in Ocala National Forest from Hopkins Prairie to Juniper Prairie Wilderness. This is a great little trip for budding backpackers only 11 miles over two days. Not to strenuous and not to easy just right. A great way to shake down your gear and blow the dust off of it. So this trip will be open to anyone who has an interest and has the gear, part of the gear, can borrow gear or is willing to purchase gear. For a list of gear click this link (make sure your logged onto the site first) http://files.meetup.com/2712312/coldweatherbackpackingchecklist.pdf  And for those of us that are old hat this is a great primer for the up coming season. A great way to shake down our old bodies and blow the dust of them. We will need to don our blaze orange it will be hunting season for most of the state. So uniform of the day is blaze orange hats or vests.

We will meet on Saturday December 14 at 9:00AM at Juniper Springs Recreation area (lats and longs[masked] [masked]) on State road 40 west of state road 19 OUTSIDE THE GATE DO NOT GO INTO THE AREA UNTIL WE  ALL HAVE  ARRIVED AND DECIDED WHO IS PARKING THERE AND WHO IS SHUTTLING  US AND PARKING AT HOPKINS PRAIRIE. Keep in mind that we will have to shuttle these good folks back to there cars at the end. There is a 10.00 dollar cost to park at Juniper it is free at Hopkins. Once we get the shuttling out of the way we can begin our trip which will start at Hopkins Prairie and head south approx. 5 miles to Hidden Pond where we will camp for the night. Hidden Pond is a little oasis in between Juniper and Hopkins which has you guess it, a pond it’s a spring fed pond in a Oak and Pine stand. Here’s what Floridahikes.com say’s about hidden pond “At 5 miles, the trail is atop a high ridge surrounded by scrub, and you can see for a mile or more in every direction. The trail drops down from here to Hidden Pond, one of the more revered spots along the Florida Trail. It’s a crystal-clear spring fed pond, unlike the prairie ponds you’ve passed. The trail comes down a hill to it, and a side trail leads to the right into the camping area, which is nicely canopied by an oak hammock. The camping area is on a slight ridge between the pond and a large prairie, ensuring a cool breeze most of the time. Scrub-jays and raccoons frequent this popular designated backcountry campsite.”

On Sunday we will continue to Juniper Springs  approx. 5.5 miles were we can jump in the spring if you are daring enough.

If you have any questions please email me I get them faster.

Average temperature for this time of year is 72 day 47 overnight.

Hope to see you there, Donald.

This hike is in memory of my dog Shadow (Puppy) whom I lost today October[masked] who took her first backpacking trip here at Hopkins.

 

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  • David B

    Was that a confederate cemetary?

    December 16, 2013

    • Craig G.

      It could have been, as some of the deceased served in the confederate army.

      December 16, 2013

    • Rick

      It was a family cemetery for the Long family who homesteaded Pat's Island there in the nineteenth century. They were a model for Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings' novel, The Yearling.

      December 18, 2013

  • David B

    Do you guys have any pics of your camp?

    December 16, 2013

  • Bill

    Perfect tune up hike. It was great. Helped me see what I need for future hikes, which I hope will be many more. The group was awesome. Thanks Donald.

    December 16, 2013

  • Craig G.

    Thank you Donald for sharing this totally amazing experience with us. I hope we can go back a few times a year.

    December 16, 2013

  • Craig G.

    This was AWESOME. What a great, beautiful campground. The hike was a perfect distance, at least on Sunday. We all love the Juniper Spring Run, and what a great way to see another aspect of the Juniper Prairie wilderness. The campgrounds were remote, and quiet. Our site over looked a giant plain, and it felt as though Lions and tigers should have been roaming in the distance. The pond was clean and waiting for us to pull water for our site. I can't wait to go back and hike to this location again.

    1 · December 16, 2013

  • Rick

    So enjoyed this trip. The rain just made it more interesting. I wouldn't mind doing it again sometime. Enjoyed meeting everyone. P.S. I think I IDed that pretty red and gold mushroom as Scarlet Waxy Cap. It is edible but don't go by my ID. I'm not a mycologist.

    December 16, 2013

  • Kristine A

    This was a great trip, I loved this hike,glad I got to see this beautiful place. Welcome to Rick a new Slacker and great hiker. Thanks for showing us the cool old graveyard. Thanks Donald, I had a great time.

