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hiking
7 days ago

Nice, shaded easy, narrow, loop hike. Minimal elevation, slash pine, sand dunes and lots of banana spiders. Also beginning of trail (approximately 1 mile) is shared with trail bicyclists.

We actually loved hiking here and did a 10 mile hike with our dog. Very well marked trails. I would say make sure to bring plenty of water for you and your pet since there are no areas for clean water. There was a lot of wildlife here and the views were very beautiful for a central FL trail. Avoid the equestrian trails if you aren't on horseback, there's little to no shade and it's a very long stretch before any trailheads. Trails are wet to dry so be sure to come prepared. Also if you bring your dog make sure to get a tick preventive!

Multiple trails in this park, but be prepared to share with horses, and trek through soft sugar sand. quite the workout.

I only hiked 2.5 miles before turning back. When you start the grass is extremely high and only room for one person, so you aren’t sure what could be there so we took it slow. The water was about a foot high in some parts, but not too bad.

There are ticks !!!!! This may or may my not be the trail i was on. Hot summer day. No mosquitoes. Saw some tracks. And just enjoyed a day, well one hour in the woods.

Close to the city & a great mini-hike; get away with the Lake Front

Great trail as many have said cannot access the main trail head during school hours, and I’ve even not been Able to get in on a Saturday

I now like enter through the neighborhood down town center
Hunters vista (see my recording for waypoint)

Always very secluded and have seen:

Cottonmoths
Alligators w/babies
Deer
Owls
Plenty of birds
Raccoons and a fox

This is more is a 12 mike hike.
Also, if your going to Alexander Springs, around mile 10 or 11 you will be walking on a rather long wooden foot bridge. After that foot bridge, start looking for the BLUE path to your right. The BLUE path will lead you to the Springs. If you keep going on the Orange path, you will really over shoot it.

boars, snakes and bear marks oh my!

Very nice place for hiking.

not a lot of single track trail. mostly Jeep trails. it is isolated, without a lot of variety so you get to be alone. a lot of open spaces, so you are sure to see wildlife.

The rail head was well marked behind the school. The beginning was as expected for central Florida. The rest of the rail was in the open and followed the service road under the power transmission lines. Several varieties of birds along the path, a few butterflies, turtles and a snake crossed our path.

trail running
3 months ago

Started at Clearwater Lake and worked my way north. Got a late start (5pm), so only made it about three miles until we set up camp at the flood plains. Like previous posts stated, around Paisley might not be the best spot to set up camp. LOTS of traffic, dirt bikes, four wheelers, a truck parked itself by my camp with its headlights on (I didn't notice the truck but my friend did). Second day we made it to the springs. Great location to relax and snorkel. Stayed the night at the springs and made the 11 mile trip back to clearwater lake the next day. First couple of miles are barren due to recent controlled burns, but once you pass the flood plains and enter the tropical forest it really is beautiful. Overall a great day hike, but not the best spot to camp at night.

hiking
4 months ago

I love this trail! Have done it a few times. Quiet and s serene. At one point you see a huge sand dune and sandy beach minus the water (lol). lots of Natural Florida Scenery too look at.
..... this was a great hike!

The trail leaves the river . Don't worry you did not miss the trail just follow the blazes and it makes it a little further. it's very scenic and very remove.

Small trail but great sites. I have cotton mouths and two white squirrels there.

hiking
4 months ago

Talk to the ranger station first if you want to bring your dogs. You can bring your dogs on a leash on the trail but you cannot camp at the primitive sites with your dogs. But if you rent a camping site in the park they can put you in a pet friendly spot.

Pros:

This trail is very rustic and beautiful and you are likely to see a lot of wildlife, especially if you go around dawn.

I was there early one morning and saw several deer, two large owls, and several wild turkeys.

I love how fresh and clean the air smells and the trail follows Shingle Creek for a while.

If you live anywhere near this trail, it's just a nice place to get away from all the busyness of orlando without having to drive too far.


Cons:

1) Access is limited. You can only visit the trail certain hours, since parking is behind a middle school and the gate is closed at certain times. It's best to visit google maps, as they have the exact hours posted. Lookup: Shingle Creek Trailhead.

If you can't access the trail because the school gate is closed, there is a back entrance to the trail located in a neighborhood 10 min west of the school trailhead. Lookup "Millenium Waves" on google maps. The trail entrance is just east of it on Tarragona Drive. The only downside to this entrance is that you will have to walk about a mile to get to the wooded section of the trail behind the middle school. It's a scenic and peaceful walk though, and everyone I've met so far has been very friendly.

2) The trail is very secluded. If you at all don't feel safe by yourself, you'll definitely want to bring someone with you.

Did the hike today with my wife. The trail is very clean, well blazed and pretty easy. Didnt see any wildlife or wildflowers.
There is a dirt parking area off Rt 85 on the east side.
The hike was pleasant but nothing special. I would do.it again.

could not get to the trailhead from the middle school. The bus lane to the back of the school was gated and locked on a Sunday. Tried walking through the school but would have to walk through school gym and hallways. Did not feel comfortable doing that.

walking
5 months ago

Part two. They aren’t kidding about the Sands. Makes walking interesting! Seems like a cool park and I’ll be back.

hiking
5 months ago

First time at this park. It would appear there are a lot of different trails. This one I had to go a mile in before I saw Pines but they were very pretty

Lovely park. Trails were wide, flat, and easy to run on. Sand can get rather annoying after awhile! Bring water as I ran 11 miles and never found water but I did find mandarin orange trees

We hiked this trail today and had a great time. It was very peaceful, saw a couple of hikers from far , not too much traffic. The oaks and pines were beautiful. Sighted two deers . The trail was very sandy and a gave a decent work out. Good for beginners.

Beautiful hike but not for the faint of heart or ill prepared. Don't forget hat, sun screen and plenty of water. shade is scarce along some points. You'll be in a remote area with lots of wildlife so keep alert. Saw dozens of gators, Turkey and tons of bear scat. Be careful and go slowly and enjoy!

The trail follows the river to a point. Then the trail goes away from the river and seems to leave the route on the map. However, it was easy to turn around and head back to the trail head.
I’ll explore this trail again.

Beautiful weather, perfect time hiking. Lovely area to experience South Florida nature. We observed alligators on the side of the road and many birds local to the area

Lots of hiking to be had here. Birds and gators on the left side of the service road. The blue trail has some nice prairie views. Campsites are big and well maintained .....also had a picnic table which was surprising.

We drove over from Tampa and met a friend coming in from Sanford. The trails were more extensive than that which is reflected here. There is a decent map at the trailhead but we would recommend that you take a picture of it as there are no hardcopy maps to take with you. There are decent trail indicators here. Be aware that some of the trails adjacent to the controlled burn areas are very torn up due to the heavy equipment that they use to control the fires. This means that the trails are very uneven with soft sand. Easy to turn agn ankle with the proverbial two steps forward and one step back. When we got out of the area of the controlled burns the trail was much more enjoyable. Also, the trailhead references “Hampton“ entrance and that made us wonder if we were at the right place. Given that the trails are much more extensive than reflected on this trail you may want to try out some of the other options to see if the hiking is a more enjoyable.

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