What we’re about
We are a group of adventurers from the LGBT community looking to get out on trails, on rivers, or anywhere outside, actively enjoying nature and the great outdoors. Adventures include hiking, biking, kayaking, ziplining, camping, and any/all other outdoors recreational activities members want to do. Looking to make new friends in the LGBT community while having a great adventure? Then this group is for you.
We also welcome our straight brothers, sisters, friends, and allies!
Upcoming events (4+)See all
- Hiking Gold Head Branch State Park - Keystone Heights, FLMike Roess Gold Head Branch State Park, Keystone Heights, FL
Located just outside of nearby Keystone Heights, Florida, Mike Roess Gold Head Branch State Park has many miles of beautiful hiking trails. The park is hidden away within the rolling, piney sandhills of north central Florida and contains an extensive ravine system created by the Gold Head Branch stream. Clear, cold stream water flows from a headspring near the descent and meanders through the seepage slope ecosystem, eventually reaching Big Lake Johnson.
Several hiking trails pass through and above the ravine system, providing an intimate view of this unique Florida feature. We will be hiking the 3.2 mile Ridge Trail to Loblolly Loop trail, with a 167 foot elevation gain. The trail traverses the upper ridge of the ravine, passing at times only feet from the slope, making one feel as if they are on a mountain trail. Within the ravine, an entirely different ecosystem seems to exist, one characterized by shade-tolerant plants and animals hiding from the heat of the sun apparent atop the ridge. This lush hardwood forest attracts lizards, snakes and deer but most noticeably is a haven for many birds, including migrating warblers, thrushes and bright cardinals that flit about in the brush.
Gold Head Branch is a prime example of the state’s native sandhill habitats with an exceptional stand of old-growth longleaf pines. Add in the deep ravines, fueled by natural springs and bisected by the Gold Head Branch, and you have a rare ecosystem waiting to be explored.
The entire hike can be done in just over an hour but we’re going to take our time as we explore the different topographies and the natural beauty of the park. The drastic habitat change from ravine system to the open sandhill and then prairie and provides for a unique hiking experience. I can honestly say this might be the most beautiful park I’ve seen in northeast Florida.
And the OUTdoorsy group is going there at 9:00 AM on Saturday, March 16, 2024.
For additional information on the park, it’s history and geology, visit the official Mike Roess Gold Head Branch State Park website. Further information can be found at Clay County Parks and TripAdvisor Gold Head Branch State Park.
AllTrails map of the Ridge Trail to Loblolly Loop.
Here is short 2 minute video of Gold Head Branch State Park.
Here is an 11 minute video of the Ridge Trail to Loblolly Loop.
- Meeting location: Mike Roess Gold Head State Park at 9:00 AM, Saturday, March 16, 2024.
- Driving directions to the park entrance: 6239 State Road 2, Keystone Heights FL 32656. It's about an hour drive southwest of Jacksonville.
- Entrance Fees: $5 per vehicle (2 to 8 people), $4 for a single occupant vehicle. Unless you have a Florida State Park Pass.
- After you enter the park, drive about 3/4 of a mile to the Ravine Stairway parking area where we will meet. This parking area will be on the left side of the road and you can’t miss it, it will be the first parking area you see as you drive into the park. The stairway down to the ravine consists of 81 moderate steps. We will be climbing back up the stairway at the end of the hike.
- Facilities: restrooms are located at various locations throughout the park but there are none at the Ravine Stairway trail head.
- Pets: well-behaved dogs are welcome at Mike Roess Gold Head State Park. They must be kept on a 6-foot leash at all times.
- Bring sturdy shoes, bug spray, sun screen, plenty of water, trail snacks, camera and/or mobile phone.
- Dining: the park has picnic facilities with tables and grills. You may bring a picnic lunch or we may decide to meet up at restaurant in nearby Keystone Heights afterwards.
- Carpooling: If you’d like to carpool, and there is sufficient interest, we could designate a carpooling meet up site. Please indicate in the comments if you’re interested in sharing a ride.
- Hiking Little Talbot IslandLittle Talbot Island State Park, Jacksonville, FL
This is the rain date from February 17, 2024.
An Outdoorsy group favorite, this is one of the best hikes in the entire NE Florida area! With more than five miles of beautiful, white sandy beaches, Little Talbot Island is one of the few remaining undeveloped barrier islands in Northeast Florida. Maritime forests, desert-like dunes and undisturbed salt marshes on the western side of the island allow for hours of nature study and relaxation. The diverse habitats in the park host a wealth of wildlife for viewing, including river otters, marsh rabbits, bobcats and a variety of native and migratory birds.
Once we arrive at the park, parking is $5 per vehicle and then we will make our way to the Dune Ridge Trail, which winds 4 miles through five distinct natural communities.
For more information about the park, visit https://www.floridastateparks.org/park/Little-Talbot-Island .
We will meet at the first big parking lot near the beach. Go past the little parking lot near the entrance.
Get driving directions here: https://goo.gl/maps/NjCAaevvDb72
If anyone is interested in carpooling, please leave a message below to begin a conversation.
Highly recommend bringing bug spray and perhaps a bottle of water.
For those who are interested in going to lunch after the hike, we will be eating at Sandollar Restaurant.
- Okefenokee Swamp Covered Boat Tour4159 Suwannee Canal Road, Folkston, GA
VERY IMPORTANT - YOU MUST PURCHASE YOUR BOAT TOUR TICKETS VIA THE INSTRUCTIONS BELOW. REGISTERING FOR THIS EVENT ON MEETUP.COM DOES NOT SECURE YOUR BOAT TOUR TICKETS.
Swamp Boat Tour tickets for Saturday, April 6 are now available for purchase.
