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View Full Version : Looking for partner to do Florida Trail in December



Chainsaw 08
09-26-2006, 19:32
I'm a newbie hiker considering a thru in 2007 or 2008. As part of my prep, I want to do 100 miles of the Florida Trail this December. As I am a newbie, I am figuring on 12 days, including a day or two off, so I may be too slow for some experienced hikers.

I'm also moody, whiny, lazy, obnoxious, out-of-shape and lacking in hygeine skills.

On the plus side, I'm pretty good about buying beer for my partners.



Anybody interested can post here or email furtigan@gmail.com

bido7614
09-26-2006, 19:52
Hey there my name is Lissie.. I am also a newbie hiker hiking in march of 07.. I live in florida so i was wondering where about you wanted to hike the hundred miles. you can p.m. me or send it to errorr07@hotmail.com cause i am getting bad about checking posts on here...
Lissie

Gray Blazer
09-27-2006, 07:51
Let me know more about it. I would at least like to do a little with you.

Chainsaw 08
09-28-2006, 03:33
Let me know more about it. I would at least like to do a little with you.I don't know a whole lot more. I just ordered the trail data book yesterday, so I donít know a whole lot of specifics

The main section I'd like to do is in the middle, going through Ocala. Iím thinking about starting on about December 6th or 7th. I was figuring a pace of about 10 miles a day or so would allow time for blue-blazing. Add a day or two in the middle for rest/resupply and it would take a bit under 2 weeks to do 100 miles, so finishing up a few days before Christmas. I donít have a lot of flexibility on dates (maybe a day or two either way), as thatís determined by my work schedule.<O:p</O:p
</O:p

Gray Blazer
09-28-2006, 07:26
Let me know as you figure out more of what you are going to do. I want to join you for some of your walk at the least. Maybe I can help you on your resupply.

bido7614
09-28-2006, 20:31
Hey there. I'd like to go with ya.. just find out the specifics so i can arrange for it..
Lissie

Stump46
10-06-2006, 22:19
I can't go in Dec, but would be interested in section hikes Jan - Mar 2007.

Sly
10-06-2006, 22:36
I may be interested in the the Ocala section, but I won't know for sure for another month.

Chainsaw 08
11-15-2006, 12:38
Hey all -- sorry I've been absent from the thread, but shortly after my last post I was put into limbo with my job as to whether I was going to have this time off or not. Thankfully, I just got the final word, and I am going to have it off, so the hike is on.

The section I want to do is from the Clearwater Lake trailhead to the Gold Head Branch trailhead. (If you have the guidebook, sections 16, 22, 23, and 24) This basically starts in Ocala NF north of I-4, then runs through Ocala, past Palatka and winds up near Starke. It's 110 miles all told, though there are any number of places to get off if you want to do less.

The terrain is normally dry (not swampy), and according to the book, water doesn't seem to be an issue: the trail runs through a number of developed campsites and hits lots of natural springs where water is availible. Resupply may be a bit trickier; the trail doesn't run through any towns, and while it comes within hitching distance of several (esp. Palatka), I don't know how good Floridians are at picking up backpackers...

I'm hoping to make good time, though I don't know ... as I said, I'm a newbie, so my ideal of 10 miles a day might be unrealistic, especially given that there are a lot of interesting blue blazes I'll want to check out, and given that I do want to take at least one zero day in there somewhere and just chill in the woods with a book. I'm hoping someone here maybe can give some guidance...

Anyway, let me know if you're still interested and we can get to planning in earnest.

Jim Adams
11-15-2006, 12:53
you buy beer for your hiking buddies? you can't afford to thru hike!
geek

highway
11-15-2006, 14:43
I have done the Clearwater lake to Juniper Springs before. You can leave your vehicle at the campground for a small fee or at the trailhead for free. Mostly level, easy hiking, some parts strikingly beautiful Florida forest.

Cuffs
11-15-2006, 16:30
I can almost guarantee you wont get picked up anywheres near Starke.... Florida State Prison is there (houses death row too) and there are 3 other state prisons in that area too....

