Saturday, October 13, 2018

Hiking the River Trail–Silver Springs State Park

Kermit’s Cousin Lives Here

Andy at TrailheadThe trailhead for this balloon trail is in the northeast section of the park, right next to the Silver River Museum.  It is easy to spot, with a large sign hanging over the entrance.  The trail itself is a very easy two mile hike – the entire path is about the width of a small forest road that is dry and very well maintained.

Trailview-2Starting from the trailhead, the first (roughly) third of a mile goes through a forest of oaks and pine trees, and the slope is slightly down hill.  After that point, the trail passes through a small swamp.

After passing through the swamp, there are two different rest areas that would make a great spot for a picnic.  The real jewel of this trail for me is just after the second rest area.  This is the canoe launce on to the Silver River.

Cypress on the RiverThere are a couple of canoes locked up next to the launch, but the rangers told me that they are only for staff use – they no longer rent canoes on this end of the part; only at the main park area.  The views here are really nice though.

Near RiverWhen I cycled down this trail, this is where I turned back, but when we hiked it, we followed the full loop.  From here the trail is covered in short grass instead of dirt like the trail has been up to this point. 

RIver under TreeAbout another third of a mile down the trail is another access point to the river.  This one is more rustic, but there is an old wooden bench hidden back under the trees.

Trailview-3The loop portion of the trail continues around for about a half mile before linking back to the main trail that we followed from the trailhead.  The inside of the loop is mostly palms while the outside is the same sort type of flora that surrounded the main portion of the trail on the way to the river.

Along this trail, we didn’t see a lot of wildlife, but we did come across a small black snake, and a tortoise. Kermit’s cousin was an unusual looking frog… I believe it is a Leopard Frog, but I’ve never seen one with skin that was blueish green/turquoise before.

Overall, this is a nice short hike that is well suited for just about all skill levels.  It also makes for a nice bike ride.

River Trail Cycling

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Black Snake-2
Black Snake
Cypress Knees
Cypress Knees
Forest Glenn-1
Forest Glenn
Golden Orb Weaver
Golden Orb Weaver
Golden WebRiver View-1
Golden Web and River View
Swamp-2Twisty Vine Andy
Swamp and Twisty Vine

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