You must still register for this tour here on Meetup.com. Please read below, carefully.
The Okefenokee Swamp is the largest blackwater wetland ecosystem in North America, and the least disturbed freshwater ecosystem on the Atlantic Coastal Plain.
The swamp is astoundingly beautiful, with moss-covered cypress trees standing above flowering plants floating on tea-colored blackwaters. Okefenokee is believed to be a Creek Indian word meaning “trembling earth” as some of the “land” in the swamp is really partially buoyant peat deposits that move and shake when walked upon. The swamp covers approximately about 640 square miles.
The swamp isn’t all wet, there are numerous islands within the swamp, some a few thousand acres in size. There are 21 habitat types within the swamp, and habitats include open wet "prairies," cypress forests, scrub-shrub vegetation, upland islands, and open lakes. Wildlife species include wading birds, ducks, alligators and other reptiles, a variety of amphibians, bobcats, raptors, white-tailed deer, black bears, and songbirds.
The swamp has a rich human history including Native American occupation, early settlers, a massive drainage attempt, and intensive timber harvesting. Glimpses of the past are visible at Chesser Island Homestead, Billy's Island, Floyd's Island, and the Suwannee Canal.
Okefenokee Adventures, nestled on the bank of the historic Suwannee Canal, will be our embarking point into the Okefenokee Swamp where we will enjoy a 90 minute boat tour onboard a 24 foot covered Carolina Skiff. We will travel along the historic Suwannee Canal through a tangled forest of bay, cypress, pine and shrubs, then out into the open expanse of Chesser Prairie.
Our expert nature guides will share their knowledge of the swamp’s natural and cultural history, tell interesting swamp stories and identify plants and wildlife along the way. We may encounter egrets, herons, ibis, sandhill cranes, red-shouldered hawks, American alligators, maybe deer, and if we’re lucky, a bobcat or a bear!
Here is a 2 minute video overview of the Okefenokee Swamp.
Here is a 1.5 minute video of Okefenokee’s alligators.
Here is 2.5 minute video of what you’ll see on the Okefenokee boat tour.
Okefenokee Boat Tour Information (Very Important) -
Swamp Boat Tour tickets for Saturday, April 6 are now available for purchase here.
The boat tours are 90 minutes long and tickets are $35 per person, $40 after service fees and taxes. There is also a $5 park entry fee (pay via card, no cash accepted).
You’ll want a ticket for Saturday, April 6, 2024 at 10:00 AM. Seating is limited to 16 per boat and there are currently 12 seats available - please get your ticket now if you want to go. Boat tours frequently sell out in advance.
Tours run every other hour so if you can’t get a ticket for the 10:00 AM boat you could still go on the 12:00 PM boat but you’ll be separated from the group.
PLEASE READ -
1. Meeting location: Parking lot of Okefenokee Adventures at 9:30 AM.
2. Driving directions to Okefenokee Adventures: 4159 Suwannee Canal Road Folkston, GA 31537. There are two main entrances to Okefenokee but this is the one you want. Expect just over a one hour drive from the Jacksonville area, depending on where you live. There is ample parking.
3. Facilities: There are restrooms as well as a small gift and snack shop. There is also a covered picnic area.
4. Pets: Your animal companions do not mix well with alligators. Please leave the furry ones at home.
5. Bring a hat, bug spray, sun screen, water, binoculars, camera and/or mobile phone.
6. Please bring cash to tip our boat operator / tour guide. Tip amount is at your discretion but $5 per person is good.
7. Carpooling: If you’d like to carpool, we could designate a carpooling meet up site. Please indicate in the comments if you’re interested in sharing a ride.
8. You can bring a picnic lunch for after the boat tour or, for those interested, we discovered a charming little “mom & pop” diner called Whistlin’ Dixie in nearby Folkston where we could eat lunch afterwards.
- Exploring Washington Oaks Gardens State ParkFlagler County, Florida, FL
One of our best hikes with planned garden landscapes...a must see!
Although the formal gardens are the centerpiece of this park, Washington Oaks is also famous for the unique shoreline of coquina rock formations that line its Atlantic beach. Nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and the Matanzaus River, this property was once owned by a distant relative of President George Washington. The gardens were established by Louise and Owen Young who purchased the land in 1936 and built a winter retirement home. They named it Washington Oaks and, in 1965, donated most of the property to the State. The gardens make remarkable use of native and exotic species, from azaleas and camellias to the exquisite bird of paradise, sheltered within a picturesque oak hammock. Visitors can picnic and fish from either the beach or the seawall along the Matanzas River. A number of short trails provide opportunities for hiking and bicycling. Visitors can learn about the park's natural and cultural resources in the visitor center.
We will start the day by hiking along the 3 mile trail system exploring the gardens and adjoining park grounds located on the west side of the park. After that, we will cross over to the east side of the park and check out the beach and tide pools.
For more information about Washington Oaks State Park, visit https://www.floridastateparks.org/parks-and-trails/washington-oaks-gardens-state-park and http://www.washingtonoaks.org/.
The park charges an entrance fee of $5 per vehicle, 2-8 people per vehicle. $4 if the vehicle has a single occupant.
To view a map of the park, visit https://ca.dep.state.fl.us/mapdirect/?focus=parksmain&querytype=park&queryvalues=Washington-Oaks
Park at the visitors center parking lot on the left, after you enter the Park.
Get directions here: https://maps.app.goo.gl/N49VYNd25Ndeanv4A
If anyone is interested in carpooling, please leave a message below to begin a conversation. Please share the cost of gas.
Bring bug spray, water, and possibly a snack. Bring a hat for the beach and water shoes in case you want to explore the tide pools
If there is interest, we can go to lunch as a group afterward.