The Florida Trail
is a congressionally
designated National Scenic Trail that spans 1,300 miles through the
State of Florida.
The trail begins at the edge of the
Everglades at Big Cypress National Preserve and makes
it's way up through Florida and then along the Panhandle,
ending at Fort Pickens on Pensacola Beach.
59.6 of those miles are in the Eglin Air Force BaseReservation, winding through oak hammocks, sandhills filled with long
leaf pine trees, and boggy wetlands. The trail shows an incredibly
diverse section of the Reservation and to my delight has many
geocaches hidden along the way.
Yesterday my Dad and a caching friend
of ours decided to explore part of the trail, beginning at Hwy 285 in
Mossy Head and worked our way about 3 or 4 miles along the trail.
A local group of cachers have hidden a
bunch of really cool geocaches along the trail so we got to enjoy the
trail as well as find some great caches.
This part of the trail runs across Gum
Creek, a crystal clear stream and offered us a great look at the
wetlands around the stream.
The Florida Trail Organization has
built primitive wooden walkways through the wetland areas as well as
small bridges across the creeks.
We were fortunate enough to meet a
group of volunteers that were out scrubbing the slime off the
walkways through the Gum Creek area.
These folks do a great job of
maintaining the trails and making it possible for the public to enjoy
this incredible opportunity to see first hand how beautiful the woods
are here in Northwest Florida.
My Dad found his 1400th
cache, which fittingly enough was a giant ammo can .
And we managed to grab 27 caches while enjoying our time in the woods.
If you enjoy hiking and/or geocaching I
highly recommend walking the Florida Trail between Hwy 285 and Hwy
Because this part of the trail is a
military installation, a recreational pass must be purchased from
before entering the Reservation and at each major road,
there is a kiosk containing Trail Registration cards.
Come out and give it a try - you never know who you'll run into along the trail.