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[ft-l] Swimming at Blue Springs

Swimming the Blue Springs State Park Trail Report:

Hey everyone,

Just got back from a Friday hike with the famous Sandy and Rich.  The day
was absolutely beautiful.  Really, it couldn't have been a better day for
hiking!  The day started off with a nice pleasant hike into the forest.
Large oaks covered with ferns made for a very peaceful experience.  Slight
wind to keep the mosquitoes off of us and keep us cool.

Shortly through the woods the trail takes a turn and follows an old
dirt/jeep road for several miles.  I seem to recall that there was a side
trail that went down to the lagoon several years ago. Today there was no
evidence that it has been maintained.  We came across a small overgrown side
trail, but I'm not sure if it was the one.  So, we followed the existing
signs and followed the jeep trail.

Several interesting mushrooms and plants were found growing along side the
trail.  We must have seen 6 different kinds of mushroom.  One that caught
our attention looked like a small crumpled up plastic bag.  It had an almost
clear/transparent color to it; very unusual.  Some others had dark reds and
definitely had that poisonous look, whatever that is.

Since it's been raining the past few days I expected us to hit some wet
areas, especially down near the cypress swamp (about half way down the
trail).  The trail was underwater - about a foot or two - not too bad...
The next wet spot would leave us wondering how wet the trail "really" was.

After hiking around some puddles and relatively dry sections for a mile or
two, we came across a section where the lagoon had risen enough to
completely cover the trail for a far as the eye could see.  Not knowing if
the St. John's river had flooded the rest of the trail, I continued into the
water.  It was a quick way to cool down; about waste deep.  Several hundred
feet later the trail again emerged from the lagoon.

While the four campsites at the end of the trail were small, they are at a
very scenic section of the St. John's river.  The view of the river from the
end of the trail is beautiful.

I wouldn't suggest anyone going out to hike this trail until we've had a bit
of dry weather.  Maybe during January or February this might make a good
beginning backpacking trip for some folks looking to get their feet wet (no
pun intended).

Cheers, Jeff
a.k.a. - "Prairie Dog"