Thursday, February 6, 2020

Blackwater Creek Nature Preserve, Plant City, Florida, February 4, 2020

Distance: 6.5 miles (RT)

Location: Trailhead is located on 2469 Patrinostro Road in Plant City. There is a small parking lot (parking is free). No restrooms, no water.

Blackwater Creek Nature Preserve is a 2200 acre parcel consisting of pine flatwoods, marshes, prairies and a blackwater stream (so named for its color, the result of decomposing debris in and on the bottom of the stream). 

Note: Most of this hike is in the sun; be sure to bring plenty of water and sunscreen.

Hiked with Lindsey today.  I'd been to this preserve several years ago, on a group hike with a naturalist.  The group moved very slowly, stopping to talk here and there.  I was anxious to revisit the preserve and walk it without all the breaks!

Entrance.



The trails encompass a large, odd shaped loop (see below), with an optional stop off at the river. We didn't use the bypass but that's an option for you should you want to shorten your time here.  We went counter-clockwise, onto an old road with a few trees.  Be aware there are MANY roads that shoot off from these two trails but your path is well marked (it helps to pay attention).

Much of this area is wet for most of the year.

We went left,


A good portion of this hike is out in the open.

And mostly old roads......


It's incredibly peaceful here.  We didn't see anyone else, just a woodpecker and a few cranes at the river.



When hiking old roads on prairies, fields and flatwoods, it's easy to get turned around; at times feel like you're walking in circles. Everything looks the same to the untrained eye.  The Preserve map has numbered the trail in sections and as you can see, the numbers on the posts we passed correspond to the map.



Number 8 signals a junction that will take you to the river.  This area is a no miss, makes the road trudge in the open worth the trip!




Lovely Blackwater Creek.


We hung out for a bit, taking in the peaceful, slow moving water of the creek. Then back out and in the open!



There are more shaded areas on right half of the map than on the left, and more than a few muddy spots.


We were quickly back at post #1 and a few minutes later, back in our cars.  

I'm glad I revisited this hike, though I doubt I'll return in the warmer weather!