Hike #13 Western Corridor Series of the Florida National Scenic Trail

> What: Hike #13 of Western Corridor Series
> Day/Date/Time:  Wednesday, February 13, 2013.  8:00 a.m.
> Hike: Lachoochee Road to Ranch Rd
> Meet:13347 Ranch Rd Dade City, FL 33525
> Course: Approx 10 miles.
> Pace: 20 - 22 minutes per mile. With breaks anticipate 4 1/2 hours plus or minus.
> What to Bring: 2 quarts of water, snack to eat en route, sandwich for when we break, sunscreen, insect repellent.
> Note: Highly recommended is a hiking stick.  There are several sections with  tough footing due to feral hog diggings - thanks to Hernando de Soto,[masked] A.D.
***Special Note: Devil's Creek has to be crossed on stones and branches, not all are stable.  Briefly lost my balance when the tip of the hiking stick that was my third point of balance slipped off a slimy stone.  Creek is about 10 feet wide. Found a tree about 30 yds away that fell across the creek. It is easier to cross there.  Although the tree is circular, you get both feet side by side for walking.  If balance is still an issue you can crawl across or scoot backwards on your butt on the tree. Or wade into the creek.  It is about 3 feet deep, the bottom may be mucky.

Welcome to the Green Swamp.  It is relevant to Florida for its ecological and hydrological gifts. Its surface stores water.  This storing slows the Withlacoochee during the flooding season and thus the river can continue its flowing action throughout the months. The talk of the area in mid1970s was a sailor from Taiwan, known as “Wildman.” He spent six months hiding from the law in the forested swamp. He lived in a hollowed cypress tree and ate armadillo meat until he was captured. More of this later in case you had any plans to replicate his behavior, although I don't think the neighbors would appreciate that again.

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  • Tracy H.

    Special thanks to M&M's Marty and Marilyn for helping me put on and off my jeep cover and tops which seemed like 100 times. Marilyn I felt like we were setting a tent up in the rain right before it really unloads. Thank you!

    February 14, 2013

  • Susan H.

    To mirror what others have said, I loved this varied hike as well. Everything was soooo green this early in the year and I often felt like I was in the Shire. Thanks Gordy. I as well appreciate your knowledge and leadership. Great storytelling too with your anectdote of the Swamp Madman (very sad ;(( though)

    February 14, 2013

  • Lenny C.

    Hello, Gordy is the man....got this post via email from Josef....

    All the great accolades need to go to Gordy. Not only was it a great hike. He was forced to make adjustments very rapidly. He did, without ever loosing His cool . Great scenery, great company and great leadership. Thank you. Josef

    2 · February 14, 2013

  • Bud S.

    A really nice hike! Kudos to Gordy for his flexibility and knowledge to change the route on the spot. And Jim for relaying the message from Fish and Wildlife to him that we would be in deep doo doo if we went with the original plan:) Joseph for helping me across the stream, Tracy for doing the sweep, Diane for helping me with my pack and all others who helped make it possible.

    1 · February 14, 2013

  • Tracy H.

    Well another great day in the wilderness. It was good to see old friends and meet new ones. The High Bluffs area along the river is special. The blue blaze trail area with its water markings spanning across ones vision is almost surreal. Our trip leader Gordy was thrown a curve, made quick decisions, took his swing and pulled out a home run. A true leader.

    1 · February 14, 2013

  • Arlene/Marty Winick-DYNAMIC D.

    Varied terrrain

    February 13, 2013

  • Marilyn G

    I had a great time today! Once again, a big thanks to Gordy for his excellent leadership and trailblazing, ;-) and what a nice group of folks to hike with. Gordy, I hope you can join us for the last 2 hikes in this series!

    2 · February 13, 2013

    • treehouseyoga

      Talk about thinking on your feet! Gordy is a stellar leader. Excellent job today :-)

      3 · February 13, 2013

  • Bud S.

    Gordy had to go to plan B because of hunting in the swamp. Thanks Gordy it was a GREAT hike!

    1 · February 13, 2013

  • healthymom

    sorry, just got called to a birth.

    February 13, 2013

  • ROSY

    Greetings fellow hikers, sadly i cannot attend this wonderful hike....I just realized I need to take my mother to medical appointment. Have a great hike everyone!

    February 12, 2013

  • Sandy B.

    Sprained my ankle! Wish I could go. This is a great hike.

    February 12, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    i will see if i can be this day off. i really wanna hike this trail

    February 11, 2013

  • josef a.

    Hello Gordy,
    From our chapter, 5 - will participate in the Western Corridor # 13 Hike. Greetings. Josef

    February 10, 2013

  • gordyhawkins

    Thanks Kevin, we'll be on the lookout for the blazes

    1 · February 10, 2013

  • kevin

    the blazing in this section along ceder pocket rd can difficult at times to see as it goes in/out of the woods and the last left is easy to pass by. have fun. look for a small sink hole filled with water. it will be on your left as you hike north from ranch rd either just before or after the "baby grand canyon " ( the baby grand canyon is more like quick down and up before you even realize you just walked down hill/up hill. also the trail north of cedar pocket rd can be over grown in places. we are working on finding trail masters and getting things done. if you have any questions let me know

    February 10, 2013

    • kevin

      oh ya as you walk back up hill at the baby grand canyon there's a big oak on your left there's a geocach just above your head ontop of the truck V.

      February 10, 2013

  • gordyhawkins

    Go over the single car bridge and continue north until the gate and you CAN'T GO ANY FARTHER. That's it.

    February 1, 2013

  • healthymom

    Can we get better directions? Is this near Withlacoochee County Park? I'm thinking that its near the bridge just after the cutoff for WCP. Am I close?

    February 1, 2013

    • treehouseyoga

      Dee, look at the map. I moved the glowie :-)

      February 1, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    i will see if i can be this day off. i really wanna hike this trail

    February 1, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Gordy if you bring me a map and would like me to I will be glad to run sweep

    1 · February 1, 2013

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