Rice Creek Conservation Area Trails

HARD 8 reviews

Rice Creek Conservation Area Trails is a 5 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Springside, Florida that features a river. The trail is rated as difficult and primarily used for hiking and mountain biking.

DISTANCE
5.0 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
16 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

hiking

mountain biking

forest

river

wildlife

bugs

muddy

old growth

over grown

no dogs

Rice Creek was once a rice and indigo plantation. It is now floodplain swamp, flatwoods, and mixed forest. The area is also a key parcel for connecting Etoniah State Forest to the Cross Florida Greenway. The area serves as a wildlife corridor, connecting several large natural areas. Natural community diversity supports Florida black bear, white-tailed deer, turkey, river otter, wood duck and diverse migratory songbirds. Trails are rarely used. Wear DEET and carry a branch to clear spider webs. L trail is often muddy; W trail is always flooded. All worth it for Hoffman's Crossing, a 1,886-foot boardwalk.

hiking
3 months ago

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

hiking
3 months ago

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
7 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.

hiking
7 months ago

hiking
7 months ago

7 months ago

Beautiful!

hiking
7 months ago

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 :)

hiking
8 months ago

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