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Topic: Exploratory hikes near Orlando, late Sept/early Oct< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 09 2012, 8:58 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I may have an opportunity to do a couple of 8-10 mi-ish dayhikes near Orlando end of this month or early next. I searched the form and saw the link to the outintheboonies website and also looked at the FTA site.

When I go to a new area I usually like to do an exemplar hike of one physiographic or ecological region, then go to a different type of natural area for another hike.

If there are a couple of distinct ecoregions within about 1.5 hours of Orlando, what are the one or two best hikes in each ecoregion in the 8-10 mile class that aren't, say, underwater in late Sept/early Oct?

We might also have an opportunity for a shortish beach hike on the east coast, would appreciate suggestions for as natural/quiet a spot as possible, not too far away from, say, Cape Canaveral, in the same end of Sept/beginning of Oct time frame.

I've never been to FL before, would appreciate your patient pointers! Thanks.
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 09 2012, 9:07 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Lake Kissimmee State Park has some nice hikes and typical Florida history.

The Ocala Natl Forest is a bit north, but I've always thought it would be a good place to hike and see Florida in its natural state.
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 10 2012, 7:52 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I second Ocala if you are looking for a longish hike.

To make a shorter day of it, look into Little Big Econ State Forest, it is known as a great hike along the river and an old railway bed.

Charles H Bronson State Forest is also the newest and I have heard great things about the 7 mile hike there.

Just remember Sept/Oct might not be that cold yet, so wear good bug/tick protection.


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"Long you live and high you fly. And smiles you'll give and tears you'll cry. And all you touch and all you see, is all your life will ever be." -Pink Floyd
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 11 2012, 7:06 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Oh and I missed the part about the beach. Canaveral National Seashore is a great place to hike. On the south end, starting in Bethune Beach, there is Turtle Mound, The Eldora State house, Seminole Rest, and Apollo Beach. The road ends and you can hike the beach all the way to the south end through Klondike Beach to Playalinda Beach (I think it is a long hike though 13ish miles between where the road ends and starts again). Klondike Beach is the nudist beach in case you care.

Another option is to drive into the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge and then hike around in there (you'll have to stay on the road because it is swampy).

Here's the map


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"Long you live and high you fly. And smiles you'll give and tears you'll cry. And all you touch and all you see, is all your life will ever be." -Pink Floyd
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 11 2012, 8:36 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks for the suggestions!

To clarify, the beach hike (with others) would need to be a lot shorter than the other two, but still as quiet and wild as possible.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 02 2012, 11:00 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I wound up doing a circuit in Little Big Econ link to trip except the photos didn't come through (sync trouble either with the new iOS 6 or trying to sync two trips at once from the Backpacker iPhone app, which sometimes seems to be programmed by the people who maintained this forum a couple of years ago ;) ). The map I downloaded from the FTA web site was pretty sketchy (as in, the state forest polygon actually appeared in draw order above the river...) but I followed my nose up the rail bed and back around an apparently newish white-blazed trail. No mud and no bugs!

On that day with the 1st hike being a little short, I drove over through Titusville to get Krystal (we aren't that cultured in PA) and then did a couple of little hikes on Merritt Island (the Palm/Oak Hammock trails, and Scrub Ridge) plus bought a book at the visitor center. (We did go to the beach by Playalinda the day before, after the Space Center Visitor Complex closed.)

On my other non-theme park day but still abbreviated, I went to Juniper Spring in Ocala NF and walked back and forth to Fern Hammock Spring. The map at the gate shack only showed the campground area and the concession stand only had the same map so I didn't try to extend the hike on the FT or into the wilderness area with no clue about where I was going. I stopped for a while in a rustic city park in Mount Dora to see a bit about what a Florida lake was about - had found that mentioned in the AAA book of all things.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 03 2012, 7:04 am Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

Sounds like you had a good time. Little Big Econ is my favorite local hike. We love to camp there too, it is really like a secret wilderness in this big city :)

Glad you made it over to the coast. One of these days, I am going to beach camp again at Canaveral National Seashore. We had such a great time doing that last time.


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"Long you live and high you fly. And smiles you'll give and tears you'll cry. And all you touch and all you see, is all your life will ever be." -Pink Floyd
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