It's that time of the year again and I thought we might as well hold this year's Lake Wales Ridge State Forest (LWRSF) fall hang on the same weekend as last year's. That would put it on the weekend of November 9-11. It will, however, be on a different tract of the forest than the first two. This time we will be on the Walk-in-the-Water (aka WIW) tract
of the Lake Wales Ridge State Forest
. With a name like that you would think there would be water available everywhere but, ironically, this will most likely be very dry camping but we will either find a place near some water or will stash some water nearby ahead of the event.
We will meet and park at the WIW campground on Walk-in-Water road near Frostproof and start hiking at 11 a.m. on Friday the 9th. If you can't make it at that time then you will need to use the map that I (eventually) post here and your gps. If you will be doing the hike in later and on your own then send me a pm and I'll give you my cell phone number to call in case there is a problem.
For those coming from the north the easiest way to get there is to take highway 60 heading east out of Lake Wales. After you leave Lake Wales you will go past a citrus plant on your left and then you will see Struther's Honey on the right (stop in and pick up some orange blossom honey while you are passing by... it might be some honey from the state forest orange grove! They work it on the honor system, you don't see that very often these days). You will turn right onto Walk-in-Water road soon after Struther's. Follow WIW road for a couple of miles and when it is obvious that you have only forest on both sides look to the right for a large sign to the campground entrance.
For those coming from the south you will take highway 27 north to Frostproof. At the stoplight at the intersection of 27 and hwy 630/Ft. Meade road you will take a right (heading east towards the town of Frostproof). Stay on 630 (you will need to make a lefthand turn soon after you get on 630 so watch the signs) and follow it past the stoplight near McDonalds continuing east on 630 out of town. You will go about 3 miles and should see a large sign to the state forest headquarters on the left and will see that you have forest (instead of houses or citrus groves) on both sides. About 4-4.5 miles after the stoplight in Frostproof you will turn left onto Walk-in-Water road. Follow it north for a mile or so and look for the sign to the campground on the left.
According to Google Earth the gps coordinates to the campground are: 27*46'58.26"N 81*26'55.74"W.
The cost will be $2/person/day or free if you can find someone with an annual pass that will let you tag along
This will probably be a bit of hiking and a lot of hanging. I don't know the length of the hike in yet since we still don't have the site but I hope to narrow that down soon. It will probably be 1-3 miles. I will make a map and post it here plus I will try to find a way to put a gps track on the intergoogle for people to download (anybody know how I can do that or know someone that can host the file?). We will do a Saturday hike (probably 4-6 miles total) to another part of the property to see some of the other sites on the tract.
A few things to consider for this hang:
- it may still be hot and there isn't always a lot of shade on this tract (again this will depend heavily on where the hang site ends up)
- bring plenty of bug spray for ticks, chiggers, and mosquitoes
- this tract is mostly sugar sand (olddog... put on your fat tires!) and the western portion of the tract has lots of hills
- this tract is also easy to get lost in so bring a compass and gps
- it's not likely that we will be able to have a campfire so if it happens to be cool you won't have a warming fire
The first attachment is for those coming from the south. The purple line is your track from the McDonalds at the stoplight in Frostproof. The second attachment is for those coming from the north (and probably anyone coming from the east and west). In that one the purple line is your track from the intersection of highway 27 and highway 50 in Lake Wales.
I hope to see some old friends and some new.
update: added a photo that I just took while driving home, it is the turn into the WIW campground off of WIW road when driving from the north