Ramblin' around Oak Ridge Wilderness

Oak Ridge Tract is one of my favorite areas to hike and explore. Much of this tract was never logged, hence it is rich in majestic old growth oak, and lush, dense palm forest. 

We will be hiking on a combination of marked, equestrian/hiker trail and unmarked, unmapped overgrown trail and old roadbeds. It will be a rugged path. 

In order to make this a loop hike, we will be crossing / wading Basset Creek. It will be knee deep and 10 ft across...

You may not separate from the group in order to avoid the creek crossing.  If you are uncomfortable with this notion, this is probably not the hike for you.  The creek fording will be at the end when we are about 2 miles from the trailhead. 

Wes Calhoun will go first to make sure there are no gators lurking on the creek bottom.

This will be a 12 mile hike with no shorter bailout option.  You must be in excellent physical condition AND be comfortable in a minimally maintained wilderness environment.  You must bring 2 litres of water minimum. Bring whatever food, personal items you need and a ground cloth for sitting. Proper footwear is essential and a trekking pole is recommended.

 We will be crossing / wading Basset Creek. It will be knee deep and 10 ft across...

Oak Ridge is a SWFWMD conservation land and is maintained to a much lesser degree than our nearby county and state parks. There are no restrooms or potable water at the trailhead. There is a Shell store and Publix plaza at the corner of Cross Creek blvd and Morris Bridge Road. 

There is no fee for this hike. No fee to park and you need not be a member of FTA to participate.  However if you are regularly enjoying our outings we ask that you consider joining FTA and support our Suncoast Chapter's efforts to sponsor these excursions and maintain trails in various other locales in our multiple county jurisdiction.

Lenny

[masked] day of hike

..... quote from WILLIAM BARTRAM, English botanist, commenting on Florida's astonishing natural beauty while on his journey in the 18th century exploring the southern colonies..........

"Whilst I, continually impelled by a restless spirit of curiosity, in pursuit of new productions of nature, my chief happiness consisted in tracing and admiring the infinite power, majesty, and perfection of the great Almighty Creator"




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  • Lilian Jette D.

    Good to see everybody. Have a nice Christmas!

    1 · December 22, 2013

  • Lilian Jette D.

    I thought that the creek crossing was a typical "Lenny joke".. I don't like to walk through water where you cannot see the bottom...but I made it. It was a nice hike. I love to go on Lenny's hikes!

    December 22, 2013

  • Arlene/Marty Winick-DYNAMIC D.

    Challenging, fun & a little bit WET! Lenny was a wonderful leader & we met many new people.

    1 · December 21, 2013

    • Lenny C.

      This was definitely an "out of your comfort zone" trek.. and you guys and everyone did TERRIFIC.....

      December 21, 2013

  • Frances C.

    Wonderful hike. A much appreciated early Christmas present from one of our great leaders.

    December 21, 2013

  • Martin B.

    What a great time in a wilderness area that is so close to heavy urbanization! It took me only 45 minutes to reach it from St. Petersburg. Thanks Lenny for showing us some beautiful natural environments. I even enjoyed wading across the creek. I only discovered this group little more than a week ago, but after the 5 mile hike last Saturday and today's 12 miler, I am hooked! Thank you all for making this newbie feel welcome.

    December 20, 2013

  • Wes C

    Enjoyed rambling around in the woods with Lenny and everyone. It was a good time. The weather was beautiful.

    1 · December 20, 2013

  • Lenny C.

    I GREATLY enjoyed today's hike with you all.....It was a beautiful day... in a great wilderness setting.... hope you all enjoyed it half as much as I did....thanks for coming out and braving the creek crossing.......you all made my day.... Merry Christmas!

    December 20, 2013

  • Susan H.

    Beautiful hike with wonderful people. Will upload some photos later (reclining now).....thanks Lenny!!!

    1 · December 20, 2013

    • Lenny C.

      Enjoyed having you along Susan...look forward to seeing your pics.....

      December 20, 2013

  • Marilyn G

    Sorry...sleepless night, not feeling well this AM...will have to catch ya next time.

    December 20, 2013

  • Martin B.

