Saturday, June 21, 2014

Hiking Tosohatchee WMA–Northwest Loop

Tom and I got an early(ish) start today so we could beat most of the heat and afternoon thunderstorms if they showed up.  We started at the Youth Camp in Tosohatchee WMA and did a loop that took us all the way back.

This hike took us along the Tosohatchee Creek in several spots (at least I think it was the same creek - there was only one sign).  As we approached the Hoot Owl Hilton trail junction, we heard something by the side of the trail that sounded like a baby alligator, but since we left the creek behind at that point it had to be something else.  As we quietly walked up to where the sound was, a big ol' frog jumped one way and a black snake took off the other way.  Something tells me that we weren't the only ones investigating the noise - I'm pretty sure we interrupted lunch (or saved the frog, depending on your perspective).
Creek next to trail
Endless Trail
A little further on, we came to the Nettles Trail junction.  We took this one for an opportunity to search for a geocache.  Part of this trail had that endless path look as it headed straight between a long row of pines.  Before we found the cache, we also saw several raccoons in this area.  They were too quick, and not interested in hanging out for a photo though.

From there we headed north again, all the way to the edge of the area.  Turning east at the northern border, we walked through a long grassy area where we saw a tortoise who was anxious to be left alone.  Here we turned south again and got back on to the Florida Trail with the orange blazes.
There were a couple of small bridges that went over dry ditches; I suspect that these are normally full of water, but right now the ground is dry.  There are a lot of oaks with ferns growing on them.  Some of them look like they're sporting Mohawk hair styles.

Soon we came up on Tootoosatchee Creek (again, I think).  This was really a neat spot.  I think my favorite view around the creek was the tree with the roots growing downwards from about 6 feet up.
Interesting Roots
Covered picnic area We finished up the hike back at the covered picnic area where we started.  A nice picnic lunch to end the trip before driving home was the perfect way to cool off.

If you would like to see where the pictures were taken, or to download the .kml file (or just see more details), click on the “Trip Details” link below the map.

Last parking area
Hoot Owl Hilton trail junction
One of many birdhouses
Tom at Nettles Trail junction
Tosohatchee Gate
Grassy area with Tom sneaking into the photo
Tortoise
Orange blazes for Florida Trail
Clouds and Pine Trees
Small bridge
Mushroom frowny face
Ferns on oak
Creek by the trail
Interesting Roots & Big Cypress Knees
Another little bridge
Tom by big bridge
Tootoosatchee Creek
Twisted Oak with Ferns

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