Posted by: Barbara Evanhoe | November 30, 2010

Oh, Our Aching Feet!

Our weather today was overcast and cooler ~ in the 70’s, so we decided it would be a good day to do some hiking on Big Shoals State Park, along the Suwannee River.

The Big Shoals area is best known for its rapids. When water levels on the Suwannee are between 59 and 61 feet, the Big Shoals rapids earn a Class III White Water designation. A smaller set of rapids down stream is called Little Shoals.

This is not the time of year for white water, and even if it was, the rapids would no doubt be disappointing, as Florida is experiencing drought conditions and the water level in the Suwannee is at record low levels.

Luckily, the area also offers miles of trails for  mountain biking, hiking and horseback riding. The trails wind through ravines and the dense shade of a moist, cool forest said to resemble the climate of the Southern Appalachian Mountains.

We decided on the 3.4 mile Woodpecker Trail, which links the Little Shoals to the Big Shoals park entrances.

At the outset, it doesn’t sound like too much of a hike, but keep in mind that once you arrive at your destination and spend some time there, you still have a 3.4 mile walk back to where you started!

Our walk through the forest was delightful, and fairly uneventful. The only wildlife we ran into was an armadillo who was poking through forest floor debris for grubs, worms, ants or other such things that armadillos like to eat.

We also met up with a rather scary creature once we arrived at the Big Shoals entrance, and I snapped the photo below to share with you…he was at least 10 ft. tall and covered in Spanish Moss, with a gnarly old face and humanoid hands – something that crawled out of the swamp by the river, no doubt!

Swamp Creature

After meeting up with that guy, it didn’t take us long to get back on the trail, finish our hike, crawl into the truck and head for home to rest our weary feet. Should probably take some Aleve tonight so we can move in the morning!

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