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Florida Loop Trail is a 13.8 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Christmas, Florida that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, birding, and horses and is best used from September until April. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 13.8 mi Elevation gain 52 ft Route type Loop

Dogs on leash

Hiking

Horseback riding

Bird watching

Forest

River

Views

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Bugs

Muddy

Over grown

Description
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Facilities
Contact
Tips
Getting There

This hike takes you through a multitude of Florida ecosystems from sandy and dry to loamy and wet as you hike towards the St. John's River. Florida doesn't have altitude to speak of but the minuscule elevation changes have drastic impacts on the vegetation and habitats you walk through. Numerous bird and insect species are present and easily visible and there is a chance to see wild hogs, snakes, and other large species. If you're craving a getaway from urban central FL this is a MUST but this hike is not suitable for very novice hikers and children due to the remoteness and potential to be wading through ankle deep water even during dry season. This loop will take you through pine flatwoods, wet flatwoods, forested wetlands, and freshwater marsh as you combine the Myrtle Point Trail, the Blues Head Trail, and part of the Florida National Scenic Trail (hereafter referred to as the Florida Trail). This trail will be very underwater, hot, and buggy in summer/rainy-season so avoid it during those months unless you like hiking through (potentially) thigh deep water. Also be aware that hunting is allowed in certain portions of this park depending on season. Check the hunting calendar at the entrance and wear bright colors.

This WMA has pit toilets spread at various points throughout the park, picnic areas, campsites, equestrian trails, equestrian campsites, canoeing, hunting, and fishing. Camping is closed during hunting season except to thru-hikers on the Florida National Scenic Trail. There is no RV camping within the park. Small day use fee for hikers of $3/vehicle. Unmanned information kiosk that you self pay at. There is no restroom accessible on this hike. The nearest restroom is north of the trail head on St. Nicholas Rd. at the park lot for the campsites.

Tosohatchee WMA is managed by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). Tosohatchee WMA Website: http://myfwc.com/viewing/recreation/wmas/lead/tosohatchee/ The Tosohatchee WMA Office can be reached at (407) 568-5893.

Navigation: Definitely stay away of the trail blazes (blazes are usually colored paint on tree trunks that mark the trail but occasionally small colored signs nailed to tree trunks) as the marsh section has few trees and the grass is waist to should high. Getting lost could be a problem for the novice unfamiliar with blazes. The FL trail sections are very well blazed. Myrtle Point and Blues Head trails are marked well but are very spaced out in the marsh sections so you have to look in the distance a bit more to find them (aka, don't do this loop at night). Weather: Florida is very hot and humid and about a quarter of this hike is unshaded so bring plenty of water and sunscreen. This trail will be very underwater, hot, and buggy in summer/rainy-season so I would absolutely avoid it during those months unless you like hiking through (potentially) thigh deep water. Regardless of time of year expect unavoidable water and mud through the entire marsh section of the trail. Animals: During the wet season your chance of running into snakes and possibly alligators will go up. Keep that in mind. Also unless it is the middle of winter/dry-season you will encounter a fair number of mosquitoes. Welcome to FL. Please note that ticks are present and active in this area. During my hike in early November I encountered no less than 40 ticks on myself and my dog so bring bug repellent and do a tick check when you finish the hike. I found this to be a minor inconvenience but if you are unfamiliar with ticks this may be a deal breaker for you.

General: Tosohatchee WMA can be driven to within an hour or less from Apopka, Orlando, Sanford, Titusville, Cocoa, and Melbourne since it is just off State Road 528 and State Road 520. There is only one entrance to the park and only one main road to the trailhead. Getting to the Trailhead: This loop occurs entirely in the Tosohatchee Wildlife Management Area (sometimes called the Tosohatchee St. Game Preserve) which is 25 miles east of downtown Orlando. Take State Road 528 just east of Orlando and exit onto State Road 520 Northbound. Drive north for just over 1 mile to Taylor Creek Rd. Turn right onto Taylor Creek Rd and continue for 2.5 miles to the park entrance on the right. Once in the park you will be on maintained dirt roads. Pay the small day use fee of $3 and continue East (straight) on Beehead Rd, this will intersect with St. Nicholas Rd. Turn North (left) on St. Nicholas Rd, pass under the large power lines and continue straight. Look for a grass and dirt lot with a sign for Park Area #5 on your right. This is the start and end of the loop at Myrtle Point Trail. The loop trail: Head east from Parking Lot #5 onto Myrtle Point Trail (there is a sign and red blazes). Take Myrtle Point Trail approximately 3 miles until it turns into Blues Head Trail (there will be calf-level signs noting the juncture). Continue generally south on Blues Head Trail for ~1.25 miles until you intersect the Florida Trail (orange blazes), head west (to the right) on the Florida Trail for ~2.5 miles until it intersects Myrtle Point Trail. Take a left and head west on Myrtle Point Trail for just under 1 mile until you reach the park lot. All distances here are estimates.

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Reviews (3)
Photos (20)
Recordings (6)
Completed (8)
Tori Munro
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJanuary 9, 2019

BEAUTIFUL trails. There is a 3$ entry fee! I love all of the animals and it’s great that my dog could come along... but the ticks are ATROCIOUS. Between my dog and I, I picked off about 20. I would do a MANDATORY tick check if you are thinking of coming here. It’s beautiful. But you will be full of ticks.

Jacob Zehnder
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 13, 2016
Hiking
First to Review

Debatably my favorite hike in FL (and one of my top 10 in the entire Southeast). A great way to see what FL used to look like before we drained all of it as you cross through beautiful pine/palm forests into the marsh and back. Fun wet/mud hike if you aren't afraid of getting dirty. My dog came with me and loved playing in the marsh!!! I would highly suggest avoiding it during summer because the water would be very high in the marsh and the bugs and humidity would be out of control.

Steve Heranic
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMay 18, 2019
Hiking
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