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Florida Trail: Turkey Run

What Florida lacks in relief, it makes up for in biodiversity. Take this 8.8-mile out-and-back on the 1,400-mile point-to-panhandle trail to hear Red-Cockaded woodpeckers thumping pines, see carnivorous Pitcher plants growing densely, and maybe run into Florida black bears roaming the underbrush.

Rating

An easy hike with little elevation gain, this short portion of the Florida Trail in the Osceola National Forest is perfect for a cool day. Be sure to wear bug spray because mosquitoes are common in swampland, but the extra dose of DEET is worth the potential species-sightings of the route. Pine hammocks are the homes to multitudes of woodpeckers and butterflies, and Florida black bears wander in and out of the forest. Those hikers interested in near-harmless spider species may be drawn to beautiful spiders common to the area like the Golden Silk Orb-weaver and the Yellow Garden spider and their magnificent webs. 

From the Turkey Run trailhead on the left side of Colorado Rd. 250, follow the well-maintained path west for about 1.8 miles. Then, continue on the path — following the orange blazed trail  — another 1.8 miles north by northwest until hitting Forestry Road 234. Don’t be alarmed if along the trail, the scenery changes dramatically. Often, you’ll be trotting along when suddenly you notice you’re in a large, scrubby meadow created by past forest fires. Or other times, you might find yourself in the middle of a swamp that might seem to have come out of nowhere. 

After crossing Forestry Road 234, you will continue along the path in the same direction for .8 miles along the east side of Still Rd. When Still Rd. bends to the east, you will naturally cross. This crossing point is the end of this section route of the Florida Trail. With 4.4 miles under your belt, you will head back in the same direction you came.

CAUTION: There is no potable water on this trail, so bring at least a gallon per person. Florida summer weather usually reaches about 90-degrees, and the trees that line the trail let in much sunlight. 

PERMIT: Osceola National Forest has no formal backcountry permit or reservation system.

INFO: Osceola National Forest, (386) 752-0147; fs.fed.us/r8/florida/osceola/ or The Florida Trail Association, (352) 378-8823; floridatrail.org/contactus.html

-Mapped by jwalker85

To Trailhead

From Jacksonville, Take I-10 W for 37.4 miles to US 90 exit. Head west on US 90 for 7 miles. Go past Olustee National Battlefield, and turn right on State Route 250. Follow SR 250 for about 5 miles until it dead ends. Take a right onto Gumswamp Rd. After .5 mile, trailhead is on the left.

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