Originally Posted by emcee
I would do a long hike in on Friday. Not sure I want to do a long hike out on Sunday. Maybe we could set up a shuttle. SR 19 to Pat's Island? Too bad there's no overnite parking at the Yearling TH, that would be easier. Or if you want to come from the north at CR 316 and then back to Pat's Island on Sunday.
Unlikely I could get started much before noon, so it would be a late arrival at Hidden Pond or a nite on the trail 5-6 miles short and arrive at HP early Sat am.
One other thing to consider is archery season will be open outside of the Juniper Springs Rec. Area.
I'd be willing to do a shuttle. If we were to do an overnighter from SR 19, avoiding the hunters would definitely be a plus.
There's a decent spot at Whiskey Creek in the Juniper Prairie Wilderness, but that's only two miles short of Hidden Pond. There're another couple of sites among the pine stands further into the Juniper Wilderness that don't have any water, but again, they're even closer to Hidden Pond.
Even starting at noon and averaging 2.5 MPH (which is fairly conservative for me at the beginning of the day, but is about average at the end of the day for me; I tend to slow down as the miles add up), we'd be able to cover that in about eight hours--call it ten with breaks to be on the safe side. Which means that we'd be night hiking for about three hours (~7.5 miles, or about from the SR 40 crossing) or so if we pushed into Hidden Pond.
I'm familiar enough with the trail that I'd be willing to night hike through there with a companion--not sure I'd want to do it solo, just in case I step in an hole or something. It'll be a new moon, so headlamps are going to be a must.