hiking

dogs on leash

forest

walking

wildlife

nature trips

camping

kid friendly

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.

Nice visit. Brief. You can hear hwy40. Entry fee of $5 is worth it. Nice boardwalk. Not a Florida state forest. Not a Florida state park. Some type a private entity.

Good trail but hard pass around loop,

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail. Could use a few more double blazes
At some of the confusing area Thanks FTA for the great boardwalks and bridges. Was prepared for the mosquitos but not the ticks, oh my. But still a great day and hike.

Nice area for birding with lots of elevation changes

hiking
2 months ago

Great day hike out to the spring. Planning a weekend stay around the spring loop soon.

Nice tree canopy, not a lot of litter like I've seen on other trails, bring bug spray the skeeters are huge, I saw loads of wildlife even had several woodpeckers follow me through the trail. This is one of the better trails I've been on. Good stuff, always remember. Take nothing but memories, leave nothing but footprints. Enjoy fellow hikers.

Since we were going only to hike, the very short walk to the spring amidst swimmers was not worth the $10 park entry.

hiking
2 months ago

Disappointed to drive 3 hours to hike this trail, only to find it closed due to Bear Activity. Oh well, plenty of other beautiful trails in the forest

Blazes were poorly marked and very few and far between.

3 months ago

This trail is beautiful but we found the area to be very unsafe. I would give the natural wildlife 5 stars, but the local wildlife gets 0.

I've backpacked around Florida in the Econnolatchee areas and up in Washington State, so my boyfriend and I knew to keep all food and smellables in a bear bag. We were really excited about the hike based on the reviews and history we had read about on All Trails. We camped one night and our walk in was a little muddy but fairly dry and spiderless. We were greeted by a manatee gasping for breath when we finally reached riverside. There was some trash but we didn't think too much about it. Needless to say everything was great until about 11:30 PM when some ATVers rolled up a few feet from our sleeping bags.

Turns out the road where the trail meets the river (at the end) is public access and the locals go up here to party. This is why it is littered with garbage and apparently no restriction on ATVs and offroading. If we had known this we would have never camped here. We ended up getting visits from 3 different groups of people that night and the last group cut our bear bag and stole all of our food and toiletries. (Hope you enjoy our used toothbrushes and mixed nuts).

We are used to camping with other people around, but the problem with this campsite is that it has access to public back roads that only interest people that want to party away from the cops. This place is not camper friendly and is a day use area only.

Walked to Hidden Pond over MLK. Beautiful scenery and friendly people. Parked at Juniper Springs and walked out and back. Highly recommend. Plenty of water sources out there

camping
4 months ago

We completed the east portion of the trail and camped by the river at St Francis in mid January. West part of the trail was still too wet and muddy, so we returned back the same way we came avoiding the swampy part of the loop.
Weather was beautiful with 55 during the day and 39 degrees at night. Starry night sky, beautiful nature with unfortunate signs of human presence in the form of dropped cans and food wraps that we picked up on the way back.
No mosquitoes. Saw remains of armadillo who became someone’s dinner and presence of bears , but no bears themselves. Still very glad we hanged the food and garbage high up on the tree branch at night. Saw a white tail deer.
There is nothing left of town of St Francis. The nature claimed it back completely.

Nice marked path easy to navigate through. Was warned about tics but didn’t have not one on us.

Incredible 21 mile day hike! My group and I trekked the southern path starting from Juniper Springs Rec. Area, during the winter time, early Jan. 2018. This trail offers very diverse scenery, which was nice to stay engaged, and excited for what more you might discover. Highly recommend to anyone looking for a great and unique place to explore in FL!

We were only able to do about 2 miles on this trail and had to turn back. we had our dogs with us and they kept getting small thorns in their paws that were very painful. Not a good trail for dogs, unless they have feet protection.

on St. Francis Trail

hiking
4 months ago

AMAZING! Beautiful trail that took us by the St. Johns River with interesting topography. Pay attention to the trail markers. A couple of times we almost lost the trail but it was easy to double back. Not a lot of people there so a peaceful time spent in the woods.

hiking
5 months ago

The trail was great for me because I love a good adventure but for about a mile and a half or so the trail was completely under water up to about me knee from the hurricane I would definitely go again when the water goes down. On the trail I brought a pair of trekking poles which save my tail a few times from falling also I would where a pair of quick dry shoes because I wore a pair of heavy duty hiking boots and they took a good 3 days to dry. I also got a lot of really bad chigger bites that still itch every once in while and I went on the trail about 2 months ago so I would definitely wear and have bug spray and a lot of it. Anyway good luck.

Good trail to ease into the forest. Flat, palmettos, trees. Saw a deer when went off path. But, easy trail, no real points of interest. Good nature.

Good hike but, be aware there is hunting season so avoid very early morning or evening/night hikes. Wear bright colors and bring a whistle to make noise every so often to let know your presence and location.

hiking
5 months ago

Really nice trail. Well blazed. Water got too deep for me today. Will deff come back in the dry season to finish the whole loop. But what I saw today was beautiful. Old oak hammocks and pine flat woods. Worth going

no parking what so ever. no trail head. parking along side of hwy. 40 will get you very stuck or your vehicle broken into. on the plus side FL trails are beautiful with abundant wildlife. bring water, bug spray and have fun.

5 months ago

No parking. It was flooded after a thunderstorm the previous day. Nice trees.

hiking
5 months ago

I’m not sure this trail is really on AllTrails. But there are two of them. Lake eaton One is a sinkhole there’s a boardwalk. It’s pretty amazing. I missed it the last time I was here somehow. The other is a trail around the lake. Lake eaton. You have a feeling of real isolation when you’re here. But you’re really not that far from Silver Springs. You know you stayed at the right hotel when at the elevator they show a map how to get to this place. I came early in the morning 6:30 AM I thought I might hear more birds. But still a very fun walk invigorating. 56°

hiking
6 months ago

Solid trail. Nothing particularly mind-blowing to see but the sink hole is cool. This was a good way to kill a couple hours outside on a nice day, but don't expect to be wow'ed.

What started as a planned two-night backpack hike at a leisurely pace turned into something different. I headed out 3pm Friday and hiked 4.5 miles. I set up camp to enjoy a nice quiet evening under the stars. Right around 8 pm everything changed. Convoys (Maybe 15) of 4x4 trucks started down the Forestry Services roads. Then between 9pm - 1am the hounds were running all over the park tracking deer. The gun fire was the whipped cream on the cake. This was not an occasional shot, there were semi auto discharges (of multiple calibers) as late as 3:30 am. I decided to leave the next day after making it to Alexander springs after finding fresh 45 cal shell casings on the path back to Clearwater Trailhead. Hunting season was supposed to start the next week, so I am very curious as to what was going on.

My advice, do not go camping in this area until Forestry can address this (if they address this). Look at when Hunting season is avoid planning your camping trip close to that time. Thankfully my family were not with me. Also, this is not a 9.3 mile hike per this site. This is more than 11 miles one way.

Absolutely stunning place to visit. Has a swimming hole and lots of camping. Recommend visiting here at least once

Nice trail with lots of water...wear your boots if it rains.

Been on this trail multiple times and it never ceases to amaze!

It was hot, spiders ruled, fallen trees from Irma, and all the plants left their marks.

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