Sly
11-15-2006, 18:23
Wow December's coming up quick. I'm still interested but doubt I'll be able to make it. I have a project going now which will last a bit and plan on hiking the FHT the last week in Nov.

Chainsaw 08
11-15-2006, 20:43
you buy beer for your hiking buddies? you can't afford to thru hike!
geekHey, I ain't said nothing about buying for no thru-hike ...

Chainsaw 08
11-15-2006, 20:44
I can't go in Dec, but would be interested in section hikes Jan - Mar 2007.
I'll let ya know if anything comes up, but I'm unlikely to have more than a weekend off in that period.

Hammock Hanger
11-15-2006, 21:11
I don't know a whole lot more. I just ordered the trail data book yesterday, so I donít know a whole lot of specifics

The main section I'd like to do is in the middle, going through Ocala. Iím thinking about starting on about December 6th or 7th. I was figuring a pace of about 10 miles a day or so would allow time for blue-blazing. Add a day or two in the middle for rest/resupply and it would take a bit under 2 weeks to do 100 miles, so finishing up a few days before Christmas. I donít have a lot of flexibility on dates (maybe a day or two either way), as thatís determined by my work schedule.<O:p</O:p
</O:p


I realize that I was hiking in the spring when the light was longer and I am a experienced long distance hiker but 10 miles a day through the Ocala is a relatively short day. (I was doing 18-21.) It is flat and easy terrain. -- However, you may be wanting to have some relaxtion time. Only a few places to blue-blaze. There really is not a lot out there but forest and a few mom-pop stores.

Enjoy it. Sue/Hammock Hanger

Chainsaw 08
11-15-2006, 22:42
I realize that I was hiking in the spring when the light was longer and I am a experienced long distance hiker but 10 miles a day through the Ocala is a relatively short day. (I was doing 18-21.) It is flat and easy terrain. -- However, you may be wanting to have some relaxtion time. Only a few places to blue-blaze. There really is not a lot out there but forest and a few mom-pop stores.

Enjoy it. Sue/Hammock Hanger
Thanks for the insight. Do the mom & pops have much in the way of hiker-usable food? If possible I'd like to avoid "town" altogether for the whole 110 miles; but also I don't want to be packing a whole 10 days food if I can avoid that. Are the stores within a mile or two of the trail (IIRC, the 88 store is one) enough?

highway
11-16-2006, 08:09
Thanks for the insight. Do the mom & pops have much in the way of hiker-usable food? If possible I'd like to avoid "town" altogether for the whole 110 miles; but also I don't want to be packing a whole 10 days food if I can avoid that. Are the stores within a mile or two of the trail (IIRC, the 88 store is one) enough?

Its not 10 days food-more like 6 days!
if your 110 miles distance is correct, and you do 15 miles/day (extremely doable upon level ground in Florida on those well-established trails) the math is:

10 days divided by 15 miles = 7.3 days minus one =6.3

minus one because you breakfast mostly before the trail and have dinner off the trail at your destination.

Food weight/day=1.25 pounds X 6.3 days=7.9 pounds total weight food carried.

This is Florida so very warm clothes are not required so you'll have (should have)a minimal pack and 8 pounds food is not excessive. In the heat of our winter day you may find yourself down to tank top, shorts and sandals-my typical hiking uniform.

As for the miles/day, you will have 11 daylight hours and a casual 2 miles/day saunter nets you 20+ miles/day if you wish. We dont have many mountains here to hump:D

My suggestion is to plan on 8 pounds food and i suspect you will make the severely gross (but easily done) eror of arriving at your destination with uneaten food remaining-meaning you carried it the entire way needlessly.

Gray Blazer
11-16-2006, 08:42
Its not 10 days food-more like 6 days!
if your 110 miles distance is correct, and you do 15 miles/day (extremely doable upon level ground in Florida on those well-established trails) the math is:

10 days divided by 15 miles = 7.3 days minus one =6.3

minus one because you breakfast mostly before the trail and have dinner off the trail at your destination.

