Brasstown Bald

Brasstown Bald is the tallest mountain in Georgia…and we decided to take the .5 mile trail to the top. This is the second mountain we climbed (“””climbed”””), but to be fair we had just taken a much harder trail the day before and we were¬†wiped.

Blood Mountain

Somehow, incredibly, we actually made it to a mountain last weekend! Blood Mountain (that is seriously what it’s called) is the tallest peak in the Georgia section of the Appalachian Trail, and for some reason this was the first ever mountain we decided to climb. After all these relatively flat trails in Florida, I was definitely not prepared for the constant up-ness of a real life mountain.

Suwannee River State Park

In an effort to be EVEN MORE outdoorsy (the bar is low but by gosh we’re raising it) we decided to spend a night camping at Suwannee River State Park! This was Nichole’s first time camping ever, and the first time for me in over a decade. The night was hot and humid and we saw way more ticks than I ever wanted to in such a short time, but overall the trip was a success.

St. Francis Trail

The St. Francis Trail is an 8 mile loop in Deland, FL that passes through an old railroad logging bed and by what was once the river town of St. Francis. The trail is maintained by the Florida Trail Association which is what drew us to it, but the historical waypoints aren’t marked so sadly we were not aware of what we were looking at when we were looking at it.

Mike Roess Gold Head Branch State Park

Mike Roess Gold Head Branch State Park in Keystone Heights, FL has about 8 miles of trails, of which we walked about 6.5. The day started out nice and overcast, but by the end the temperature was approaching 90 and the sun was beating us down into the sand, so the last part of our hike didn’t result in a lot of pictures.

Manatee Springs State Park

Manatee Springs is a first magnitude spring in Chiefland, FL that feeds into the Suwannee River. The park has about 8.5 miles of hiking trails, of which we hiked about 7, and afterwards rented a canoe and paddled out to the river. Unfortunately neither of us trusted ourselves with a camera on the river so regrettably I don’t have any pictures of that part even though it’s arguable that was where we saw the coolest stuff.

Holton Creek Tract

This hike was a weird one. I saw Holton Creek Wilderness Management Area on AllTrails, with two one-star reviews, one saying that it’s a trailer park with access to the Suwannee River blocked off. I was curious because SOMEBODY added this trail, and there were two pictures on the trail’s page of the river. So it had to be somewhere.

Ravine Gardens State Park

Ravine Gardens State Park is a beautiful park in Palatka that features exactly what it says – a ravine and gardens. Similar to Devil’s Millhopper in Gainesville, looking over the edge from the top or looking up to the top from the bottom feels a lot like being in the mountains — something I relish, living in mostly-flat Florida.

Rice Creek Conservation Area

Rice Creek Conservation Area is an old rice and indigo plantation with at least 5 miles worth of trails. It connects with the Florida Trail, so really you could keep going as long as you wanted to, but we did the 5 mile loop and I can easily say this is one of my favorite trails we’ve done so far. It reminded me a lot of the Black Bear Wilderness Area, with all the boardwalks and bridges, except this was far less heavily trafficked and I think because of it we ended up seeing a lot more wildlife.