We hiked in Big Cypress the area north of I-75 on the FNST Florida National Scenic Trail. We traveled North to the Red Trail approximately 2.5 miles and headed NE to merge with the Blue Trail and "Carpenter Camp" a primitive campsite. The hike was wet, some areas the water reached our knees, but for solitude, peace and wildlife viewing its the best. I suggest the winter months, less water, less Mosquitos, and less heat. The round trip loop approximately 7.5 miles.
I have two articles I wrote for the Miami Herald on this section of the trail on my blog:
I hope you enjoy them!
I've hiked sections of this trail many times. There is copious wildlife found along the trail, with plant life changing with subtle changes in elevation. This is Florida Panther country, and though I've never seen one, I've often seen their tracks on the trail. Depending on the time of year and weather the trail can be anything from dry to muddy to knee deep in water, with muddy and wet being the most common conditions. The section from I75 north is dry year-round as it runs along an old dirt road. If you're interested in hiking in Florida check out the Florida Trail Association. They have chapters in many counties with monthly meetings and many group hikes.
We started at the the very first leg of the Florida Trail. It starts at Loop Road and heads North to the Ranger Station on Tamiami Trail Approx 7.2 miles. The Trail is easy to find and stay on. It has a Blaze of rust brown paint on the trees. Visibility of the trail or someone ahead of you varys from10 to 30 yards. There are Mile Markers on this first stage. It is illegal for Off Road Vehicles to be in this area. So it is peaceful and not torn up with multiple crossing trails to get lost on. The one photo showes how wide Loop Road is to park a car. Ranger said few problems with parked cars I would not like to leave mine there all night. You can pull GPS points off of Google Maps that are with in 20 feet of the trail. You should not need to referance your GPS as the Trail is well marked. Cell service is poor to none at Loop Road but as we hiked by MM 1 we started getting reception from I believe a ower at the Ranger station due North. This trail is knee water at times, but was dry in April . Have a great hike!