Take a Load Off in Little Big Econ State Forest, Florida
You deserve this: Find a private slice of paradise in this hammock-camping hotspot.
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Make the most of your winter on the Econlockhatchee River, just a half hour drive outside of Orlando. There’s no wrong way to stage a trip in this flatwater paradise, but we recommend paddlers put in at the launch on CR 419 and float up to 20 miles east to the St. Johns River. Stop over in the East Camp Area, about 10 to 11 miles from the starting point, to sling a hammock among the waterside oaks and palms or find a patch of dry land for tenting.
Not the seafaring sort? That’s OK: There’s plenty for hikers to do. The Florida Trail cuts through this state forest, and so do some in the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail network.
Want to try our favorite hike in the area? Take off on foot from the Barr Street trailhead, following the Florida Trail east along the blackwater river. If you want to spend the night in the state forest, you’ll pass through the West Camp Area in the first 2 miles, and your best bet is to claim a campsite or hammock-friendly pair of trees beside the tannic water, then keep going on the 1.5-mile Kolokee Loop. It follows the Econlockhatchee before doglegging north through pine woods and circling back to the West Camp Area.
With February highs in the mid-70s and few bugs, this is the perfect spot to hike and paddle your away from the snow in the rest of the country.
Permit Required for overnighting; visit ReserveAmerica or call 1-877-879-3859.