Monday, January 18, 2016

Farewell to the Suwannee

Little Shoals - one of the first Suwannee River sights the northbound hiker encounters, and one of the last for me.

"Key West or Bust" - Day 90

Hiked fifteen miles today.  It was divided between my last glimpses of the Suwannee River and a road walk that got me to Osceola National Forest.

The Suwannee feels like an old friend.  The Florida Trail follows this river for far longer than any other watercourse.  I spent five magical days along its north banks, and today I crossed it on US 41 and spent a couple last hours following its south shore.  Here's the view from the US 41 bridge.

Then it was on to the road walk.  Most road walks bore me, but there were some fun things today.  There was this perfect picturesque pasture with pond and pine

Friendly mules looking for a hand-out

And I spotted some wildlife, including a fellow road-walker.

For Florida Trail Association members there is a brief interlude off-road through the Mitchell tract - private land that is apparently owned by somebody who cares about long distance hikers.  They've provided this cute, quirky 'Frog Hollow Shelter' and some well-maintained trail.

By the end of the day I was at Deep Creek trailhead on the threshold of Osceola Forest.  This section of trail is entirely different from the Suwannee.  That's one of the great features of the Florida Trail - it provides change-of-pace - big chunks of trail with very different character.  What does Osceola have in store?  See tomorrow's entry.

Meanwhile, here's the track from today's hike, with links to more photos.

Suwannee River to Osceola Nat'l Forest at EveryTrail
EveryTrail - Find the best hikes in California and beyond

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