- Circle B Bar Reserve Nature Hike & Lunch
Bring your camera (or binoculars), your walking shoes and head west to Lakeland for a nature hike through one of the more popular nature preserves in central Florida. The Circle B Bar Reserve, on the northwest shore of Lake Hancock, is a former cattle ranch that today boasts a wide variety of plants and animals. You can see several distinct ecosystems in this reserve of only 1,267 acres. You're almost guaranteed to see alligators in Lake Hancock, often considered the headwaters of the Peace River, which flows more than 100 miles from Polk County southwest to the Gulf of Mexico. CIRCLE B BAR RESERVE Circle B Bar Reserve (http://www.polknature.com/explore/circle-b/?section=Default&subsection=Habitat&path=circle-b) offers many opportunities for wildlife viewing -- alligators, turtles, wading birds, turtles and maybe a bobcat. The hike is scheduled a bit earlier in hopes of maximizing our viewing opportunities. There is a network of trails along levees that were built atop the preserve's wetlands and I expect our hike route to last 6-6.5 miles. We will stop at a viewing area along Lake Hancock and an observation blind that overlooks the wetlands. Pets are prohibited. http://floridahikes.com/circlebbar https://www.facebook.com/pages/Circle-B-Bar-Reserve/151250398219096?fref=ts PLEASE BRING: Water (required). RECOMMENDED: Snacks, insect repellent, good hiking/walking shoes, binoculars and sunscreen. Parts of the trail will be sunny and parts will be shaded. Trails may become wet and muddy during the rainy season and during periods of heavy rainfall. Restrooms and a portable toilet, if Discovery Center is closed, a portable toilet is available near the main parking lot/trailhead. DIRECTIONS TO CIRCLE B I-4 West to Exit 41 for FL 570W (toll) toward Auburndale/Lakeland/Polk Pkwy. Exit 14 FL-540W Winter Lake Rd. Continue 540 west and turn left on first cross street still on 540. Continue on 540-W until Circle B entrance appears on your left. Once you enter Circle B, stay on the winding entrance road and we will meet at the main parking lot located near the Nature Discovery Center. Please review driving directions in advance and let me know if you have any questions. Please leave a comment if you wish to carpool. We can meet at the picnic area adjacent to the main parking lot: LUNCH (Optional) For those interested afterwards, we can grab lunch at a local lunch spot!
- Florida Trail Hike- Clearwater to Alexander Springs
Come hike on the original starting point of the Florida Trail! Beautiful ecosystems that include long leaf pine, scrub and swamp will be along this 11 mile hike! Please bring a minimum of 2 liters of water, snacks and a lunch. We will meet at Alexander Springs and then shuttle a few cars back to Clearwater Trailhead in Paisley. Please be prepared for rain and summer hiking conditions. At the end of the hike you can chose to swim in the beautiful springs. There are options for lunch in nearby Astor. Please note that due to the length of this hike and the conditions along the trail that this should not be your first hike. There is a $6 fee for entry to Alexander Springs. After you pass the fee station immediately turn right where you can park your car.
- Half Moon Gum Slough WMA 6-11 miles & Lunch
Let's journey back to "Old Florida" for a hike in the Half Moon WMA, located about 10 miles east of Inverness. With over 24 miles in multi-use (horse and hiking) trails, this property was acquired to protect and preserve natural water resources and the water quality of the Withlacoochee River, Gum Slough and associated tributaries. We will hike the yellow, red and tram trails. Ranger reported drier conditions than earlier in summer, however please be aware trails could exposed, wet or muddy. Because of continuing high temperatures and because of the hike distance, this hike is considered strenuous. Please be in good physical condition--this should not be your first hike. http://www.myfwc.com/viewing/recreation/wmas/lead/half-moon/ http://www.swfwmd.state.fl.us/recreation/areas/gumslough.html http://fltrailblazer.blogspot.com/2013/10/exploring-half-moon-wildlife-management.html ABOUT HALF MOON GUM SLOUGH The Withlacoochee River, Gum Slough and Gum Springs Run are located adjacent to the property and were designated Outstanding Florida Waters in 1989. Gum Slough is a four-mile-long spring run that flows into the Withlacoochee River. The water in Gum Slough comes from several springs, which makes it remarkably clear and appealing. For the most part, the riverine shores along the property are still natural and undeveloped. The upland areas of the property are a mixture of natural pine flatwoods and oak hammock. PLEASE BRING: 2 or more liters of water (REQUIRED). RECOMMENDED: Lunch, snacks, insect repellent, sunscreen, rain gear. Parts will be shaded and parts will be sunny. The trail can get "rooty" (exposed roots) so a hiking stick may be helpful. There are no restroom facilities at the trailhead. CARPOOL: Please post a comment if you wish to carpool. LUNCH (optional) For those interested, we can grab lunch after at Catfish Johnny's 2396 N Highway 470 Lake Panasoffkee FL http://www.catfishjohnnysrestaurant.com/ourmenu.shtml
- Last Minute! Labor Day Weekend Hike the Withlacoochee SF Croom-Elevation Changes
Last minute! Let's turn off the news and enjoy nature in all its September glory and hike! 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." 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. TRAIL MAP http://suncoast.floridatrail.org/web/croom_map.php (http://suncoast.floridatrail.org/web/croom_map.php) 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. DIRECTIONS 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). Limited parking is available where Withlacoochee Bike TH crosses Croom Rital Road. 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. A port-a-potty is available at this trailhead. LUNCH (optional) For those interested, we can grab lunch after.