Food weight/day=1.25 pounds X 6.3 days=7.9 pounds total weight food carried.

This is Florida so very warm clothes are not required so you'll have (should have)a minimal pack and 8 pounds food is not excessive. In the heat of our winter day you may find yourself down to tank top, shorts and sandals-my typical hiking uniform.

As for the miles/day, you will have 11 daylight hours and a casual 2 miles/day saunter nets you 20+ miles/day if you wish. We dont have many mountains here to hump:D

My suggestion is to plan on 8 pounds food and i suspect you will make the severely gross (but easily done) eror of arriving at your destination with uneaten food remaining-meaning you carried it the entire way needlessly.Good post. I disagree about carrying extra food needlessly. It could come in handy in case of emergency or if you get lost or take more time than planned. One of us floridians should be available to meet you at a highway crossing at a certain time. I volunteer.

Hammock Hanger
11-16-2006, 09:05
This is Florida so very warm clothes are not required so you'll have (should have)a minimal pack and 8 pounds food is not excessive. In the heat of our winter day you may find yourself down to tank top, shorts and sandals-my typical hiking uniform.



It is a misnomer that FL is always hot. Orlando north can get mighty cold during the winter months. You may not need to have zero degree gear but be prepared for some cool nights. It was in the 20's last year in the Panhandle when we hiked and we were cold! I live in Jacksonville and we are regularly in the 30's during the winter and I am only 45 minutes from the Ocala NF.

15 mile days are very doable, the terrain is flat and easy hiking. I was doing 20's last spring but there was more daylight.

There are few great blue blaze trails and only mom-pop stores. This is a forest and there is little out that way along the trail.

Have fun and enjoy.

BTW: I am looking to hike the Apalachicola Forest north for a week or 2 this winter after hunting season. Anyone out there interested??

Gray Blazer
11-16-2006, 11:34
It is a misnomer that FL is always hot. Orlando north can get mighty cold during the winter months. You may not need to have zero degree gear but be prepared for some cool nights. It was in the 20's last year in the Panhandle when we hiked and we were cold! I live in Jacksonville and we are regularly in the 30's during the winter and I am only 45 minutes from the Ocala NF.


For example....The next nine nights in a row are predicted to not even get out of the 40's in Gainesville. The next 5 nights won't even get out of the 30's! Now that's a cold stretch for us. The leaves are actually changing this year!

highway
11-16-2006, 13:40
For example....The next nine nights in a row are predicted to not even get out of the 40's in Gainesville. The next 5 nights won't even get out of the 30's! Now that's a cold stretch for us. The leaves are actually changing this year!

Theres a huge difference between nights & days & nights you are in a sleeping bag. The day's temps are high 60'sf-70'sF

Gray Blazer
11-16-2006, 13:48
Theres a huge difference between nights & days & nights you are in a sleeping bag. The day's temps are high 60'sf-70'sF
Oh yeah:o I forgot to mention, the N FL days usually get up in the 60s or 70s. It can get into the teens at night and the next day you'll be hiking in short sleeves. We do get the occasional day where it doesn't get out of the 30s with wind and rain (sometimes snow)!

highway
11-16-2006, 14:10
At least you get a little winter. I can detect the difference when I visit my son at UF when I go. I am just slightly south and east of you and we hardly get any winter at all-maybe just a day or so-but no chance for it at all til about Christmas. i do enjoy a good cold snap into the 40's-it sweetens the grapefruit:D

Amigi'sLastStand
11-26-2006, 09:40
It is a misnomer that FL is always hot. Orlando north can get mighty cold during the winter months. You may not need to have zero degree gear but be prepared for some cool nights. It was in the 20's last year in the Panhandle when we hiked and we were cold! I live in Jacksonville and we are regularly in the 30's during the winter and I am only 45 minutes from the Ocala NF.

15 mile days are very doable, the terrain is flat and easy hiking. I was doing 20's last spring but there was more daylight.

There are few great blue blaze trails and only mom-pop stores. This is a forest and there is little out that way along the trail.

Have fun and enjoy.