    December 15, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Such an awesome weekend! Beautiful hike. Thanks Donald!

    December 15, 2013

  • Diane B

    Sadly, i am going to have to bail on this trip. My sister is in the hospital with back surgery. I feel a need to be there with her and give her my support.
    I will really miss this though!!!

    December 14, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Sorry guys I need a bit more notice that I made it off the wait list, I already committed to something else...

    December 13, 2013

  • Liz F

    Not sure how I got on wait list. I won't be going.

    December 13, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Only 11 can go?

    December 12, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I accidentally committed to something else but can we do something like this again when I can come. It sounded perfect.

    December 12, 2013

  • Craig G.

    Donald, Summer, Steven, Kris and myself will be camping at Juniper Friday night.

    December 9, 2013

    • Craig G.

      Summer, whats the Site number!

      December 11, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      57

      December 11, 2013

  • Donald

    Hi Boys and Girls it's your Uncle Bongo here LOL For this weekend the weather forecast is calling for 40 to 50 percent chance of showers so please be prepared with rain gear for both you and your pack. Temps will be in the high 70's in the day and 60 at night on Saturday on Sunday mid 70's so a 40 degree bag should serve you needs.

    I go Rain or shine the only thing that would stop me is Lightning, oh and of course DEATH and I am not so sure about the later. So see you on Saturday

    Any Questions please give me a call at[masked] or email me.

    Warmest regards,

    Your Uncle Bongo (Donald)

    December 10, 2013

  • Eddie

    off for another adventure this weekend so had to back out of the wait list. enjoy the hike and catch up another time.

    December 8, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'm so sorry y'all, ice not been getting emails and I've been working funky hours so I completely lay track of dates. I Ann going to have to cancel, I hope it's not too late for some one to pick up and go!

    December 6, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    hi. I am back on the list. THe other plan didn't work out and I am glad. So if it is possible, and space becomes available, I am still interested.

    December 5, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Thanks Donald! Steven and I are in!

    December 3, 2013

  • Elizabeth P

    Giving up my spot as I'd have to zigzag the state the get there. I've backpacked this area before. You will love it! Let's get out more this winter.

    November 26, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Sorry to miss this one.

    November 24, 2013

  • Howard

    Hope you can get me in... did a two nigh backpack down in Myakka just last weekend and would like to try it out with your group..been all over the US last summer camping for months... all geared up and ready to go...

    November 19, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I am sorry. I had to back out. It is going to be Holiday party time and I need to rsvp to that. I really really really wanted to go camping but I will turn up next time. sorry. thank for the opportunity. I changed my rsvp to no, someone else can go.

    November 12, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Glad I got in. Bringing Lily, my awesome trail dog.

    November 1, 2013

  • Ronda G

    Donald, I am so sorry to hear about Shadow. I know your heart ache. It is just like losing a special family member. Hugs to you!

    October 16, 2013

    • Donald

      Thanks

      October 17, 2013

    • Donald

      Ronda She was my best friend I am heart broken and I miss her so much. Hugs back to you.

      1 · October 17, 2013

  • Sheri A.

    sorry to hear about your dog

    October 13, 2013

    • Sheri A.

      this is a day hike for me ;-) And I am trying to finish the FT and have already passed this section. Maybe will see you on a multiday hike further up north when I begin to complete the trail.

      October 13, 2013

    • Sheri A.

      Looks like I need to get off my keister and plan a hike here soon though.

      October 13, 2013

  • Julie A.

    Donald I am so sorry for your loss of your Shadow. I'm sure she is waiting for you to join her for the next big hike in the sky. Hugs to you.

    October 13, 2013

    • Donald

      Thanks Julie I sure will miss her hugs back at you

      October 13, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Donald I'm sorry to hear about Shadow

    October 13, 2013

    • Donald

      Thanks Leah

      October 13, 2013

9 went

  • Donald +1
    Slacker16, Loyal Subject, Assistant Organizer,
    Event Host
  • Craig G.
    Slacker16, Assistant Organizer
  • Rick
    Slacker16
  • Wayne H.
    Slacker16
  • Bill
    Slacker16
  • Kristine A
    Slacker16
  • A former member
    +1 guest

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