Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The Bogs of Bradwell Bay - closing the book

The short, deep ford of Monkey Creek

"Key West or Bust" - Day 74

As reported previously, I hiked the bulk of Bradwell Bay's bog during an advance scouting trip.  Today it was chilly, so I was glad I had that section finished and could bypass it - the section between the South and West trailheads.  Instead I hiked Forest Road 329 around the rim of the wet part of the wilderness area.

But I still had a bit of unfinished business with Bradwell Bay's wetlands: the bit between the South Trailhead and the Monkey Creek trailhead.  That 1.7 miles was the only piece of Florida Trail I hiked on this short day, because I got a late start.

A short day means a short report.  The boggy bits I bagged today were brief at best.  There was the crossing of a tributary to Monkey Creek.  That was a ten-foot ford.  I only brought two feet with me today so I had to use each of them five times.

Then came the main event, featured in the headline photo above.  Fording Monkey Creek was fun because this is a flowing stream, so the footing is firm and sandy.  There were deep places - thigh deep or more - but by judicious choice of a route, I never went in over my knees.

After that there were just two sorry looking boggy spots not worth mentioning - normally - except that they provide this prose-peddler a place to press a pair of particular points.  One patch presented a puny purple pitcher plant perched precariously on the path, prone to pummeling by plodding pedestrians.

... and secondly these two insignificant bog patches are notable simply for the fact that they were the sole additional representatives of this 'wet part' of the Bradwell Bay wilderness hiking experience.

It was far less than 'advertised' and it was all over in three quarters of a mile - the wet stuff, I mean.  The rest of the 1.7 miles of this little leg of Florida Trail was through dry forest and savanna.

Next, as I continue east/south, comes the dry part of the Bradwell Bay wilderness experience.  It was indeed bone dry every step of the way.  Look for that report next.

Below is a map of today's hiking, mostly road walk along FR 329.  There are a few more photos to see in the EveryTrail report.

Monkey Creek in Bradwell Bay Wilderness at EveryTrail
EveryTrail - Find the best Hiking near Tallahassee, Florida

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