- Scout Hike Chinsegut WEA Hiking Trail Loop
Last minute! Let's explore Chinsegut WEA hiking loop, approximately 6-9 miles. More details to follow! MEETING SPOT at parking lot at corner of Snow Hwy and US41. Please use coordinates [masked], [masked] https://myfwc.com/education/outdoor-skills/chinsegut/ https://myfwc.com/media/6353/chinsegut_trails.pdf 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. DIRECTIONS From I-75, take exit 301 west on US-98/FL-50. Continue right at the fork and road will curve north towards Brooksville for approximately 9 miles. Make a right at the sign for US-41 North Broad St. Continue 4.3 miles northeast until you turn left on Snow Memorial Hwy. Parking lot is on immediate right at corner of Snow Memorial Hwy and US-41/Broad St. 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. LUNCH (optional) For those interested, we can grab lunch after.
- 5 to 6 miles. Little Big Econ Barr St
Let's meet at Barr St trailhead at 8:45am and start around 9:00am. We will go to the big bridge and back. Will be 5 to 6 miles. Maybe get some lunch at a local place after. They have done some recent maintenance and it's a nice hike near the river. Bring water, snacks and bug spray. Lunch after for those that want to go. There is a fee (I believe 2.00 per car/person) at the trailhead. Let me know if you have any questions or concerns. ~Joe[masked] Links below for more info and maps. http://floridahikes.com/florida-trail-little-big-econ-state-forest https://www.google.com/maps/place/Barr+St.+Trailheademail@example.com,-81.1617259,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x88e741de1fa4d619:0x2275788aae357f69!8m2!3d28.6870108!4d-81.1595372 https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Lake+Mary,+FLfirstname.lastname@example.org,-81.3087313,12z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m13!4m12!1m5!1m1!1s0x88e76d5129fed6b1:0x1a6cd960f325cfcb!2m2!1d-81.3178446!2d28.7588833!1m5!1m1!1s0x88e741de1fa4d619:0x2275788aae357f69!2m2!1d-81.1595372!2d28.6870108
- Horseback Riding with Sasquatch @ Land Bridge
READ ENTIRE DESCRIPTION for instructions on how to sign up! Meet-Up will be listed as FULL, sign up on wait list, I will move you to attending when you message me confirming you have made your reservation with FL Horse Riding. YOU MUST MAKE YOUR OWN RESERVATION. (Expect $40 plus tax with group discount) https://floridahorseriding.com BOOK Cactus Jack's Trail Rides, Land Bridge Trailhead near OCALA for 9:00, one hour ride, use code cjrsr10 for discount and grouping. Of course, as is customary, we'll do lunch together for those who'd like before heading out. I suggest Darrell's Dog Gone Good Diner in Belleview, but open to other ideas.
- Christmas in July - Lake Louisa SP Hike & Picnic (3 or 6 mile options)
Yes, there are summer hikes.... Here is an opportunity to gather together for a hike and then relax together for a picnic along the shores of Lake Louisa. To help us forget about the heat, let's think of "Christmas in July"! Hikers will all start off together with a 3 mile loop and those with greater stamina can continue to complete a 6 mile figure eight. Trails range from sugar sand to packed soil and from exposed to filtered sun to shady. Lake Louisa State Park is a 4,500 acre park noted for its beautiful lakes, rolling hills and scenic landscapes. Lake Louisa, the largest in a chain of 13 lakes, is designated as an Outstanding Florida Water Way. State Park admission fees apply: $5.00 per vehicle. Limit 2-8 people per vehicle; $4.00 Single Occupant Vehicle; $2.00 Pedestrians, bicyclists, extra passengers, passengers in vehicle with holder of Annual Individual Entrance Pass. We'll have a grill going with some hot dogs and burgers. Plates, plastic-ware, napkins and cups provided. Bring a dish to share, your favorite non-adult beverage, and a camp chair. Want something else on the grill, bring it DIY and make the rest of us drool. Swimming is available in the lake. Jackie Warren[masked]