Since this is an out and back hike, it is possible to park either at the northern end or at the southern end. We chose to park at the northern end (near the junction with CR 54 and CR 35A) because that was closer for us. There is no parking lot at this trailhead, but there is plenty of room to park on the shoulder of the road. There is a parking lot at the southern end (on CR 535) which will accommodate about 8 vehicles.
The trail is blazed orange with a short three-tenths of a mile blue-blazed trail from where we parked the car to the junction with the main trail. Florida Trail Association maintains this trail, as they do all the trails we been hiking in Florida. So far, our experience has been great. The trails have been well marked and junctions with forest service roads well signed. The trails have been cleared of debris and vegetation has been cut back leaving the trail easy to follow. The volunteers have done an excellent job.
|Hard to tell from the photo, but the ground has been all dug up.|
We can't figure out what kind of animal is doing this.
|The trail is barely visible through the palmetto|
|We were glad to have our long pants on to save our legs|
from the overgrown vegetation.
There was a lot of small limbs and palm fronds on the trail. We took the time to move some of the smaller stuff off, but that did little to make the trail more visible.
|Saw a couple flowers today, but I have no idea what they are.|
I need to get a Florida wildflower book.
At the 1.6 mile mark, we got to cross a railroad track. We haven’t done that in a long time. This was an active track, too. We heard the train whistle several times during the day and saw the train on our return trip. The trail also stayed close enough to the road that we heard a lot of traffic all day. At one point the trail passes under the approach for the small Zephyrhills Airport. We saw many small commuter planes pass overhead. Had to be careful planning those potty breaks.
|Crossing the railroad tracks.|
We got to the southern end of the trail a little after noon. There was a picnic table there which would have been nice for lunch, but it was in the full sun. We opted to spread our ponchos on the ground under the shade of a few live oaks. After lunch, we retraced our steps to the car.
I’m gonna have to say this was a difficult hike. The trail was hard to follow and we crossed several large areas that had been dug up by something. If we came across an area like this in the Smokies, we’d say wild boar had done the damage. I’m not sure if they have wild hogs here or not, but something had definitely torn up the trail.
That’s it for today. Thanks for tagging along.