Florida Trail: Clearwater Lake to Alexander Springs is a 9.6 mile lightly trafficked point-to-point trail located near Astor, Florida and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and mountain biking and is best used from November until May.
I want to begin by apologizing for underestimating Central Florida's section of the FNST. This Hike was B.E.A.utiful!
We did it (04.01.2017) from Alexander Springs to Clearwater. It was hot (89°F)! especially the sand scrub section (no canopy coverage). That didn't last too long, however, so it was still very pretty!
At the beginning it looks like everything else in Central Florida (I hike here a lot), then moves onto the sand scrub, to a more jungle like area (with a couple of boardwalks) to just forest. The canopy coverage does open and close from time to time, so the sun still gets to you. The most scenic part of it all was between FR69 to Clearwater trailhead. Didn't even look like Florida and had very obvious elevation changes (didn't expect that).
Definitely more than 11 miles and we didn't see any bear or deer, just an armadillo, a scorpion and the usual birds and insects. Watch out for ticks and mosquitos.
I'm more than likely going back to hike and camp on the trail. But I'll probably wait until after summer...yeesh!
Parked at Clearwater Friday afternoon. Hiked 3 miles in to set up camp. Hiked to Alexander Springs Saturday morning and then continued out 3 miles past Farles Prairie before turning back. Set up camp just south of 19 and returned to Clearwater Sunday. Saturday was a big day-28 miles. Great hike!
Alexander springs to buck lake. From thicK Forrest to pine trees to beach type bush. Saw deer, heard wild hogs & birds and had to keep plucking ticks off my clothes.
Florida Trail, nice rolling pines, well marked with benches every mile or so.
cross Florida Trail, nice rolling pines, well marked, benches every mile or so.
nice rolling pine forest, easy well marked
Just got back from a Juniper Springs to Alexander Springs overnight hike. The trail was beautiful with varying landscapes and lots of wildlife, saw a young black bear, a deer, and a coyote. It was a relatively easy 17 miles, even though you do get the uphill experience going over the scrub pine islands. Either way by the time I hit Alexander Springs I was ready for a dip. The water was cool and refreshing and a perfect end to the day.
On a negative side note I stepped in a tick nest somewhere along the trail and the ticks took up residence in my shoes and socks. Literally thousands on my ankles, feet, and in my socks/shoes. I recommend spraying your socks and shoes with Deet before you go out there. I know I will from now on.
Did this hike in early march just after a cold front so the nights were a little cold but overall weather was great. First day was from clearwater lake to alexander springs. Pretty easy hike of about 10 miles. Second day after getting water from the ranger station we hiked to juniper springs, about 17 miles. Being our first multi day hiking trip, it took about 11 hours to get there and we were beat. The scenery was gorgeous and would definitely do it again.
We hiked from Alexander Springs to Clearwater Lake. This is half of the trail from Clearwater to Juniper, it was a great hike. There was good water on this leg of the trail and plenty to look at. Only problem was we ran out of day light and had to trek about 3 miles in the dark before setting up camp, AGHHHH!! Another problem is that there is a section that reminded ny son and I of the DEAD FORREST in Lord of the Rings!! This was due to the section had been burned down and was just recovering. Other than that great trip and I would recommend it to hikers.