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Overnight Backpack to Hidden Pond Ocala National Forest!

Esteemed NFTB colleague John Ruskuski (“Pop Ski”) is leading a backpack in the Ocala National Forest!

Pop Ski's power hike from Salt Springs trail head to Hidden Pond and back in the Ocala National Forest on the FNST. 14.5 miles Saturday and 14.5 miles Sunday.

Limited to eight hikers.

Hike is open to FTA members only. If you are not a member of the Florida Trail Association, you may join beforehand at http://www.floridatrail.org/store/html/category.cfm?id=86

Participants should be confident in their skills and endurance and equipment.

More to come or contact; [masked]

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  • Leslie

    I'll never be able to hike that distance in a weekend, but I'm proud to know those who do! Glad you guys and the gator had a good time!

    March 19, 2013

  • Mike H.

    Yes it was nice of someone to leave that stuff, I didn't need it so left it.
    I saw the picture of the gator that was an oddity that far back in the woods.
    Glad y'all had a good hike, the weather sure cooperated.
    It's a shame all the clearing they did around West Tower.

    March 19, 2013

  • John "Popski" R.

    Than was nice of some one, eh?

    BTW, about half way between Turkey Run TH and West Tower, in a little slough crossing the old jeep road on the right was an 8' gator sun bathing? Lucky my little dog Jack did not see it and investigate! I've never seen a gator that far back in the woods where the ground was dry with palmettos except this little slough.

    March 19, 2013

  • John "Popski" R.

    Hey Mike, we saw your entry in the shelter log book. Did you leave the jug of water?? and tarp??

    March 18, 2013

    • Mike H.

      No that wasn't me it was there when I got there, plus someone left a lot of fire wood.

      March 19, 2013

  • Kevin & G.

    The Tour de Osceola I think is was. It was fun to link all of the sections together. Some logging going on south of West Tower. They have taken out some of the tress w/ blazes. Noticeable going back south. Thanks Scott and John.

    March 18, 2013

  • John "Popski" R.

    Stout of limb and brave of heart, Kevin, Scott and I, [ and Little dog Jack ] hiked from Olustee TH to about .5 mi, N. of West Tower area where we camped alongside the trail. About 32 mi. total.

    March 18, 2013

    • Mike H.

      Wish we could have traveled part of the way together, maybe next time.

      March 18, 2013

  • Leslie

    Hey - did you make it back alive???

    March 17, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    So, where did you guys wind up?

    March 17, 2013

  • John "Popski" R.

    Hey Mike, how about we meet at Olustee trailheah 08:00 and figure out a shuttle to Deep Creek Trailhead. Kevin is on board.

    How about you Scott??

    March 15, 2013

  • Mike H.

    FYI...I just spent 2 days down in Juniper Springs and Hopkins Prairie area had a big fire and camping area is closed. Talked to a couple of hikers that had come from Pat's Island and went through the area and they said it was pretty bad.

    March 15, 2013

    • Cary B

      I know some of the hammock gang planned to be down there and bailed. Last I saw it had burned close to 2000 acres. Not sure what the final tally was.

      March 15, 2013

  • Leslie

    I can't wait to get back Sunday and see where you all finally went - have a great hike!

    March 15, 2013

  • John "Popski" R.

    Hey Mike, Hold that thought. Let's see what Kevin and Scott say.

    March 15, 2013

  • Mike H.

    If anyone is interested I'm doing a hike from Deep Creek to Ocean Pond or Olustee possibly over the weekend, would love some company. Will be spending the night at the Turkey Run shelter.

    March 15, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      And, Mike saves the day!

      March 15, 2013

  • John "Popski" R.

    Well, Kevin & Scott, after what mike said can we come up with a plan "B" hike? Or cancel?

    March 15, 2013

  • John "Popski" R.

    Thanks Mike, I guess we'll have to bail on that one!!

    March 15, 2013

  • John "Popski" R.

    Scott, maybe next time, eh?

    March 15, 2013

  • John "Popski" R.

    Kevin, glad to see you can join the hike. I'll call you.

    March 15, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Really wanted to go to this one. Have fun.

    March 15, 2013

  • Kevin & G.

    I'm in wrecked body and all. Sorry to see your out Scott. Need to be in the woods after the last few weeks.

    March 14, 2013

  • Scott W.

    John, I have to scratch out of this. Sorry. I forgot about another obligation I made a few weeks ago. I had my pack almost ready to go to!!

    March 14, 2013

  • John "Popski" R.

    Let's meet at the "Visitor's Center" in that shopping plaza on the corner of US 19 & CR 316, before 08:00. Last year we left the trail head 08:20 and arrived at Hidden Pond 15:20.
    Looks like good weather ahead!!

    March 13, 2013

  • John "Popski" R.

    Hi Scott, Yeah, same 14.5 mile walk through forest and open prairie. Some Newbies might find it a bit much. I just like to give them a heads-up.
    Good to see you can make it :)

    March 13, 2013

  • Scott W.

    John, isn't this the hike we did about two years ago? If so, I thought it was a easy hike, just long. If anyone is thinking about this, your gear is basically the same as a short overnight hike, you will just need more water. We saw several Sand-hill Cranes as well as other interesting birds. More folks need to sign up. We some great conversation around the fire last time, so come on and go. Are we meeting at the ranger station this time?

    March 12, 2013

  • Mary R.

    Christina, the group just did a beginners hike a few weekends ago. I'm sure they'll schedule some more. The Full Moon hikes are a lot of fun as well. :-)

    March 11, 2013

  • Christina

    Your group does some really interesting activiites. Is anything coming up that a beginner could participate in? Thank you very much

    March 11, 2013

  • John "Popski" R.

    Good luck, and keep your lee rail dry.......RBrrrrr.......... ;-)

    March 11, 2013

  • Mary R.

    Ski, I have sailing races that weekend. :-(

    March 10, 2013

  • Patty

    This sounds like something I would LOVE to do but I don't think I have the proper gear for it yet. Maybe we can plan more in the future?!!

    March 6, 2013

  • John "Popski" R.

    Limited to FTA members only.

    March 6, 2013

4 went

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