5.3 miles
167 feet
Out & Back

dog friendly

kid friendly






trail running




wild flowers


Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Hurricane Lake is huge! I have not found a true 'loop' around the lake such as the ones around Karick or Bear lakes nearby, but decided that doing a little out and back to the Blackwater River could be fun. I started at the quiet "North Hurricane Lake" campground, and parked my car at the boat ramp there. Its fairly cheap, I think about $2 per person. I have a yearly pass that is good for any Florida state forest for only $45. If you don't want to support the Florida forest system, you can probably park at the bridge that goes over the Blackwater River along Kennedy Bridge road and hike it backwards.

The trail itself is actually the Florida Trail, so it kind of goes indefinitely south, or to Alabama to the north. I did just 2.5 out and turned around. Honestly I was pretty surprised; it was gorgeous. I mean it is still Florida though. You first hike over the dam of the lake, then it tracks through pine forest that had been burned a year or so ago. There wasn't much underbrush, but instead tall grass filled with various wildflowers. It felt kind of meadow-y. It was very very peaceful, and I didn't see another track on the trail. However, the trail had been mowed fairly recently which made me feel better about spotting any potential slithering creatures.

There are a few little signs along the trail that have fallen into disrepair that were there to mark certain plant species. I did this hike on the first day of fall weather for NW Florida, and can imagine that it was in the middle of summer would be really hot. So, plenty of water for summer, and maybe bug spray even though I didn't encounter and problems with bugs. The trail itself is marked pretty well with blue blazes. Every once in a while there were fallen trees that had at one time marked the trail, so I had to refer to the satellite map to keep me on track. Another note, if you are like me and like to download the maps from this app onto your phone, do so BEFORE you get to the campground. There is zero service for me at the campground (ATT), and occasionally one bar would pop up randomly along the actual trail. Other than that, if you are looking for some solitude, head out here. It was so absolutely peaceful, and the campground itself seemed really nice and quiet if you want to do some camping as well.