I try to go hiking whenever I get the chance. Tallahassee has quite a few trails, but some are better suited for hiking than others. I’ve decided to post some reviews of the trails that I’ve been to.
October 25th, 2009
When I entered the park, I went to a rec area and spotted a “nature trail” and I began there. I met a snake halfway down, but the path was really, really nice, and eventually opened up to a lovely area to view the lake, where I found this pair of underwear on the ground.
I can only hope there is an amazing story to go along with them. Unfortunately, this is also where the trail terminated—a mere 0.4 miles from the beginning. So I had to turn back, get in my car, and find the real trails further down the road. When I got to my car I realized I was covered in little…things. Little red bugs, like the kind you might find in Spanish moss. I had a hell of a time brushing them off.
This area is really beautiful. More Georgia and Carolina looking trees, big lakes and birds and wildlife too. Sadly, this trail was a boring 4.1 miles of hard clay and sand that wore my feet out. The trail starts with a smashing view of some high-voltage power lines, and then you follow some tire tracks to the trailhead. The path has the appearance of being driven over by a truck with a plow every few months. The whole time I was just walking and walking, and the path was just flat and dead. Perfect if you’re a bicycle or a horse (or you are riding one), but for a hiker it wasn’t so great. They label these trails as “multipurpose”, but that’s kind of a stretch I think. The path goes around the lake, and you are forever glimpsing pieces of it while never really being near it. In a few places a viewing point allows you to sit and enjoy the lake a little closer and with an unobstructed view. I sat at a bench at one for a while, admiring a log that was drifting towards me. This turned out to not be a log, and was instead a rather large alligator, and so I left.
The mile markers were terribly confusing. At the trail head, the first marker I saw was ‘3’. Next was ‘2’, followed by ‘4’, and then ‘3’, ‘5’, and then the end. I guess some paths intersect, but it remains a mystery to me. Florida parks need better trail maps. I should start making GPS maps of them.
When I finally got back around to the trailhead I was relieved (never a good indication). I brushed myself off, got in my car, and headed to leave. I decided to visit the gardens before I fully left, just to see the Halloween scarecrows, etc. That was refreshing, and at least allowed me to feel better about my $4 entrance fee.
Rating: 2 out of 5
D1: a small clearing with a lake viewing bench, horse corals, picnic tables, and bathroom. Beware of gators.
D2: A recently constructed elevated viewing area. This was a really beautiful view of the lake.
D3: The gardens, if you want to count that. Or the small 0.4 mile “nature trail” near the lake recreation area.
So overall, and as I stated before, the area is exceedingly beautiful. It is unfortunate that the trail was so bad, but there are another few potential trails that I might try, and so I won’t dismiss the whole park just yet. If you are looking for mountain bike or equestrian trails, look no further. Also, the lake looks like it will be a lot of fun in the summer months.