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Thread: Local Hikes

  1. #1
    Senior Member Blackford Oakes's Avatar
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    Default Local Hikes

    I'm searching for a nature hike of at least 8mi.. A place I cab get my boots dirty, spike my walking poles and enjoy nature.

    The Everglades come to mind but information online is lacking compared to places that offer mountainous terrain.
    It seems like Shark Valley is the most recommended, but I've done that on bike and walking on pavement doesn't appeal to appeal me. The Coastal Prairie is a trail that appeals to me and wonder if I should do that one. I hear rangers frown on you doing that, but I probably read reviews offered during the Summer.

    The Everglades is one of our most important national parks and immense. I personally don't have much experience there other going air boating and Shark Valley. I'm sure someone here can give me some options other than the lack of information I can find online. All the hike websites kind off diss SFL.

    I hear the Flamingo area is great, but again, lack of specifics online.

    Would appreciate suggestions. Emphasis on solitude, nature with some degree of difficulty.

  2. #2
    Moderator Jess's Avatar
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    Default Re: Local Hikes

    I mean... we have zero hills in SoFla. Have you thought about Oleta State Park. That's the first that comes to mind. They have acres of land to hike and they have mud runs etc.

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    Senior Member Blackford Oakes's Avatar
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    Default Re: Local Hikes

    Quote Originally Posted by Jess View Post
    I mean... we have zero hills in SoFla. Have you thought about Oleta State Park. That's the first that comes to mind. They have acres of land to hike and they have mud runs etc.
    Oleta is my fallback. I associate it more with biking, which I've done a half dozen times.

    Funny thing I read online is Virginia Key is touted as a top hiking destination in SFL. I don't see it.

    Last month I logged 43 miles in five days. After 42 years in LA, I finally hiked up to the Hollywood sign. It was unique from my shower view all those years. It's a 7 mile r/t hike, and after no sleep for 24 hrs and a full day already in LA my arrival day, it was a tough hike as I didn't respect the incline. I attacked it, instead of respecting it. A valuable lesson for the forthcoming days.

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    Obviously, Eddie Bauer is not going to tout FL and we have no mountains. I appreciate the Oleta suggestion. I still believe with all our flora and fauna, there is a trail in the Everglades that has the required length and awesome surroundings.

    I acknowledge I'm a Floridian now. My best hike last month was 15 miles in a canyon ( mostly flat ) in the San Gabriel Mountains. I don't necessarily associate hiking with mountains. I'm not going to get elevation in FL. I just want to play the local terrain and have a challenge.

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    Editor Matt Meltzer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Local Hikes

    You know that's pretty sad now that you ask, I can't think of any. Like ANY. This is why we'll never be a legitimate major city: We've sacrificed green space for condos and the recreational options -- unless you have a boat -- are limited.

    Try maybe Matheson Hammock or Bill Baggs park, but there's nothing that's going to compare to anything out west. Even Bakersfield has us beat.

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    Senior Member Blackford Oakes's Avatar
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    Default Re: Local Hikes

    I've seen a inviting hike a Bill Bagg's before the A parking lot. It seemed very inviting. Might have to do it to kill a curiosity. If you scope your surroundings, it won't amount to much.

    I'll do it as well as knee deep water treading in the Everglades. Prefer mountains but sometimes to have to settle with the local playing field.

  6. #6
    Editor Matt Meltzer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Local Hikes

    What are some good hikes up in Central FL, Blackford?

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    Senior Member Blackford Oakes's Avatar
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    Default Re: Local Hikes

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Meltzer View Post
    What are some good hikes up in Central FL, Blackford?
    The only one I've done so far is Wekiva Springs which does have some incline on their trails. I live very close to Disney's Wilderness Refuge which is an offset for the development of Disney World. It's dubbed the northern extreme of the Everglades. Will do that sooner than later.

    I'm going to assume the forest in Ocala is the best in state. The only other place if hiked in FL has at the Florida Caverns in Mariana, Fl...just S of Alabama state line. Nothing exciting but it broke up the 8 hr. drive to Destin nicely

    My only disappointment last month is I drove to Pt Mugu, only to find the nearby La Jolla Trail closed. With about 15 options nearby, I drove S to Zuma in Mailu and did the Zuma Ridge.

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    The next day, I hit up Angeles National Forest in the San Gabriel Mtns. and it was definitely my favorite new hiking spot.

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    On my last hike of 4, I did my old neighborhood hike, which today still remains my favorite for sentimental reasons.

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    Now that I'm back on flat land and infected with a desire to keep hiking, I'm screwed.
    Last edited by Blackford Oakes; 11-16-2015 at 12:32 PM.

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    Senior Member Blackford Oakes's Avatar
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    Default Re: Local Hikes

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Meltzer View Post
    You know that's pretty sad now that you ask, I can't think of any. Like ANY. This is why we'll never be a legitimate major city: We've sacrificed green space for condos and the recreational options -- unless you have a boat -- are limited.

