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Backpacker Magazine – Online Only
Clear-running creeks, longleaf pines and wildlife in Florida's outback
Large chunks of intriguing wild land lay hidden in the far corners of Eglin Air Force Base. Recently, the Florida Trail built new trail segments like the remote Alaqua Section. This, a 16-mile stretch of trail that winds through pine-covered sand ridges, and is seldom out of sight of a clear, sand-bottomed stream, is the pick of the litter. Osprey patrol Alaqua Creek, bobcat tracks dot the forest floor and coyotes and screech owls call at dusk. You can backpack, spending the night at one of the two backcountry campsites, or day hike.
Permits from Eglin Air Force Base: (850) 882-4164.
Florida Trail: (877) 445-3352, www.florida-trail.org