Sunday, February 14, 2016

Hiking and Geocaching along the Florida Trail

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 85.


Because this part of the trail is a military installation, a recreational pass must be purchased from Jackson Guard 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.



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