Posts Tagged ‘floridatrails’

Now that I had warmed up on the Eagle Trail, I was ready for Hog Hammock and Promontory Loop Trails. Hog Hammock loops with an option to return at one mile or two. The Promontory Loop Trail is a straight one-mile shoot out and back from Hog Hammock. The total hike for both trails is four miles.

Boardwalk on Hog Hammock Trail

Right away, I knew this would be a nice, easy hike. Both trails, wider and straighter than Eagle Trail, are very suitable for both hiking and biking as well as being kid friendly. Shaded by pines, cabbage palms, and cypress with many opportunities to pause on a bench and/or under a covered shelter, I enjoyed my hike–and bringing a lunch and planning a longer day of the trail would be a great escape! I stepped onto the trail and spied a small deer almost immediately. The deer, obviously accustomed to people, stood and stared at me for a bit before slowly walking away. Herons and egrets lazed in the grassy waters along the trail, and a large Florida softshell turtle crossed the trail (very slowly) in front of me.

Grassy Waters on Hog Hammock and Promontory Trails

As I hiked Hog Hammock, boardwalks occasionally lifted me off the forest floor. I imagine that these boardwalks keep hikers dry during the rainy season when the grassy waters flow into the forest. The trail widened even more when I reached Promontory, and if the trail had been painted yellow, I could have imagined skipping to see the wizard.

Easy Hiking on Promontory Trail

Overall, I had a great day hiking, and I believe there are a couple more trails in that same area that are calling me!

(Grassy Waters Preserve. https://www.wpb.org/government/public-utilities/grassy-waters-preserve/trail-information/hog-hammock-trail)

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Over two months! That’s how long it’s been since my last hike due to a foot injury at the beginning of February which left me hobbling and “hikeless.” I am so glad to get back to nature—but I am starting out light—which is why I chose Seabranch Preserve State Park for my hike on Easter morning.

Sandy Pathways Along the Seabranch Trail

Only 913 acres, Seabranch was designated a state park in 1992. I found it easily, no gate to drive through or ID to show. I parked in front of the fence that led into the park. A kiosk next to the water fountain and toilet gave me the trail information I needed.

I chose the longest of the three hiking trails, the North Loop, and hiked just under 3.5 miles on a mostly sandy, narrow and twisting trail, happy I had worn long pants to keep the wild things off my legs. My goal–to beat the forecasted rain. The partly overcast sky provided a (small) relief from the hot sun, and my legs appreciated the occasional bench along the trail.

Large, dead trees dotted the landscape of scrub and tall pines—remnants, I imagine, from a prescribed burn to help maintain the fire dependent ecosystems within the park. I passed a few people during the first fifteen minutes, and then no one for the remainder of the trail. Although mostly in the open, short sections passed through pines, needles creating a welcomed carpet over the sandy trail. Little wildlife appeared in the quiet landscape, perhaps due to the hot day or impending storm. I spotted one swallow-tailed kite my entire hike.

Pine Needles on the Sandy Trail

I found the well-blazed trail easy to follow most of the time—and relied on my AllTrails app to pull me back on course if I got distracted searching for life. Although the first part of the trail twisted through the scrub, the last mile moved onto a road–wider, but still very sandy.

I finished my hike in about 1.5 hours with my legs feeling that the sandy trail had worked them out better than any gym could. Although I prefer a shaded hike, I’ve gotten use to Florida’s hot, sandy trails. I enjoyed my morning hike and hope to return to hike the remaining two trails.

(Seabranch Preserve State Park. 6093 S.W. Dixie Highway, Stuart, FL 34997. (772) 219-1880) Website: https://www.floridastateparks.org/parks-and-trails/seabranch-preserve-state-park)

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