Saturday, May 23, 2015

Tosohatchee Chimney Trip–Bumby Camp Trail

Bumby camp chimneyTina at the trailheadThis was one of our shortest hikes, but still a very interesting one.  Our destination was the Bumby Camp trail which is in the southern most portion of the Tosohatchee WMA.  The roads have been smoothed / graded recently because the wash boarding is almost non-existent today.  This is good because the trip to the trailhead starts with a drive that is about halfway down Power Line Rd. and then all the way to the end of Fish Hole Rd. before driving under the Beachline Expressway to get to the parking area.

From the trailhead, the remains of the hunt camp are less than a quarter of a mile away.  We headed north and the chimney is still standing along the edge of the trail.  We stopped here to poke around a bit, and found a few things that were left behind from when it burnt down.  There was an old refrigerator that is so rusted that it is barely recognizable, bedsprings from an old mattress, and some old metal pipes.  There is also an artesian well that has been capped with a spigot.  Bugs bunny arrow

After looking around the remains of the old hunt camp, we continued north along the trail.  Most of the trail has medium to high grass growth, and we only saw a couple of old trail markers nailed to the trees, but it is wide and very easy to follow.  This appears to be the remnants of an old road; possibly from the 1970’s when the expressway was built.  One of the trail markers is a “bugs bunny arrow”.  That’s a directional arrow that spins around the single nail used to mount it to the tree.

Jim creekAfter the trail gets very close to 528, it splits and runs parallel with the road.  We headed to the west hoping to make it all the way to T-shirt Pond.  When we arrived at Jim Creek, it looked like we might have to cross some water, but the way south was pretty open.  Other than this spot, Jim Creek is pretty dry right now, so most of our hike towards the pond was right down the middle of the creek bed which was only a little spongy in places.T-Shirt Pond

There are a lot of plants (palms, trees, ferns, etc.) growing around the edge of the pond so we couldn’t get as close to it as we had hoped, except for at this one spot.  This is a really pretty area, and not too many people get to see it.

Tina surrounded by kneesOn the way back, I still couldn’t get over the size and number of cypress knees in the creek bed.  Cypress knees grow high enough to clear the high water lines so the tree can survive during flooded conditions – these knees show just how high the water level in this creek can rise.

As we wound up today’s hike, we decided to stop by Lake Charlie for a picnic lunch.  This is another hidden gem in this area – it is a very well maintained fishing pond that was created as fill-dirt was dug up during construction of the expressway. 

Lake Charlie Pano

Picnic tablesLake Charlie has a really nice fishing pier and picnic tables that make a perfect spot to enjoy the sunshine.  If you’re in the area and looking for a good spot, I think this is probably one of the nicest picnic areas around.

And that was our trip for today.  The map at the end of this post has all of the technical details and a GPX file download.  Just click on the “Trip details” link below it.

Bumby Camp Trailhead Chimney in the trees Chimney in the trees 2Back of chimney
Capped artesian well Old refridgerator Old refridgerator 2
Andy by chimneyTree and poison ivy on chimney Bumby camp trail - trailview Andy by broken tree
Blaze nailed to tree Old forest road along highway 2Andy on trail Retention pond 2
T-Shirt Pond 4Tri-palms T-Shirt Pond 3 T-Shirt Pond 2
Andy in the woods Tree boner Cypress knees in Jim Creek
Wild herbs Picnic table area Fishing pier

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