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[ft-l] Hiking



Nice to be out hiking this morning, with temps in the 70s! Heavy cloud cover 
but it didn't rain. Here's the **NEW** trails we explored in the Citrus-Marion 
area, in case anyone else wants to get out there and see these:

1. Sandhills Nature Trail, Rainbow Springs State Park, Dunnellon. A brand new 
hiking-only trail, well marked ...but ask at ranger station for directions on 
how to find trailhead, it's at the far back end of the park next to the 
native plant garden. Nice 2.1 mile loop but mostly on old roads/firebreaks. Lots of 
wildflowers in bloom and places to go down to the edge of the Rainbow River. 
Part of the trail is along the edge of deep gullies/pits left behind by early 
1900s phosphate mining.

2. Inglis Island, Cross Florida Greenway off US 19 along Riverwoods Rd. South 
of Inglis, north of Red Level. Drive to the Inglis Dam parking lot and walk 
across the dam, trailhead kiosk on the far side on the right. Shows the map. 
It's online on the CFG website at <A HREF="http://www.dep.state.fl.us/gwt/guide/regions/crossflorida/trails/inglis.htm";>
http://www.dep.state.fl.us/gwt/guide/regions/crossflorida/trails/inglis.htm</A>. We didn't hike much here because it has enough 
hiking (1200 acres) for a whole day; multi-use trails. I need to call and find 
out more regards the campsites we saw (can only Scouts use them, or 
backpackers too?) and the green footprint markers that are supposed to signal a 
footpath but led nowhere...their literature claims the hiking trail is a 3.9 mile 
loop. If it's where the footprints led, it hasn't been maintained in a long time.

3. Churchfield Hiking Trail, Crystal River State Buffer Preserve. Another 
brand new trail across from the Crystal River Mall (north of Crystal River) on US 
19. 0.3 mi boardwalk plus gorgeous 0.7 mile loop trail through shady 
jungle-like palm and pine forest with surface limestone. Looks like they may be 
expanding the trail to lead out to the edge of the estuary (which you can see 
through the trees). 

Always more to explore in Florida!
Cheers, Sandy
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