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[ft-l] Talquin State Forest

Several Suwannee Chapter members traveled to Talquin to give their trails a try, which by the way were FT loop trails. We hiked just one set of trails in two loops for about 5 miles. As we rounded one corner we were greeted by an explosion of white lilies deep within one of the ravines. It was a remarkable sight. We also found a totally neat "slime stick". It was some kind of oozing orange fungi growing down the side of a 2 foot stick propped up against a tree. We dubbed it the "dripping nose slime stick fungi".

For those not familiar with this state forest here is the blurp from their pamphlet: Lake Talquin State Forest is located just west of Tallahassee in western Leon County and southern Gadsden County in the panhandle of Florida. It covers approximately 16,326 acres and is composed of nine main tracts and many smaller tracts of land. The majority of these tracts adjoin the Ochlockonee River and Lake Talquin, the body of water that gives the forest its name.

The presence of Lake Talquin and the Ochlockonee River provide the forest with many varied forms of topography. Outstanding examples of the seepage slope and ravine forest communities are located on the west side of the Talquin Tract and throughout the Fort Braden and Bear Creek Tracts. Other examples of the natural communities found on the forest include flatwoods, rolling uplands, swamps, sandhills and hardwood forest.

Many coniferous and deciduous trees combine to create a unique forest cover. In the spring, flowering dogwoods are a refreshing sight and in the fall provide a show of color along with the oaks and maples. The following trees are also found in abundance on the forest: sweetgum, water oak, longleaf pine, slash pine, loblolly pine, laurel oak, live oak, mockernut hickory, red maple, sweetbay, swamp tupelo, bald cypress and turkey oak.

Animal life is plentiful as there are many varieties of wildlife that make their home on the forest. Species found living here include the red-shouldered hawk, bobcat, coyote, osprey, white-tailed deer, fox squirrel, turkey, and mourning dove. Bald eagles, currently listed as a threatened species can be viewed soaring above the treetops. The gopher tortoise, which is a species of special concern also lives on the forest.

Carol Ann