BTW: I am looking to hike the Apalachicola Forest north for a week or 2 this winter after hunting season. Anyone out there interested??

yes, I am very interested HH. Depends on when though for me. Get us informed on your plans.

Regards to this post:
Grayblazer is a great guy and good friend. If he says he'll help you, he will.

10 miles a day is about five hrs at really casual pace. I've most of that area several times, and this time of year, it's dry as a bone.

It has been cold over the last week, so read the rules about building fires in ONF. Rangers abound like squirrels this time of year.

Resupply is pretty easy and you can do it with just one or none if you dont mind starting out heavy.

Good luck and have fun. I wish I could go:( .

Hammock Hanger
11-26-2006, 19:35
yes, I am very interested HH. Depends on when though for me. Get us informed on your plans.

I have the SoRuck in January but perhaps late January or February would be good. I'm flexible jut need hunting to be done.

March my daughter will be here kayaking in the woods in search of an extinct or so thought extinct bird. I am hoping to spend a week with her. As she lives on a Pacific Island I do not get to see her much.

I'll post again as we get closer to hike time.

sparky2000
12-01-2006, 10:25
I've lost the communication - where and when?

Gray Blazer
12-01-2006, 13:42
See ya'll on Monday. Let me know what you figured out and how I can help. C'mon, we gotta show the rest of the guys we can organize, too. I, myself, don't really want to be the organizer, I'm more of the sheeple type. Baaaaaaa.

Amigi'sLastStand
12-02-2006, 07:27
More of the sheep type, eh?:rolleyes:

StarLyte
12-02-2006, 09:28
Sounds like fun guys. I love hiker events !!!

Amigi nice to see you again.

Amigi'sLastStand
12-03-2006, 11:19
Sounds like fun guys. I love hiker events !!!

Amigi nice to see you again.

Nice to here from you also, SL.
I still cant get over that my bro GB is into sheep!:eek: :rolleyes:

highway
12-03-2006, 14:03
What hiker event?

Gray Blazer
12-04-2006, 08:13
Sheeple, not sheep! Iv'e been off the woolite for 10 years now!

Stump46
12-07-2006, 19:27
When do you plan on hiking? When is "after hunting season"? I might be interested.

Gray Blazer
12-08-2006, 10:41
It's almost 10:00 and it's only 36 degrees outside. I know you guys in the rest of the country are laughing your bippies off, but, for FL, that's downright chilly. Perfect day to be on the FT. 22 forecast for tonight in G'ville.

highway
12-08-2006, 14:27
I have been waiting for colder weather to walk through the ocala NF and test my SPE for the Hennessey hammock. I guess its time-when the next cold spell hits, anyway

Amigi'sLastStand
12-09-2006, 16:15
I am a no go for this month. I leave AGAIN for more training on Monday, this time in Fort Pierce. I am going to demand a month off in January or February when I see my commander on Monday, so lets set something up for then, if ya'll want to. I nominate Grayblazer as organizer. I dont know if he can organize, but he takes a great picture. Nice legs too.... For an ol' white guy.;):D

Frosty
12-09-2006, 16:34
Nice legs too.... For an ol' white guy.;):DBetter watch what you say. You might get sued! :D

Flying Monkey
12-11-2006, 05:51
To anyone on this thread, especially hammock hanger: It may be further away than you wanted to go, but I'll be leaving Springer Dec 22 (yes, short notice), heading hopefully to Damascus by mid-late January. Any and all companions welcome.

Hammock Hanger
12-11-2006, 08:28
Flying Monkey you have a wonderful time. The AT is too cold for me in the winter. I'm going to try and get in some of my last few miles of the FT before spring. Then I will hike north on the Great Eastern Trail.

Hammock Hanger
12-11-2006, 08:33
When do you plan on hiking?

Sometime in February, hopefully.


When is "after hunting season"?.

I have to find that out


I might be interested.

I'll let you know when I know more, you are more then welcome.

MOWGLI
12-11-2006, 08:37
I'm thinking about a 3-4 day hike in the St. Marks NWR between Christmas and New Years. Nothing firm yet, but I've wanted to hike that area for a while now.

