John and I took a stab at increasing our skill level and hiked a trail with a terrain a bit more challenging at San Felasco Hammock Preserve State Park in Gainsville.
We chose two trails to hike on this adventure, the 1 mile Moonshine Creek Trail and the 2.3 mile Creek Sink Trail.
The Moonshine Creek Trail was more of what we are used to as far as ability level. The stroll along the creeks through the shaded canopy was gorgeous and fairly easy to maneuver.
The 2.3 mile Creek Sink Loop is where things became more challenging for us. The trail goes along several small sinkholes and leads you to the view of a large one and along the way, there are several changes in elevation. Easier for people who are younger and in great shape, I am sure, however, the uphills left John and I a bit winded at times. We did stop and rest a minute here and a minute there, but all in all, we didn’t do too bad considering we are not exactly spring chickens. (But we are at heart)
There were a few minor obstacles along the trail, tree roots, spots of mud, and the occasional branch that seems to reach out and grab you.
For me, there is a peacefulness to being out in the woods. There is something about the sound of the wind blowing through the trees combined with bird song that brings me a feeling of calm. Even when I am climbing over tree roots and marching up hills.
Since John and I started this journey, we are becoming quite the nature geeks and we find ourselves fascinated with things that a year ago we would have never stopped to notice. Weird formations and fungi, included.
When you are out in nature’s wonderland, encounters with insects, wildlife and reptiles are possible, so be prepared. Use insect repellent, wear the appropriate shoes, keep your eyes and ears open, and have your camera ready for that spectacular picture.
On the day of our hike, we could hear what we think was a mama bobcat with a young one but we were never able to spot her. It would have been an awesome but rare sighting and a great picture to take (from a distance, of course).
Although these two trails were a little more difficult than our normal hike, I wouldn’t consider them extreme hikes, more like in the moderate ability range. Having said that, I would not consider it a hike to take young children on. The paths do narrow in spots and there are areas where you may encounter obstacles that may be difficult for the wee little ones.
The trailhead for both the Creek Sink Trail and Moonshine Creek trail is located at 11101 Millhopper Road in Gainesville. The cost for use is $4.00 per carload and is collected by the honor system at a pay box. Restroom provided a trailhead is porta potty, so bring wipes or toilet paper with you just in case.
We hope you enjoyed this post. John and I are continuing our journey during the Covid crisis by visiting outdoor Florida locations with the most potential of providing safe family outdoor fun. With the times as they are, outdoor activities are the safest and if you ask me, the most needed. Hopefully not only will you find our posts entertaining but informative.
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