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This trail was easily the best trail I’ve ever done in Florida. Tons of beautiful scenery. The trail was decently challenging, which was a nice change of pace for Florida trails. Tons of wildlife to see. Plenty of birds, pigmy rattlesnake and about a dozen gators. Great time! I definitely recommend this for anyone who wants to get out and hike!

Huge disappointment! Deeply saddened we didn’t find a perfectly preserved washed, rinsed, and dried prehistoric shark’s tooth right on the trail! Seriously though, AllTrails has the map of this badly botched. It’s a fine park, nice hike, dog liked it a lot. Saw NOT ONE bug.

not sure how only a one star rating got posted on this for me. but trust me, this trail is 5 start all the way

Did this trail today. got a fairly early start. around 830 am. went to the left at the fork and did the part of the trail not by the river first. did not encounter any people until 4 miles in. then started getting populated. by far the best trail I have done on Fla. very well kept and maintained. no chance of getting twisted around and lost. wildlife everywhere. extreme natural terrain. lots of shade, roots and natural road blocks. I enjoyed every minute. took my 4 legged hiking companion and will absolutely do it again

hiking
14 days ago

All of the reviews I’ve read are pretty spot on to this trail. Lots of wildlife, lots of tree roots & beautiful scenic views. We saw several gators & snakes. Be cautious if you have your furry friends. Bug spray is a must.

trail running
16 days ago

Just finished running this trail. Started at about 10 am Tuesday and only saw two groups of people and one guy who looked like he camped out there. When I got to the fork at the beginning, I choose to go right. This is a loop trail so I'm breaking this into two parts. Since I went right, IMHO, the first half was by far the best part of the trail. I saw baby alligators, birds and squirrels. The trail was really lush, green, and flanked on both sides by water. I kept stopping to take pictures. At one point a flying insect as big as my hand landed on my shirt. After lots of screaming and flailing, it didn't go away, so i had to calmly and bravely remove it from my shirt. Ballsy little bugger!
The second half of the trail was drier and less lush- only a couple squirrels and one angry woodpecker; I didn't take many pictures.
The trail itself is extremely well maintained with fresh bridges and clean trails. There are some big roots and trees to maneuver around, so watch out for those. There are also toe grabbers so watch your step. The trail is 98%shaded, no sunscreen required, but bring water and bug spray. A camera is great.

This was a great hike. We saw lots of toothy critters. One 10’ gator about 2’ off the side of the trail that didn’t move until we almost stepped on it. Keep your eyes open in the early morning as the sun starts to peak through the trees. Most of the entire trail is under the canopy. Can not wait to do it again.

hiking
28 days ago

Extremely well-maintained and family-oriented. This is the type of serene, scenic trail I have been looking for in the area and I absolutely loved it. The signage is great and the visitor center is informative. Excellent trails, we will definitely be back.

Lots of wildlife!

This is now one of my favorite trails.

Nice trail, however I recommend doing during the week... weekends get pretty busy!

hiking
1 month ago

Excellent views. Weekends can start to get busy; only 3 cars Sat AM, but by noon upon departure there was 30 cars in the parking area. This trail write up should be updated as it is not "lightly" traveled. Regardless, well worth a visit. I've noted a few folks recommending to use go clockwise on the loop to have cooler wind by the trails end. Much of the trail is shaded. Just be careful if you tend to fatigue early, as the river edge portion of the trail has more roots and requires more strength/agility.

This trail is beautiful. Wewalked this trail with an 8 year old in about 4 hours on2/3/18. We saw lots of wildlife including birds, snakes, gators. Can't wait to go back.

Nice breeze during the summer, lots of shade and pretty river views, great to stop and wade in the river when it gets too hot. Very dog friendly.

I hike this trail as often as I get. The wildlife can't be beat. Before hurricane Irma, the playful bears would be out during the day, gators all over the place, even Bob cats and tons of deer and one time and one time only, I was walking with my husband and he grabbed me and pointed to the trail ahead, and about 25ft in front of us was the most beautiful panther walking the trail before us. AMAZING! However, since Irma flooded the area, I've found most animals have been misplaced and haven't returned just yet. But the over all trail is beautiful. Some areas have been washed out from the flood but still easy to pass through. I always recommend this trail to friends and family. Always remember, take nothing but memories, and leave nothing but footprint.

nature trips
1 month ago

Had a nice time! Saw a skink on the white trail, and several birds I’m sure enthusiasts would enjoy as well.

Desoto is a great hiking spot, which also has a guided history lesson. The hiking path is both shell and boardwalk and is mostly shaded with mangroves and other trees. It usually is not too crowded unless they have a special event going on. Desoto is dog-friendly and also has places to swim and fish.

My now hubby proposed to me on this trail on 4/15/2016. I'm glad I had my hiking boots on, some parts are narrow and a bit challenging. Part of the trail rides along the St.Johns River. In summer some parts could be under water, did it in April it was dry. Wildlife is present, birds, otters, snakes, gators, and towards the end of the trail we saw deer as well. I definitely recommend this trail.

Fun hike! I actually would say it is easy/moderate due to soft sand, tree roots, and sloping path. Beautiful Florida landscapes and most of the trail all you hear is nature, very peaceful.

Nice walk along the river for a few miles. Easy 3 hour hike

I’ve hiked this trail maybe 30 times. It’s close to home and is very easy and short with minimal people. Lots of water views but I have to say that 80% of the time you get swarmed with the WORST bugs I’ve ever encountered hiking in Florida.

Great hike! Well maintained. A little busy. Lots of wildlife.

It’s reopened! And one of my favorite trails, hiked it many many times, always good for wildlife too

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.

I brought my family on this trail with me when I was visiting them in Orlando. They don't hike but enjoyed this trail. It's very beautiful and well-taken care of. lovely view of the lake and a nice get-away from the tourism vibe. We went in December and it was perfect weather to be in the woods.

Not moderate. Would have been more relaxing had there not been so many large groups. The trails are smaller and trying to squeeze people down a small path makes it less appealing.

hiking
3 months ago

OPEN! One of my favorite Florida trails. Usually go backwards (take a left at the fork on the first boardwalk) this way you end the hike along the breezy St. Johns.

reopened a of 12/13

hiking
4 months ago

Not many people. Downside was that you can hear cars passing be throughout the preserve.

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