Appalachian Trail: Three Forks to Springer Mountain and Loop via Benton Mackaye Trail, Dahlonega, Georgia
Springer Mountain is not any regular mountain. It's a special place. Springer Mountain is the southern terminus of the famous Appalachian Trail. Every year, thousands of hikers start a journey here that will last many months. Other hikers finish their long thru-hikes at this point, and when they reach the summit of the mountain, after hiking in from Three Forks, they've achieved an accomplishment. On this day hike, you'll feel almost like those southbound thru-hikers as you make the southernmost climb on the Appalachian to reach the first (or last) white blaze on the Appalachian Trail. You'll return using a lesser-traveled route using the alternative Benton Mackaye Trail. This hike occurred on Saturday, August 1st, 2015. My plan was to follow the Appalachian Trail from Three Forks to the summit of Springer Mountain. I would return back to Three Forks via the Benton Mackaye Trail.
Have you ever wanted to see a waterfall in Florida? Here's your chance. The waterfall on this hike is not high at all, but it's interesting in other aspects, not to mention that it's pretty powerful. Besides the waterfall, you'll get to experience the beauty of the Suwanee River Valley. Additionally, the hike continues to an anomalous natural sight: one of only two Class III whitewater rapids in Florida. This hike occurred on Sunday, July 19th, 2015. My plan was to hike the Florida Trail from the trailhead at Bell Springs to at least Robinson Branch Falls. Depending on conditions, I wanted to visit the Big Shoals on the Suwannee River, but a deep-looking ford of Robinson Branch happened to be my turnaround point, as I didn't have the proper gear for fording at the time. On Saturday, November 4th, 2017, I returned to the Bell Springs section of the Florida Trail at a time of lower water conditions. This time, with proper gear for fording the creek, I hiked all the way to Big Shoals, and the trail report has been updated for the trail between Robinson Branch Falls and Big Shoals.
Myakka River State Park: Myakka Hiking Trail via Fox's Low Road and Bobcat Crosstrail, Sarasota, Florida
Once upon a time, the prairie was the key component of the nature of central Florida. Nowadays, not much of the prairie land is left, but fortunately, the majority of it is protected by tracts such as Myakka River State Park and Kissimmee Prairie State Park. On this long, strenuous (by Florida standards, of course) hike, you'll get to see the Florida prairie and the type of flora and fauna it is home to. However, you'll have to be sure that you bring sufficient water to enjoy this hike to its fullest. This hike occurred on Sunday, July 19th, 2015. My plan was to hike Fox's Low Road to the Myakka Hiking Trailhead. From here, I would do a large clockwise loop on the Myakka Hiking Trail. I would use Bobcat Crosstrail to shortcut the full 39-mile loop. I would end up back at the Myakka Hiking Trailhead at Fox's Low Road, and I would take Fox's Low Road back to the parking area.
Year 1: 540.0 Miles
Year 2: 552.3 Miles
Year 3: 518.4 Miles
Year 4: 434.5 Miles