    Try maybe Matheson Hammock or Bill Baggs park, but there's nothing that's going to compare to anything out west. Even Bakersfield has us beat.
    Both your mentions are mentioned on this site as the only hikes in Miami.

    http://floridahikes.com/southeast-florida

    So far, I think I identified a hike I really want to do in CFL by the St. John's River. I'll definitely will do it before the end of the year.

    http://floridahikes.com/black-bear-w...ess-loop-trail

    I haven't discounted the Everglades yet. The only problem I'm not sure it's worth wading in knee deep water in some parts and not knowing what lurks within the wild vegetation. The other half my brain really wants to get this hike an earn my FL stripes. There is one along Tamiami, I'll want to do before Summer and not without a guide.


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    Moderator Jess's Avatar
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    Default Re: Local Hikes

    Going hiking in the Everglades water is surely a way to have your leg bitten off!?

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    Editor Matt Meltzer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Local Hikes

    I'd be interested to meet the kind of guy who's an Everglades hiking guide. Definitely a Hiaasen character.
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    Senior Member Blackford Oakes's Avatar
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    Default Re: Local Hikes

    After all these years, I finally stuck my head into Disney Wilderness Preserve. http://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives...s-preserve.xml

    Saturday visit was just to take a peek, which involved a 2 mi hike. Lake Russell is perhaps the most scenic lake I ever seen. As that peek enchanted me, I returned the next day to hike their yellow trail which is a 6 mi trek .. and not boring at all.

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BByJQdfI...blackfordoakes

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BBxkFBEI...blackfordoakes


    https://www.instagram.com/p/BBxWoZio...blackfordoakes

  12. #12
    Editor Matt Meltzer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Local Hikes

    Is that the one up in Orlando? I did a Triathlon there years ago and I remember it being pretty awesome.

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    Senior Member Blackford Oakes's Avatar
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    Default Re: Local Hikes

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Meltzer View Post
    Is that the one up in Orlando? I did a Triathlon there years ago and I remember it being pretty awesome.
    Not sure where your triathlon took place. I doubt it took place in a nature conservancy. This reserve is located in Osceola County, in I guess what you'd call South Kissimmee.

    Don't know what the run portion of a triathlon consists of, but the six mile trail is a great run. I walked it, but the custodian of the reserve runs it everyday. It's pretty much this area of Florida as the Spaniards witnessed it for the first time.

    I've done my share of hiking and trails in the west. This reserve has probably the best curated trails I've ever seen. So I'm cool for a while. I'll have to eat flat land hikes in-state. If others are of this quality, it'll do till I hit Sierra's. I'm sure we have more, maybe many.

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    Senior Member Blackford Oakes's Avatar
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    Default Re: Local Hikes

    Yesterday I did something totally ignorant. It wasn't the 13mi bike ride before sunrise, it was the 6mi. hike at the Disney Wildlife Refuge in the middle of the day. By the 6th mi. I was totally fried.

    https://instagram.com/p/BKqffGpBvT3/

    Conditions were rough on the trail, especially when it opened up to Saw Grass Palmettos under a unfettered FL Sun the last 1.5 mi..

    Still want to do that Everglades hike but I'm going to need more conditioning or start at 6AM.

  15. #15
    Moderator Jess's Avatar
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    Default Re: Local Hikes

    Ooh start at 6am. what time did you on this hike?

  16. #16
    Senior Member Blackford Oakes's Avatar
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    Default Re: Local Hikes

    Quote Originally Posted by Jess View Post
    Ooh start at 6am. what time did you on this hike?
    I signed the registry at 1130A and it took me a tad over two hours. Based on that experience, I am way not ready to do the 10 mi. Everglades hike I was looking at. Not in brutal heat with no cover.

  17. #17
    Editor Matt Meltzer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Local Hikes

    Maybe wait for winter? And let me know when you go if you'd like come company, i"ve wanted to try that hike for a while.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Blackford Oakes's Avatar
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    Default Re: Local Hikes

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Meltzer View Post
    Maybe wait for winter? And let me know when you go if you'd like come company, i"ve wanted to try that hike for a while.
    Sounds like a plan. I'll try not to bail out like during our bike ride. LOL !

    I'm actually on this kick to lose weight and get in real shape. Lost 11 pounds the last two weeks. About to jump on my bike now at 5A and throw in 20 miles. I'll probably do the Disney trail once or twice again this week as the weather has turned a bit.

    Did a 13 miler yesterday in the bike followed by two hours of pickleball. I said no mas cutting my session with the tennis machine to 20 minutes instead of an hour. The ball machine really is an arse kicker.

    My this winter hipe to be 20lbs lighter than today so I can jump over gators.
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  19. #19
    Moderator Jess's Avatar
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    Default Re: Local Hikes

    Good for you. Good health is not easy but it is so worth it!

  20. #20
    Senior Member Blackford Oakes's Avatar
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    Default Re: Local Hikes

    Wow at my fat finger.

    I can feel the differnce shedding just ten pounds. I'm not bitching that much due to issues I have with my back. Twenty lbs more is my goal, which would be 216 lb. Maybe more.

    The true encourging signs is I can feel my abs when I bike ride and even swim now. After another ten lbs lost, I attack the abs or it just might happen by itself the way things are going.
    Last edited by Blackford Oakes; 09-29-2016 at 10:42 AM.
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