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[ft-l] local hiking info: Ocala and Scouts


A good starter hike for scouts (and adults) is to hike on the FT from
Juniper Springs to  Hidden Pond (or lake) and return.  It is almost exactly
5 miles north of Juniper, 10 mile roundtrip.  Easily completed in a day.

For a good overnighter, do the same hike but stay the night at Hidden Pond,
hike back the next day.  Hidden pond has alot of good campsites (don't camp
right at the spring-fed pond).  To get the scouts a 15 mile trip (for hiking
merit badge), have them hike the second day (before returning to Juniper)
with daypacks around the perimeter of the Juniper Prarie right next to
Hidden Pond.  It's about a 3 or 4 mile loop.  Leave heavy packs at basecamp
aroung Hidden Pond.  Use purifiers at Hidden Pond.  You can leave your
vehicles at Juniper for a $10 fee (well protected) and use the showers when
you return.

Another good hike is from Alexander Springs to LaNoChe BSA Camp, about 11
miles or so.  FT skirts the north edge of Winn-Dixie Scout Reservation.  You
can spend the night somewhere (good spots just north of the power lines) and
make a 2 day out of it.  You can leave a car at LaNoChe for free (with
reservations and tour permit suggested) and a car at Alexander ($10).

Use the 2 FTA maps for Ocala.  They're good.

I could send you a ho-made powerpoint map (or jpeg) of the Hidden Pond area
with good campsite locations.  Just let me know.

Happy Trails.
Mike Otten
IRC and BSA Troop 734 Palm Bay

----- Original Message -----
From: "trailtalker" <jichat@yahoo.com>
To: <ft-l@mailman.backcountry.net>
Sent: Monday, September 02, 2002 4:34 PM
Subject: [ft-l] local hiking info

[ Picked text/plain from multipart/alternative ]

The Ocala National Forest offers some nice areas to hike and what makes it
desirable to many people is that you can hike mostly campground to
campground if you would like to because there are campgrounds with beautiful
springs and showers 5-10 miles apart through most of it.  If you have more
than one vehicle this would allow the younger crowd to start at one
campground and hike to the next.  There is also a wilderness area in the ONF
and I would recommend hiking there if you will be hiking during hunting
season.  How many miles are you planning to hike?


I would like to break the trip down into two treks. The first would be
for my younger Scouts (11-13) and would be a Day Hike Loop from our base
camp. The 2nd hike would be for my older Scouts and would be an
overnight "out & back". We have the necessary backpacking stoves and
water filters to allow for primitive camping for the older Scouts.

I was told there are some nice trails in the Ocala National Forest.
Does anyone have any experience with these trails (or similar trails)?


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