|Looks like we weren't the first to hike this trail.|
The trailhead was close, only about 10 miles from our campground, in the Richloam Tract of the Withlacoochee State Forest. There is lots of parking at the trailhead, an information kiosk, and trail maps, but no restroom. Us girls like to have a restroom at the trailhead. It especially comes in handy after the hike for a place to change into dry clothes.
There are three loop hikes in the Richloam Tract. The East Loop is the shortest of the three at 7.5 miles with a half mile connector trail from the parking lot to the junction with the loop. The trail and the surrounding environment is very similar to the trails we’ve been hiking in Withlacoochee State Forest. In wet weather, this trail would be swampy, but that wasn’t a problem today. Everything was dry even though it rained most of yesterday.
|The guy painting the blazes got a little carried away.|
We hiked the loop in the counterclockwise direction. At about the 3 mile mark, we were at the East campsite. It was a little early for lunch, but since there was a picnic table we didn’t stand on any lunchtime traditions. This backcountry campsite was small compared to the others we’ve seen in the Withlacoochee. It was off the trail by several hundred feet tucked away in the live oaks. There were also several cypress trees nearby making us think there might be water there during wet weather. Of course, all I could think about were the alligators that might also be there along with their friends the water moccasins.
The only wildlife we saw was a turtle, if you don’t count the dead armadillo on the side of the trial. Lots of birds sang to us all day. They must have been happy with the rain yesterday, too.
The hike was good, but us girls were pretty pooped by the time we got back to the connector trail. The heat and humidity sapped our energy. The only thing that kept us going was visions of the root beer floats which Diana was making for our after hike treat.
I have been copying early blog posts to Blogger from Trip Journal this week. This morning I added the entry from November 17, 2008. I mention that because that was the first time we sat down with Tony and Diana for a visit. They have become dear friends since that time. We always feel blessed when in their company.
That’s it for today. Thanks for tagging along.