Florida

  • Florida,  Hiking,  Outdoors,  Travel & Places

    The Nature of Apalachicola River Wildlife and Environmental Area

    The allure of the area around Apalachicola is that there are so many public land recreation opportunities that you really can’t go wrong with just about anywhere you decide to go. Our first full day of Spring Break we opted to start out our explorations at the Apalachicola River WEA because it had both car and trail access, plus a boardwalk out into Apalachicola Bay at the south end. A note, if you do decide to visit, know that some areas may be impassable with a typical car and many trucks during certain times of year. Water covers some of the more remote roads and it forced us to turn…

  • Florida,  Hiking,  Outdoors,  Travel & Places

    Sounds from Apalachicola River WEA

    I thought I’d share a few short videos I took from our first day in the Apalachicola Area. Rain had moved through the day before so the area was quite soggy and water was moving through the area quickly. I wish I’d taken a few photos at least of the very flooded areas there was no way our truck was going to make it through. A very active culvert. It’s hard to explain, but as we drove around all I could think was, “Yes, this is how it should be” because this is what we did in Florida—drive around various public lands to go and explore. It also reminded me…

  • Florida,  Hiking,  Outdoors,  Travel & Places

    Snippets from Florida

    Eventually I will get around to editing photos and once my phone photos finish uploading to Flickr I can do more detailed posts, but for now I’ll highlight a few items from our week in Florida. As I mentioned in my post earlier this week, it was quite chilly when we arrived in Florida. Certainly not south Florida winter weather where you can go to the beach and feel comfortable this time of year. But Forest braved the water and played in the sand when he could and we even saw that one washed up horseshoe crab. I was a little disappointed that the shelling wasn’t better than it could…

  • Florida,  Florida Trail,  Hiking,  Outdoors,  Travel & Places

    Flora, Fungi, and Fauna along the Florida Trail in Bronson State Forest

    Let’s wrap up my Florida trip with this final post from my hike at Bronson State Forest. Sand Heath, Ceratiola ericoides Rosemary scrub habitats in Florida are considered to be a particularly endangered habitat. It thrives in sandy, old inland dune habitats and prefers to have a good burn once in a while—and well, you can imagine that sandy habitats and burning can be in short supply when people build homes right on top of and up next to the perfect habitat. A few sites with more information: Scrub Rosemary via UCF Arboretum, Endemic Florida Rosemary via Florida State Parks, and Rosemary scrub via Florida Hikes. Deer Moss, Cladonia evansii…

  • Florida,  Florida Trail,  Hiking,  Outdoors,  Travel & Places

    A Hike in the Chuluota Wilderness | Florida Trail

    On the Sunday of the short weekend in Florida, I went on a hike with Sandra of Florida Hikes and Kate Dolamore, an artist friend in central Florida I’ve gotten to know the last couple of years. I wanted to hike on a section of the Florida Trail that was new to me, a piece in the Bronson State Forest that was in the process of being re-routed when we hiked in 2011. During our hike we had to road walk a large chunk of this section. So, after breakfast with some of the crew from Billy Goat Day at the Townhouse Restaurant, I met up with Sandra at the…

  • Florida,  Hiking,  Outdoors,  Travel & Places

    A Hike at Split Oak Forest

    As I mentioned a few posts ago, when I flew into Orlando I went for a hike over at Split Oak Forest WEA. After I made my flight plans a few months ago I knew I wanted to hike somewhere, probably on the Florida trail, and I had thought I’d likely hit up Tosohatchee WMA. But over the last few months I began seeing a lot more press about a potential toll road proposal going through the southern portion of Split Oak Forest. In late December, Osceola county commissioners ended up approving the toll road plans which was seriously disappointing to hear. Then, late last month a commissioner asked her…

  • Florida,  Florida Trail,  Travel & Places

    Scenes from Billy Goat Day 2020

    View this post on Instagram The FTthruHIKE community continues to grow. And more and more hikers are thru-hiking every year! If you haven’t considered a winter thru-hike of the Florida National Scenic Trail you should! These people are just one of the reasons! . . #thruhiker #thruhiking  #hikertrash #travel #nature #adventure #wanderlust #photooftheday #picoftheday #keepitwild #backpacking #hiking #thruhiking #florida #ftthruhike #floridatrail #nature #sunrise #sunset #hikertrash #adventure #camping #getoutside #florida #floridabackpacking #backpacker #travel #at2020 #pct2020 #cdt2020 #jewelofthetriplecrown A post shared by FTthruHike (@ftthruhike) on Jan 29, 2020 at 5:28am PST First, I’m going to share the photo from FT ThruHike comparing the group in 2014 versus this year’s group. To recap for…

  • Florida,  Florida Trail,  Hiking,  Outdoors,  Travel & Places

    Billy Goat Day – A Quick Synopsis

    Photo from Florida Hikes via Flickr – To find me, look for the dog in the lower left corner, then the guy in the yellow shirt, and then the grey and orange FT Thru-Hike shirt just to the right of that. It was a good crowd! Wow, what a weekend! I flew into Florida very early on Friday morning, landing at around 10:45am local time, stood in line for my rental car, and then jettisoned myself to the nearest Publix to get lunch. I’d started craving a Publix sub the night before but had been thinking about it for weeks. The particular Publix I found was very busy at the…

  • Florida,  Florida Trail,  Travel & Places

    10 Years Ago – Ocean to Lake Trail Hike

    It suddenly hit me about a month ago that we’re wrapping up a decade here in a few weeks. To be honest, and I’ll elaborate more on it in my end-of-decade post later in December, my brain is still stuck somewhere in 2014-2016. It hasn’t caught up to 2019 yet. And then I realized that this Thanksgiving week is our 10th anniversary of our hike of the Ocean to Lake Trail, a side trail of the Florida Trail. Typically most people start on the eastern shore of Lake Okeechobee and then walk to the Atlantic Ocean on Jupiter Island at Hobe Sound Beach. We did this as a prep for…

  • Florida,  Hiking,  Outdoors,  Travel & Places

    Coconut Point Sanctuary | Melbourne Beach, FL

    It’s July 11, 2009, my 29th birthday. At this point we are already full throttle into planning our Appalachian Trail thru-hike. I mean, in the fact that we are pretty sure we are going to quit our jobs and pack away our things in early 2010 and head out on our thru-hike, pending on what our bank account looks like towards the end of the year of course. With that in mind we are kind of on a roll to hit up a lot of places in Florida that we may not see for a while after we move out of the state, including a trip back to the Melbourne…