Sunday, February 26, 2017

Richloam Fire Tower Traverse, Withlacoochee State Forest, Florida, February 23, 2017

Richloam Fire Tower Traverse, Withlacoochee State Forest, Webster, Florida, 2/23/17

Distance: 8.7 miles (North Loop and Crossover trails)

Trailhead: This hike requires a car spot. The hike begins at the intersection of Porter Gap and McKinney Sink Roads. These two roads meet several miles from the fire tower parking area. There is a "Little River" sign where the roads meet - park here.  (Don't confuse this location with the Little River parking area, that's further down the road).  The hike ends at the Richloam fire tower at 38294 Richloam Clay Sink Road.  (I've included a map at the end of this report). 

Hiked with the Sun Coast Chapter of the Florida Trail Association today. We parked at the fire tower and were shuttled down Porter Gap Road to the start of the hike.

Cute general store near the fire tower.
Parking area (at the end).
She's certainly a tall one!
Across from the fire tower (we come out of these woods at the end).

We began our hike in the Little River area. The trail is located on the right side of the road and is well marked.  
We parked here (where Porter Gap and McKinney roads meet).

Trail is a few yards down, on the right.

We got on the trail and skirted a wetland for the first ten minutes or so, reaching the side trail to the primitive campground.

Trail to campsite (on right).

Blue Sink is a depression area (left of the main trail).
Area is well blazed in yellow - used to be blazed in orange.

Little Withlacoochee River.

We crossed both the old and the new State Road 50.

Road crossing.

Soon after we crossed the roads we came to a trail junction where we went right, onto a blue connector trail, which we stayed on until back at the fire tower and cars.  

Air plants hanging on the trees.

We passed the junction for South Loop.

This is a very pleasant walk in the woods and represents a small piece of the awesome Richloam hiking area.

Orange blazes are now YELLOW! To get a better map,click here.