Monday, February 13, 2023

Hiking from the Campground to Smokehouse Lake

View across Smokehouse Lake
View Across Smokehouse Lake

Today’s hike was much shorter than yesterday.  The weather couldn’t have been any nicer though… about 65 degrees (or 18 degrees C), only a slight occasional breeze, low humidity, and clear skies.  This is what winter in Florida is meant to be.

TrailheadI started the hike at the trailhead just to the southwest of my campsite. There is a fence there to block horseback riders from coming to the road, but it has an opening for people on foot.  The first numbered trail marker is about a tenth of a mile down the path.

Trail ViewThe trails back here are shared between horses and hikers, so they are plenty wide and well-maintained just like the other trails in the park…  Not nearly as “primitive” as what I’m used to hiking.  Though horses are allowed, I didn’t see any on this trip.  Other than one jogger who passed me just as I was starting, I had the trails to myself today.

Wild OrangesI followed the numbered trail markers (53 – 52 – 48 – 49) down to Smokehouse lake which was only about one mile from the  trailhead.  Along the way I passed a lot of wild orange trees.  There must have been a grove here some time ago.  I tried one of the oranges and they were a little sweet but still pretty sour.  Not bad – perfect oranges for marmalade.

Unnamed PondHeading north from Smokehouse Lake, I passed by a pond which appears to be unnamed.  After that there was a lot of uphill hiking before reaching Hammond Lake.  It wasn’t difficult, but with so many flat hikes in Florida, it was noticeable.

The trail met Hammond lake near the southeast shore and then continued to the north to wrap around back to the campground.

This was a short hike, with free snacks along the way so it’s worth checking out.  Overall distance traveled was only about 2 3/4 miles a few bodies of water to appreciate along the way.  I didn’t see any wildlife besides birds and lizards, which surprised me.  That would likely change in the off season though.

More Photos

Approaching Hammond Lake Hammond Lake-1
Tree Graveyard Its all uphill from here

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