ohv/off road driving
over grown
9 days ago

2 days of Longleaf Trail. Easy driving with our 2020 Honda Pilot Black Edition. No major issues except for some overgrown vegetation areas. If you have an SUV, stay on the Yellow Trail. The other trails are overgrown.

First backpacking experience. This trail was great! really well maintained. This destroyed my calves and traps but it was well worth it. Going to try to lighten my pack and try another section when weather cools down.

hiking
bugs
over grown
15 days ago

St. Francis Yellow trail and Blue trail were both open as of 5/16/20. Great 8 mile hike for blue trail and 2 mile high for yellow trail. The trail was a bit overgrown in some areas, however not at all in the way of hiking. There were many ticks to worry about. Just keep checking yourself for them often. Nice overlook of St. John’s river. Would do it again. Nice shaded path in most areas. Also not all of the path is flat which was fun.

hiking
blowdown
bugs
off trail
27 days ago

I've hiked 3 out & back segments of the FNST trail from the SR-19 TH & 2x from Farles Prairie Recreation Area (8 miles, 6 miles & 8.5 miles.) The Florida Trail through the Ocala National Forest is my favorite hiking trail in Florida. I'm looking forward for many more hikes & aspiring to section hike the entire trail through the Ocala National Forest. Thus far, I've seen an alligator, snake, scorpion, bear & an array of species of spiders. My only objections are the infestation of ticks & I've been bitten at least once by a Lone Star tick; also the number of blow downs that require circumventing off trail. I also experienced a serious incident with hooligans firing off guns unknowingly in my vicinity & with no cell coverage to call 911. I would highly recommend hiking with a partner & safety in numbers.

Still closed..

This trail is currently closed.

Trail has been well kept. Lots of shade. Several creeks. Nice trail.

The hiking trail was nice and shaded. However we were covered in ticks. Even after I got home I took a shower and when I got out still found another. Can’t say that I would be going back.

I loved it. The area between 314 and 316 was the least interesting (though I did see some scrub jays). The area just north of 316 was my favorite part-- lots of deer moss. There are a lot of off road vehicle trails through here and a huge camp for them at Lake Delancey (I was disappointed to find that). The Rodman Dam area is beautiful. Lots of bear poop near Prairie Pond area. be cautious.

hiking
bugs
2 months ago

We were looking forward to the trip but were overwhelmed by the amount of bugs and wildlife on the trail- watch out for snakes. SO MANY BUGS. I’d recommend wearing long sleeves, pants and socks if trying out this trail. The path was overgrown and had fallen trees blocking the path. We cut the trip short, turning around at about 2 miles in.

We only did the yellow trail due to time. The trail was well shaded and dry but we came back covered in ticks. Between the three of us and our dog we pull off over twenty ticks. Furthermore, I was surprised we had so many considering we stayed on the trail path the entire time and hardly had any brush in our way.

We hike this stretch regularly with our scouts from Central Florida. The first 5 miles north from Clearwater Lake have some shade, but the last 5 miles are in the prairie scrub brush with not much shade to speak of, maybe a couple spots to take a hiking break. You should plan to hike that stretch before noon if you are in the warmer months of the year. We do our 21 mile day hike for the Hiking merit badge from Clearwater Lake to Alexander Springs and back. We don't attempt this from April to October, as the afternoon heat is pretty brutal. It has plenty of nice campsites along the way, one right where the blue blaze spur trail goes to Alexander Springs, so only about 1/2 mile from the park if you haven't reserved a campsite in advance. Plenty of nice areas to camp near the Clearwater Lake end of this trail too.

3 months ago

One of the best sections of the FL trail. Prairie after prairie. I saw a family of river otters just doing their thing in a prairie pond for about an hour on the way north. Do this trail if you're close. stay at Juniper springs for sunrise over the water (take a dip early morning too), hike out then catch sunset at hopkins prairie. its spiritual.

hiking
bugs
muddy
3 months ago

Less and less maintained as you get further along. Can be quite muddy in some areas. Some areas you could get lost if you weren’t looking out for the trailblazers. Heard a large number of gun shots close by. Not sure if there is a range or if someone was out having “fun.” My hiking partner picked up some ticks. Quick picnic by the river at the end was peaceful.

We did the trail over a 2 night stay. Very well marked. BRING WATER. Even though both camp sites are on ponds they are really muddy and will clog your filters really quick. They are the only sources of water on the hike. The first campsite was great. The second campsite is actually a atv campsite. We were there Sunday night and it was all cleared out. But With the amount of people leaving and the amount of trash (beer cans, whiskey bottles, etc) they left behind led me to believe you did not want to be there on Friday or Saturday night. It costs $5 for a campsite, but not at all primitive. Ticks where out, but I sprayed all my clothing and gear including my dogs pack the day before we left and neither of us got bit the whole time. all in all pretty nice hike

nature trips
bridge out
muddy
3 months ago

Nice trail. One of the little bridges is rotten. You can still get across if you are ok with a little mud.

The is a good out and back to discover Hidden Pond (over populated at night). Better hike is from Hopkins Prairie to Rodman Dam.

Beautiful trail: well maintained and marked. We hiked out with the intention of camping at Alexander Springs Park, if you plan to camp on park site be sure to call ahead and reserve a spot and get there before park closes. Luckily for us, there were several spots along the trail to pitch camp. There were a few streams to filter water and lots of spots to just plop and take a load off. Great trail!

This was a nice trail. Either way you go to the left or to the right it's a nice walk. Very little road perhaps a quarter of a mile. Where there's mud they have built walk overs. The walk overs in the bridges are maintained well. The trails maintained well. There were some soggy spots but really nothing to worry about. I give this one a 5 star.

Hiked the short trail this morning. Beautiful palms and live oaks. Well maintained. Even at 70 in the shade you’ll appreciate a long sleeve shirt or light jacket. Very nice.

Awesome walk!

Great trail, one section with a tiny bit of mud but it can be navigated around.

Do not try to follow the directions you get from all trails by clicking the link unless you have a very capable 4wd vehicle with very high clearance. It will try to tell you to go down FR50 which is a forestry road with very high ruts and extreme sugar sand pits. Better to find a place where Florida Trail intersects a paved road. I just hiked in via the forestry roads which I don't recommend as its like walking on the beach, very tiring. The trail itself is very beautiful and peaceful once you get away from the roads. Besides the two stranded fellows on the way out I did not see a soul out on the trail so its very lightly trafficked in January.

Moving slowly and stopping to cook lunch, it took me 5 hours from start to finish. Camped just south of Alexander Springs on often-used campground. On the way back, moving quickly I managed to do the same distance in 3.5 hours. Saw a few white tail deer, and the trail was well marked.

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