Florida Trail – Stage 4 – North Florida

Start:  Winquepin St./CR 255IMG_5669

Finish:  The 88 Store, Ocala National Forest

Distance217.4 miles (349.9 km)

Time:  7 days (December 24-30, 2011)

Daily Average:  31.1 miles (50 km)

Total Distance: 651.1 miles (1047.7 km)

Highlights: 

  • Suwannee River: Despite the low water levels, the section along the Suwannee made for pleasant walking.
  • Sunset over Ocean pond.
  • A bear sighting close to Hoffman’s Crossing, just south of SR100.

Lowlights:

  • Camera: The last of my camera batteries died just before White Springs. Due to a mix up with resupply boxes, I was without a functioning camera from White Springs through to Paisley.

Notes & Musings:

  • Hunting Season:  My most important piece of gear for the FT was not a pack, sleeping bag or shelter. It was instead a $12 blaze orange vest which I wore almost every day of my walk. Orange clothing of some description is an absolute must during hunting season. Indeed, during the first 80% of the hike I must have seen 30 or 40 hunters for every one hiker. Most of the hunters were pretty cool and I didn’t have a single issue throughout my entire walk. One thing I did notice, however, was that virtually all of them (at least 90 %) were overweight. The bulk of their hunting seemed to be done from their pickup trucks. This was in contrast to hunters I met in the Appalachians, whom for the most part seemed to be stalking their prey the old fashioned way, ie. on foot.  The conclusion I drew from this observation was that as a group, Floridian hunters tend to be somewhat more horizontally challenged than their northern brethren.

 


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