Explore the most popular trails near Astor with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Astor, Florida Map
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Solid trail. Nothing particularly mind-blowing to see but the sink hole is cool. This was a good way to kill a couple hours outside on a nice day, but don't expect to be wow'ed.

What started as a planned two-night backpack hike at a leisurely pace turned into something different. I headed out 3pm Friday and hiked 4.5 miles. I set up camp to enjoy a nice quiet evening under the stars. Right around 8 pm everything changed. Convoys (Maybe 15) of 4x4 trucks started down the Forestry Services roads. Then between 9pm - 1am the hounds were running all over the park tracking deer. The gun fire was the whipped cream on the cake. This was not an occasional shot, there were semi auto discharges (of multiple calibers) as late as 3:30 am. I decided to leave the next day after making it to Alexander springs after finding fresh 45 cal shell casings on the path back to Clearwater Trailhead. Hunting season was supposed to start the next week, so I am very curious as to what was going on.

My advice, do not go camping in this area until Forestry can address this (if they address this). Look at when Hunting season is avoid planning your camping trip close to that time. Thankfully my family were not with me. Also, this is not a 9.3 mile hike per this site. This is more than 11 miles one way.

Been on this trail multiple times and it never ceases to amaze!

hiking
3 months ago

Wish it was better maintained!

The nature was beautiful the history was awesome. The only complaint I think we had the whole trip was the lack of maintained trail makers and the sign and map on the way in we're so faded you could not read them.

Starting from Clearwater Lake the first 6 miles are wonderful. A bit of roll through a pine Forrest and then down into the typical Central Florida lowland. The final three miles are also rather pretty with a most excellent boardwalk closing out the FT segment. But the middle 3 miles are pretty much Mordor. The look is a 3 year ago fire took most of the trees, leaving the occasional 20 foot high charred stick. What has replaced the pine scrub is 6 foot high dense undergrowth with complete sun exposure. Add in silly me choosing a cloudless July afternoon to take the stroll and this Frodo is asking Golum for directions by mile 7. But hey, it's a hike not a Disney walk so part of the why we do this stuff is dealing with what the day throws at you. Finally the Pines return and you take the boardwalk and then the final half mile along a bike friendly path to the front gate of Alexander Springs Park - here is where this day gets special. You walk past the bathing suit picnickers to the waters edge. You wade into an incredibly cool, sandy bottom, Florida Spring that melts the sand and sweat into that special feeling of a diem well seized.

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!

Enjoyed this hike and all the historical points of interest along the way! I wish I had read the book The Yearling first.

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!

hiking
10 months ago

I loved this walk mid-January, but would never recommend when the temperature isn't cool. The cemetery and sinkhole are cool gems. Lots of history. You will get some sun.

walking
Sunday, November 06, 2016