Sunday, April 27, 2014

Hiking Seminole Ranch - Orlando Wetlands to Hwy 50

Orange blazes on the way out, and white blazes one the way back, take this trail through the woods and through fields. 
Tina and I started this trip with a picnic lunch in Orlando Wetlands Park.  After heading out and back for about a 7 mile trip, we also had second-lunch here.
Since there has been very little rain lately, this was a good time for this hike.  There are several bridges that go over what would be marshy areas in the rainy season, but for now the water levels are very low.
Picnic lunch at OWP
Trailhead Kiosk Right across the street is the trailhead for the trails through the southern part of the Seminole Ranch conservation area.  Like the sign says, hunting is allowed here, so bright clothing is recommended during hunting season.
This is a real ranch, with cattle and everything, so on the northern part of these trails you will need to watch your step.  The cows do what cows doo.  From the trail head you head west across a field until you get to the woods.  the southern route that we took stayed in the woods until the very end, with a pond waiting at the very end.
On the way back, we followed the white blazes.  The white blazed trails aren't nearly as well traveled as the orange and blue blazes, but they certainly offer some pretty forest to hike through.
Back on the northern part of the white blazed loop, Tina stepped over a juvenile timber rattler.  I almost didn't see it either except the movement of his tiny tail twitching caught my eye.  This guy was too small to bite (he didn't even make a sound with his rattle).  I tried to get a picture, but as soon as I pulled out my camera he spooked and slithered off.
White blaze trail
As always, the pictures are tied to the map, so if you want to see where the landmarks are (or if you want to download the map as a guide) just click on the “Trip Details” link at the bottom of the map.  Overall, this was another great day to be out!

Tina on a bridge
Tina on another bridge
Tina on bridge - sturdy bridge but no water
Bridge doesn't reach - gotta jump
Bridge to a palm tree
Decayed Bridge
And another bridge - still no water
Another sturdy bridge - Tina is hiding
Tiny bridge
There's poo on this bridge
Second bridge - sturdy but still no water
Back into the forest
Big tree tumor
Smaller tree tumor
Branch to North Bronson State Forest - we went south
Camping sign
Fishhawk Pond
Deep ravine - with water
Entering the forest
Fishhawk Pond campsite
Forest road
Gnarly oak tree
Palm in trail fork
South marsh trail sign
Andy at stile crossing barbed wire fence
Tina at another fence crossing
Tina at fork in trail
Tina before crossing field
Tina looking down forest road
Trail view
View of the trail
White blaze trail

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