Last minute! Let's return to the Withlacoochee State Forest and hike A or C Loop of the popular Croom Tract. Croom's hiking trails are well-maintained and offer rolling sandhills, steep descents into sinkholes and gorgeous shaded forest. The Florida National Scenic Trail Western Corridor crosses a portion of our route. Croom also offers trails for mountain bikers and for equestrian.
Croom offers 3 loops (A, B, and C) that can be combined into various hikes. The plan is to either hike one of the loops or use "car shuttle" to hike from the Silver Lake Campground and follow the trail.
Because of the distance and elevation changes (noticeable by Florida standards), this hike is considered strenuous. Please be in good physical condition and wear proper footwear. This should not be your first hike.
WHAT IS THE FLORIDA NATIONAL SCENIC TRAIL?
The Florida National Scenic Trail is a congressionally designated National Scenic Trail. It is approximately 1,300-miles long and is intended to offer a continuous, permanent non-motorized recreation opportunity for hiking and other compatible activities. Over its length, it showcases the incredible biodiversity, history, and rich culture of Florida. Its termini lie in Gulf Islands National Seashore (http://www.nps.gov/guis/index.htm) to the North and Big Cypress National Preserve (http://www.nps.gov/bicy/index.htm) in the South.
Take I-4 West to SR 50 west 72 miles. You will reach Croom Rital Rd about 3 miles past US 301 (just past pedestrian overpass).
Turn right (north) on Croom-Rital Road / CR39 (FR 6). After 5.3 miles stay left at the “Y” road intersection. Continue another 3.8 miles to the Tucker Hill Fire Tower. Parking Area #3 is on Left.
PLEASE BRING: 2 or more liters of water (REQUIRED). RECOMMENDED: Lunch, snacks, insect repellent, sunscreen, rain gear (we're in Florida). Parts will be shaded and parts will be sunny. The trail can get "rooty" (exposed roots) so a hiking stick may be helpful.
CARPOOL: Please post a comment if you wish to carpool.
FEE: There is a $2 parking fee per vehicle at the Tucker Hill trailhead. Restroom and water are available at the trailhead.
For those interested, we can grab lunch after.