Join us on a ~6.5-mile hike through the 1,111-acre Brooker Creek Headwaters Preserve in northwest Hillsborough County.
This hike will be a bit of an exploration through some little used - secret even - areas of the preserve. There will be a small bit of bushwhacking as well as trekking through some un-mowed fire breaks along game trails, but for the most part the trail is maintained.
The hike will be about 50:50 shade and sun and will meander through the ecotone between forested wetlands and pine flatwoods as well as through areas that have seen historic use as pine plantations but are now in secondary natural growth. Long pants are recommended but not necessary, (you'll deal with annoying grasses but not thorny vines or saw palmetto).
The trail is moist in parts, but not wet enough to soak your shoes. You will see lots of white sebatia, pale meadow beauty, and yellow-eyed grass in bloom, and many animal tracks including raccoon, bobcat!
We should get back to the cars by about noon. If there is time and interest we could continue on to some rarer oak scrub habitat on the eastern side of the preserve. This would be maybe another hour of walking.
Please bring at least a liter of water, a snack, and of course, hat and sunscreen. Bug spray optional. I didn't notice too many last week :)