So, my birthday this year falls on Presidents' Day. I am intending on doing a Sunday night overnighter on 2/19, in Ocala National Forest, at Hidden Pond, and I figured to open it up to anyone who wants to come.
As of right now, the plan is to drive down Sunday morning to the Pat's Island trail head, hike in on the Florida Trail, set camp, and enjoy an evening in the back country.
Depending on whether I can convince the wife to come, I may actually give up the comfort of the hammock . It would be a major coup if I could get her to go, but we'll see about that as the date approaches. She has her doubts about back country camping, so...
I'll still be bringing the hammock for lounging, either way. Anyway, I thought I'd make it official for everyone if they want to come on out.
For those of you who haven't been to Hidden Pond, it's a fairly easy three mile hike in, through the Juniper Prairie Wilderness Area. There is a spring-fed pond at the actual campsite, doubling as a water source (it still needs to be treated, but I'll have my gravity filter with me if anyone needs a hand) and swimming hole. There are not any toilets at the site, so be prepared for that. Bear bagging is a must in this portion of the forest; I've personally seen three black bears within a quarter-mile of trail less than ten miles from the site.
There are two trail heads, one at the Juniper Springs campground to the south (this one is behind a gated entrance and costs, I think, $10 a night if memory serves), and one at the Pat's Island trail head to the north (free, but not gated or monitored). Both directions are about the same distance and elevation change.
If anyone has any questions, feel free to ask!