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Florida Trail: Central Florida Hiking Guide

Florida Trail: Central Florida Hiking Guide

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Official companion app to "The Florida Trail Guide" guidebook by Florida Hikes! Defined by the floodplain of two major rivers - the south-flowing Kissimmee and the north-flowing St. Johns - the Central Florida section crosses the heart of cattle country, traversing public lands where free-range cattle roam. Along the Kissimmee River basin, vast prairies and pastures stretch out for miles beyond the more intimate palm and oak hammocks along the ancient shoreline. This is Florida's big sky country, where stargazing is ideal, especially in the backcountry of Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park and Three Lakes WMA. Crossing a private conservancy and ranch, Forever Florida, the trail meets the dark swamps of Bull Creek WMA atop a legacy of historic railroad causeways. A 30-mile gap in the trail through vast Deseret Ranch is bridged by a roadwalk to Tosohatchee WMA, the region's most botanically diverse preserve. Zigzagging through a maze of palm hammocks along the St. Johns River basin, the trail makes its way to the bluffs of the scenic Econlockhatchee River before it hits a wall of suburbia in the Orlando metro. Here, hikers follow the only protected corridor of public land, along the paved Cross Seminole Trail and Seminole Wekiva Trail, past well-established suburbs and brand-new urban development. Reaching the Wekiva River, it's time to take to the woods again, here in bear country. It's an enjoyable immersion in pine flatwoods, scrub, and hardwood forests along a sweep of public lands connecting to the Ocala National Forest.

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