    Looks like we will have perfect weather for this outing! Lenny, I enjoyed my first hike with you and other FTA members last weekend and I'm really looking forward to this longer, more rugged hike in unmarked wilderness... I hope all the people on the waiting list are able to attend... I'll bring an extra 1.5 Liter (new) water bottle, with shoulder straps, for someone who forgets to bring the recommended amount of water. Hydration is important on these longer hikes.

    1 · December 17, 2013

    • Lenny C.

      Martin... we will see you tomorrow... Your concern for others is greatly appreciated but first make sure you are prepared... others need to be likewise ready elsewise this is not the hike form them.... we will have a delightful time....weather looks great....

      1 · December 19, 2013

  • David A.

    Regrettably my hiking plans have been preempted by a client function.

    December 19, 2013

  • Lilian Jette D.

    I can only come if I don't have any deliveries for work. I will call if I can't make it

    December 19, 2013

  • Wes C

    I'll have to wear my gator-proof hip waders. :)

    1 · December 19, 2013

  • Lenny C.

    OK!!! Went out there today and waded the creek.... it was a relaxing knee deep, 10 ft crossing.... once we get to the creek it is not an option...... weather looks to be great and I can't wait to get out there with you all....camping is available.... no fee...

    December 18, 2013

  • cathy m

    Wont be able to camp this time. Will still make the hike.

    1 · December 18, 2013

  • Howard

    Oh, Elizabeth if your want to commute that would be great...

    December 16, 2013

  • Arlene/Marty Winick-DYNAMIC D.

    Just received amended Oak Ridge SWFMND camping reservation for up to 8 people. So Rick G, Alex, Lenny & Elizabeth P. you are all in. Still have room for couple more ... I'm sure we could even have more than 8 if needed.

    1 · December 4, 2013

    • Rick G.

      Arlene. I can't make the hike anymore. Work is getting in the way again! Anyway,hope to see you and Marty soon.

      December 17, 2013

    • Arlene/Marty Winick-DYNAMIC D.

      No problem first comes Family then work. See you at the next outing,maybe Stone Soup. Hey by the way this Saturday we're helping to build mtn. bike trails in Starkey. arl

      December 17, 2013

  • Howard

    Glad I am going on this hike... looking forward to it...

    December 16, 2013

  • Swami

    Sorry, I will not be able to join this time. Wishing you all a great hike.

    December 5, 2013

    • Lenny C.

      see you next time Swami

      1 · December 5, 2013

  • cathy m

    I will probably camp Thurs. and Friday. I made my own reservation,thanks.

    December 4, 2013

  • Arlene/Marty Winick-DYNAMIC D.

    Marty & I have rec'd caming reservation at Oak Ridge for Thurs Dec 19-Sat. 21. We'll be biking, hiking & kayaking. If you want to join us let us know & we'll try to amend reservation.

    December 3, 2013

    • Rick G.

      I'll pitch a tent Thurs. night.

      December 3, 2013

    • Arlene/Marty Winick-DYNAMIC D.

      I will contact SWFMND & see if I can amend my numbers. If not you might have to do this individually. I'll get back to you all. arl

      December 4, 2013

  • cathy m

    Will this be a members only hike?

    December 3, 2013

    • Lenny C.

      well... not this time...

      December 3, 2013

  • Arlene/Marty Winick-DYNAMIC D.

    I have submitted a reservation to SWFMND for ourselves from Thursday Dec 19-Sat Dec 21. We will be mtn. biking & kayaking as well as hiking. Let me know if you want to camp & what day(s). Once I get my reservation I can then try to amend the numbers. arl

    December 3, 2013

  • Arlene/Marty Winick-DYNAMIC D.

    Camp as well?

    December 2, 2013

    • Lenny C.

      Go for it...you can be in charge of the camping part.....

      December 2, 2013

  • Terry

    So disappointed. I would have been there but have a wedding in Sarasota that weekend. Enjoy the hike.

    December 2, 2013

    • Lenny C.

      we will repeat this one a few times before summer....

      December 2, 2013

  • Julie

    Sorry can't make it

    December 2, 2013

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