This is still the best trail in the area. You never get tired of hiking it!”
— tom kamprath
The trail is open from dawn to sunset daily.
This route goes through varied terrain from sandy uplands to wet lowlands. The trail is well maintained, and because it is a single path, you get the feeling of being close to nature.
Features: Birding — River/Creek — Wildflowers — Wildlife
Need to Know
There is a $3 day-use fee at the beginning of the trail. Portions of the trail can get muddy or wet during rainy weather.
The trail is well marked with white blazes. Connector and accessory trails have a blue blaze. There are several bridges that go over wet spots or creeks. The northern portion is mostly through pine and oak trees growing in dry, sandy soil. The western and southern part go through some lowlands and sandy bluffs along the river.
The south leg of the trail goes along the north bank of the Little Manatee River for stretches. The western portion of the south leg gets swampy and can be underwater during rainy times. The trail crosses Cypress Creek twice. Cypress Creek is a tributary. There are bridges over the streams and some wet areas, but other areas can be under water or quite muddy when there is much rain.
The northern leg of the trail is generally higher and drier, but there are still a couple of spots that can be wet. There is a primitive campground with one site off the north leg of the trail.
The nice part about this trail is how it varies along its length. It makes for an interesting hike and does not get boring.
Flora & Fauna
There is much evidence of wild hogs where they have rooted up the ground. There are deer, bobcats, and many types of birds. The vegetation continuously varies along the trail. There are tall pine trees, young pine trees, oaks and other hardwoods, palmettos, vines, and many wildflowers. The old oaks in the wetlands give the area a ghostly view in places.
History & Background
The 2,418 acres of land were purchased by the State of Florida in 1974. The state park began in 1975.