Flying Monkey
12-11-2006, 08:40
I

BTW: I am looking to hike the Apalachicola Forest north for a week or 2 this winter after hunting season. Anyone out there interested??


Thanks. I realized too late that my invitation to you in particular was awkward. I read your post from November too quickly, and read "amicalola "instead of "apalachicola". Sorry for the mistake.

On another note (to the general population), will it still be bow hunting season dec/jan?, or does "gun" hunting open up soon? I never want to wear "safety orange", but will if it's a risk.

Gray Blazer
12-11-2006, 08:45
I nominate Grayblazer as organizer. I dont know if he can organize, but he takes a great picture. Nice legs too.... For an ol' white guy.;):D
As my kids would say, "I ain't like that." If you promise not to tell the ATC and anyone important at WB (I'm on the important people's ignore list anyway so it doesn't matter), here's what I have planned and I hope all you FL guys will attend and anyone else for that matter. SHHhhhh 2nd Annual Rocky Bald Hiker Feed, Mar 29-Apr 1 at Rocky Bald, NC (2 miles south of Tellico Gap). Don't tell anyone I said this.

Heater
12-11-2006, 08:57
Then I will hike north on the Great Eastern Trail.

Does the Great Eastern Trail go through The Daniel Boone National Forest?

MOWGLI
12-11-2006, 10:18
Does the Great Eastern Trail go through The Daniel Boone National Forest?


No. It runs east of there.

Hammock Hanger
12-11-2006, 15:59
I'm thinking about a 3-4 day hike in the St. Marks NWR between Christmas and New Years. Nothing firm yet, but I've wanted to hike that area for a while now.

MOWGLI:
That's the area that Ed Talone and I hike prior to our Eglin hike. It is beautiful. I would love to re-hike it but I need to finish up my undone miles first. I need to hike from where Ed and I left off at JR's store north thru the Oseola on the south/east side of SMNWR and I need to do the Apalachicola Nat'l forest on the north/west side of SMNWR. Now if I could work it out that I was able to hike the Apalachicola into the SMNWR and hike with you and continue on thru to Oseola that would be way cool and worth re-hiking St Mark's. I understand that the trail no longer goes thru Posey's Restaurant, :o .

Unfortunately I have wifely obligations to do a few Holiday Dinners and Appreciation Dinners with my husband for the company and can't get away during December.:(

Any chance you would be available some time between January 1 to March 30th?? I am pretty flexible through that time period.:)

I am completely booked up from April thru say August... Can ya guess why!!:banana

MOWGLI
12-11-2006, 18:22
Any chance you would be available some time between January 1 to March 30th?? I am pretty flexible through that time period.:)



I suppose so. I need to hike with Hokey Pokey up on the Allegheny Trail too. Maybe I can hike with him after Christmas. The idea of hiking in Florida in December was somehow more appealing than hiking in the mountains of West Virginia. :sun

Hammock Hanger
12-11-2006, 18:50
I suppose so. I need to hike with Hokey Pokey up on the Allegheny Trail too. Maybe I can hike with him after Christmas. The idea of hiking in Florida in December was somehow more appealing than hiking in the mountains of West Virginia. :sun

Hey now... Hokey Pokey is suppose to be hiking the Allegeny with me!! We started it together a few years ago. I was hoping we would pick it back up when we finished our BMT hike this spring. Guess my bud is moving on to new partners ... Oh well, I still love him.

BTW: It is still winter in January-February and parts of March over in the Panhandle. Have you forgotten how cold we were on the Eglin hike. We were in the 30's over the weekend here in Jax. Of course I drove south to see family nd it was 73+.

n2o2diver
12-26-2006, 08:11
Can anyone tell me if the Wiregrass trail comming out of the Blackwater Forrest has any trail head parking at the Alabama State Line? The Florida trail web site list the trail head in the middle of the trail at hurricane lake. Says some thing like 6.something miles this way and 6.something miles that way <>
Does the trail just stop at a dead end at the Alabama line???