I'm glad I came back. But be warned it's the rainy season. You'll have to go through calf deep water just to get to the forest. Then a good 25% of the trails are underwater. Not even ankle deep. But you'll be sloshing along. A gator scampered off the trail by 10 feet in front of me. In to the water. The two-story Cabin is worth seeing. And all the bridges are just amazing. The Florida trail people do a fantastic job. Oh and thanks to brother Jim for the trekking poles they came in handy seriously

I did not get to spend much time here. But I'll definitely be back. You have to walk a half-mile in to get to the wooded part and two small sections of calf Deepwater. But the forest looks very interesting. Lots of spiderwebs and mosquitoes. But I really want to see the big cypress on my next visit.

hiking
5 months ago

I put this between three and four stars. It's definitely worth doing, but I probably wouldn't need to do it a second time. Quite an isolated trail (we didn't see a single other soul) and very dense for the first half before you get to the loop. Stick it out until you get to the loop, though, as it's worth it. The 8th largest Florida cypress is quite a sight. We also spotted five itty-bitty baby gators swimming in the creek. The 28 "bridges" over the rice field ditch dikes were interesting, too. After stopping to see the screened-in trail shelter, we continued onto the white trail, and then popped out to the timber road that runs parallel and back to the trailhead and parking area. I just didn't have it in me to re-navigate through that freaky dense part. 5.3 miles in all.

Beautiful hike along the creek, tons of wild life. We were crossing one of the bridges and on the embankment we saw like at least 10 baby gators, apart from that there were lots of birds, salamanders, possibly a boar? and of course plenty of bugs.

The campsite is also worth visiting, even if you're not staying overnight. There's a 2-story shelter that was built, affectionately named "Rice Creek Hilton". It's a great shady place to stop off for lunch or a snack.

The other main waypoint on this loop is the huge cypress tree, I believe the sign said it's the 8th largest in Florida and while you have to view it from a distance, it's definitely big.

This is one of my favorite hikes that I've done in Florida, it's a good challenge over a relatively short distance and of course hiking along part of the Florida Trail is always a bonus :)

Neat long "boardwalk". Lots of animals. Perfect weather.