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Scouting Outing Wrap Up, Florida National Scenic Trail in the East Track Green Swamp Preserve, Monday March 4, 2013

March 4, 2013

What a glorious cold day we had hiking the Florida National Scenic Trail (FNT) in the East Track of the Green Swamp. Three of us, Andy the blogger, Dan and Howard met at the Dunkin’ Donuts in North Lakeland and got to the trail head around 6. We had some difficulty finding the trail on the east side of SR 471, actually getting nervous about the heavy traffic along SR471 while crossing the bridge over the Withlacoocheee River. We hit the trail at 620 AM,  the light having very faint beginnings.

The sun has finally cleared the trees, but Dan and Howard are still feeling cold!

The sun has finally cleared the trees, but Dan and Howard are still feeling cold!

We hiked for an hour or some before  the Sun cleared the horizon. The trail is well marked and spends time moving along dirt roads and through the forest. The topography varies between cypress swamp depressions, mixed forest and pine uplands. We flushed a handful of herons from a cypress stand, feeling unused to see a such group of the stoic isolated birds congregated together.

One of the many well built bridges in the East  Track

One of the many well built bridges in the East Track

We found this coyote scat on one of the bridges

We found this coyote scat on one of the bridges

After about two hours of hiking, we hit the Main Line Road, an improved road that seems to basically take you back to the Rock Ridge Trail head. Instead of following this road, we decided to head back to the find the Semley Fish Hole and maybe do a little coffee social at the end.

The sun began to accentuate the stark greens of spring

The sun began to accentuate the stark greens of spring

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Howard and I took turns attempting to go off trail to find the fishing hole to no avail.  We returned to SR471 at around 11 AM. We all felt that the FNT was gorgeous through the swamp, with the variety of trees,  especially on a cool spring day. We felt that this part of the FNT gives one a wilderness experience.

On the way back, the trail crosses the Withlacoochee River on a fantastic bridge on Mainline Road

On the way back, the trail crosses the Withlacoochee River on a fantastic bridge on Mainline Road

Andy and Howard are now warmed up!

Andy and Howard are now warmed up!

So we headed back to Dunkin Donuts only to regret that we did not spend more time sipping coffee and reflecting on places to go or places we’ve been!

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Judith Acken permalink
    March 6, 2013 5:05 pm

    Love the photos. I THINK I could have handled that one!

  2. abquinn23 permalink
    March 5, 2013 10:11 am

    Margo….you can go on any scouting outing you like….Andy

  3. Margo Leiser permalink
    March 5, 2013 10:02 am

    I love these pictures. I cant wait to go hiking with you guys again. Happy Trails! – Margo

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