Monday morning was chilly (especially by Florida standards!), but by early afternoon it had warmed up to almost 60 degrees and it was a nice, sunny afternoon. We decided to get in a little hiking at a couple of nearby parks.
Our first stop was a Valousia County Park, Green Spring Park.
and another longer nature trail through the surrounding woods.
We stopped at the spring first, where a group of teenage boys had apparantly just taken a swim.
I think those trees reaching out over the water are just too tempting to resist!
This large tree near the overlook looked like people had been climbing on it for many years – you can almost see footprints worn into the tree.
I asked Bryce if he wanted to climb up and jump off the tree, but he didn’t want to – too cold, he said!
We continued our hike on the nature trail,
and then circled back around to the spring to claim the Earthcache there by answering a few questions. Geocaching is so much easier now that I have the app on my phone . . . although I still can’t read a compass!
There were several trails at this location, including the Sand Hill Loop, which is actually two loop trails that can be hjiked in a figure 8 pattern for a total of 2 miles.
We needed to start out on the orange trail, pick up the yellow loop and then halfway through switch to the white loop. After completing the white loop, we would get back onto the yellow trail and take it back to orange and the trailhead. Simple – right?
This was described on the “Florida’s Best Hikes” website as a “classic example of a sandhill trail”, but we weren’t sure what that meant . . . and we’re still not sure!
For the most part, we were hiking amongst the pine trees, on a pine needle covered trail.
WE saw lots of little mounds of sand that looked like ant hills, but we weren’t sure if those were the “sand hills” that the trail was named for.
We saw pine trees of every size --
from tiny sprouts that look like something out of a Dr. Seuss book,
to slightly taller ones,
and old trees without any life left in them.
We completely missed the white loop – not sure how – but were ready to get going when we got back to the trailhead. It was starting to cool off, and we needed to start getting packed up when we got back to the RV.
We’re hoping to get in more hiking this winter as we travel around Florida, so we’re off to a pretty good start!