We went out and completed the D loop of the citrus trial. After a few detours the total trip was 14.5 miles. There is a small parking lot on the south side near the Taylor campsite which helps makes this trail a nice day hike. As for the trial itself, nothing amazing, lots of pine trees, sometimes it's like you're on a continuing loop with no change in scenery at all. For 6 miles. Although, there were two nice dark/shady canopy parts I really enjoyed, with beautiful, massive live oak trees, so I can't completely knock it. There is also the "Dames cave" just off the trail. A small Graffiti filled cave. Bring a flashlight and don't forget a hat and sunscreen. I also went through 3 liters of water. Wildlife: one turtle and a bunch of wild turkeys. Oh, and ticks.
Al M. on Croom Fools Run
Had a great time on this trail, the weather was perfect we did 17+ mile hike. There was a point on the trail we had to turn back, under the overpass the blue trail markers were neck high in the lake. We did go through some waist high water in order to stay on the trail. No bugs or wildlife to be seen on this trip out there. I will definitely be going back to this park to explore some more.
I ended up in the Croom Hiking trail and complete Loop A today. It was great I enjoyed the variation of the terrain and the environment. I started very early in the morning so there was no one else on the trail so it was nice and quiet. Lots of shaded areas, also a lot of up and down on hills throughout the trail. Overall it was a great experience and cant wait to head back again. The only thing I kept walking into spider webs that were spun between branches on the trail path.
They also have mountain bike and equestrian tracks.
Based off of map markings
Croom has 4 trails:
1. Loop A 6.99mi
2. Loop B 9.92mi
3. Loop C 5.79 mi + 1.15x2mi to get to and from loop
4. Silver Lake 3.55mi
Citrus has 4 Trails:
1. Loop A 6.6mi + 1.0x2 mi to get to and from loop
2. Loop B 13.9+ 1.8x2 mi to get to and from loop
3.Loop C 13.5 + 1.7x2mi to get to and from loop
4. Loop D 13.4 + 3x2mi to get to and from loop
"Croom A and B" are the trails that I've repeatedly hiked and biked in Withlacootchie. To get there, park at the Tucker Hill Fire Tower and enter the trail from the parking lot. The area is not mapped out well, so bring a compass and a GPS if you have one. Your cell phone will not be of much use since there is weak or no signal. From what I've been reading recently, the map and blazes are now better marked, but i would not bet on it.
Despite the negatives, Croom is a great place to hike and bike. The trails are hard packed and most of them stay dry even during the rainy seasons (stay away from the lower elevation on the east side near the lake). Croom's real gems are its hidden features: an abandoned open-pit mine (or who knows, maybe more than one), and an abandoned cemetery (located near the start of the trail loop on one of the trail offshoots to the right). Neither is marked on the map.
Croom's hiking/biking trails venture mainly through higher elevation scrub land, so it tends to get hot in the summer time. I stick to hiking these trails during cooler weather. The scenery is fantastic, some of the best I've seen, and apparently, some of the best in the US according to other hikers. Also, there are a lot of different areas to Withlacootchie, Croom is just one of many with different ecosystems. If you prefer an area that's a bit more wet or lower elevation, Withlacootchie's got that, too.
I’ve had the opportunity to run the A Loop of this trail on three separate occasions and it was a pleasure each time. Even during the rainy season – which can prevent you from traversing many of the trails in Florida – this trail was dry and utterly beautiful. There was a recent burn in the area; based on the growth of the vegetation, my guess is somewhere between three and four years ago. Because of the burn, much of the scrub is cleared, providing a striking view of the many different trees along this trail. Worry not, however, the wildlife is still there – including hundreds of butterflies you will inevitably spot on your trip. My favorite thing about this trail, though, is that it is so secluded. Many websites will tell you that the A Loop is only 8 miles, but you must first make a mile hike in to hit the loop. That means that, round trip from the Holder Mine trailhead, this trail is 10.5 miles. There are a few primitive campsites along the trail, but none are maintained very well. And a note on maintenance: because of that recent burn, some of the blazes aren’t very evident, so be exceptionally careful. All in all, however, this is a great trail for those looking for a challenge with moderate elevation and plenty of privacy.
Not my favorite place to bike, but it's a great workout. Put on some good tires and bring plenty to drink. The majority of the trail is packed sand/dirt/leaves, but the loose sand areas will certainly slow you down if you don't have decent tires.
There's also a 12 mile loop if you don't have as much time / energy.