Report on Western Corridor Hike #12
Friday, February 8, 2013 8:39 PM
Report on The Western Corridor Hiking Series. Hike #12. SR 50 to Lacoochee Rd with River Loop - 2/6/13
We picked up the Western Corridor trail in the Richloam Forest. Carpooling from the Circle K on Hwy 301 & SR 50 to the Florida Trail crossing on Lacoochee Road, we had as any cars as possible remain there at our finishing point and then drove to the start. The trail we were on is well described by Marilyn G: "It's been interesting to see the different areas along the Western Corridor. This part of the trail seemed more wild to me..."
Separated from SR 50 by pine trees, we followed the orange blazes, ducking some branches and catching glimpses of ponds to the south, or maybe it was just standing water being patient as it sifts through the soil to the aquifer beneath.After a road section along SR 50 we cut south onto a forest-lined dirt road to hit the newest addition to the blue trail. It was created for our hike (thanks to Mitch and crew). And we saw why - a long stretch of standing water covering the original trail.We then entered a new environment: our skinny trail bordered by tall prairie grass, taller than the tallest of us. I commented, "You know, it is kinda neat hiking on this path being surrounded by tall grass. Anything could be lurking out there." Immediately, from three hikers farther up line comes,"Yeah, and waiting for the weakest link."We had lunch along the Withlacooochee River on the loop trail and took a 30 second side trip just to view the signs connecting the Richloam trail to the Green Swamp West trail. On the mile back to our cars we passed the primitive campground and areas where fallen blossoms of Yellow Carolina Jasmine speckled the trail.Good day, finishing up, when - OOPS! Were there enough remaining cars to get us all back to our cars up at the start? Whew! The back of Bob's truck saved the day. Western Corridor Hike #13 will take us into Green Swamp West, environmentally and generally a kissing cousin of the Richloam but with its own physical aura. The route will be from Lacoochee Rd to Ranch Rd.