Monday, January 22, 2018

Hikes of Florida








Discover Florida

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Over the years, on this blog or not, I have trounced all over Florida.  I can honestly say, this overgrown fortress is the one hike, one aspect of Florida, that separates from the rest.  Perhaps because its so unflorida in the sense that we are more like in a jungle, not the swamp and that we are not out soaking in the sun watching the waves crash.  It's Myakka!






2. Sanibel Island - J.N. Ding Darling Refuge
(Diaper Hiker)

If you are a twitcher (birdwatcher), then perhaps Sanibel Island is the place for you.  Now, I do know recent hurricanes hit near here, but I assume the birds have found their way back to this bird haven paradise!







It's true, the waters are very clear and the sand is white as snow.  Perhaps this area is near the top of my list because my wife loved it more than any other.  Perhaps a safehaven from a direct hurricane hit, although one came close last summer.  We bounced around several beaches and took a boat ride and all concluded, we love Clearwater Beach, Florida!



Honestly, the only reason why this blogpost is ranked as high as it is, is because of the mysterious Pink Man.  If you know who this man is, please connect me with him and I'll award you and he each $100.  For awhile, this post captured more attention on my blog than any other.  It includes several different locations in Miami Beach!







A seemingly random location in St. Petersburg Florida, this destination left an impression.  During our stay in St. Pete, we went to a Dog Track and dodged gangsta paradise at the gas station.  Somehow, this natural swamp land exists between all of it.  It seemed run down, yet could tell that progress was being made on a boardwalk from an apparent fire.  Perhaps there are better places to go, but I like this place!  It's rustic like me!







Visit the lighthouse - you can attend a tour, although we missed the time cutoff.  If you look at the map of Florida, this green section for those outdoor enthusiasts is an immediate attention grab.  Between the raccoons and birds, it did not disappoint.  Certainly off the beaten path of Miami, but only minutes from their downtown.  It's like the city-goers don't even know it's there.  Welcome to your paradise, perhaps the way South Florida should be!







Between St. Pete and Tampa, Apollo Beach gives you an opportunity to see what life would be like in this area if man hadn't infiltrated it.  For a moment, you feel small, and then you realize the smokestacks and how they should not be there.







If you haven't been to Florida and do plan to visit, then it's obvious you need to visit the Everglades.  Here you go, I show you one way to do it.  I felt safe, but was that gator eyeing me or the bird?







It wasn't race day, but of course we visited the track.  Can't do Daytona without driving on the beach, so we did.  To keep it hike friendly, we visited the green spot on the map - Manatee Island.  Enjoy your Daytona Experience!
















The Florida Trail.  Around this country there are a half dozen notable trails, such as the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) and the Allegheny Trail.  Not that the Florida Trail can compare to these climbing expeditions, but it is one of those long multi-day and beyond distance routes that is maintained for guys like me.  I barely touched it with this adventure, but at least I can now say I stepped foot on it.  It was a random find...
 






11. Lakewood Park - Britton Hill
(Lazy Hiker)

The Highest Peak in Florida is barely real Florida since it's in the panhandle.  Essentially in the middle of nowhere, what I recall most is that my wife was frightened as we hiked deep into the forest.  She was chased by the assumption that there could be wild animals, but I assure you, there were no creatures on this day.  Consider the peak itself to be a Diaper Hiker because it's only a few steps away from your car.  However, the trail system will call on the Lazy Hiker to complete all the loops, which we did not.







Trekking through the deep thick sand is never easy.  Certainly laying out a towel and soaking in the sun would be considered a DIaper Hike, but explore the distance and beyond.  My wife did not like this place much being that the town was ghostly and the beach was just broad and there.  However, the brilliant volume of pure white sand is special and when spring break calls, the atmosphere changes wildly.  Personally, I prefer the beach to myself, and on this day, that is what we got!







13. Fort Lauderdale
(Diaper Hiker)

Fort Lauderdale is worth more of a look than way down here but on our day it was raining, which is not abnormal for South Florida.  I have been here before and after this particular journey, but the only share I have is this post.  For us, it was a pitstop to see a high school friend.  Need a HikeStalker to create more of a presentation...











I ran around on the Crooked Creek Trail in Pine Log State Forest.  We were not enthralled by its presence but I guess the surrounding pine trees at sea level rather than palms made me curious.  Our perceived sentiment was of an eerie-peculiar/eh-blah sketchy state.  No complaint in leaving the doom.  From there we visited the town of DeFuniak, which wrapped a trail around its lake and was marked by some historic heritage.  We Love DeFuniak!

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