Ok folks... it's that time again. I have the Creekside camp site reserved for the weekend after Valentines weekend (Feb 21-23). It's the same deal as the previous two years.
For those that don't know about the hang the important parts are:
- The state forest entrance fee is $2/person/day and you need to fill out the pay stub and attach the tear off portion to your rear view mirror on your car so that law enforcement knows that you belong there.
- Bring food, cooking gear, charcoal, or firewood (try to coordinate with folks in this planning thread so that we don't have 20 bags of charcoal and no eggs ) or all four
- The hike into the site is about a mile and a half or a bit more depending on which path you take in. It's an easy hike and most folks do multiple trips to bring all of their junk in.
- There are lots of sites that are available but you might need to spread out a bit
- Pets are sort of welcome but they must be on a leash at all times and you need to remember that there are poisonous snakes (we had a pygmy rattler in the main camp area near the fire ring in the first year), wild hogs, bears that are routinely seen within a mile of the site, and a FL panther has been seen within a half mile of the camp site... plus gators in the creek
- There is all the water you can drink... that's why the site is called "creekside"
- There will probably be a hike of some sort on Saturday
- If you want to kayak/canoe down the creek from the parking area it will be about an hour and is a very nice paddle. When you are ready to leave you can continue out to Lake Arbuckle and head north up to the county boat ramp and we can help shuttle a vehicle for you. The entire trip from parking to boat ramp is only about 4-5 hours max but you are obviously welcome to explore on the lake too while you're out there.
The one thing to remember is that there are LOTS of BIG gators in the lake (it is 98% undeveloped natural areas) and it also gets very rough if there is a wind blowing out of the east. You should be a fairly confident intermediate paddler to do the trip just in case the weather gets bad. Trees are also always falling into the creek so there will be several tough spots and portages through muck and thick vegetation.
I think most of the information is available from the previous threads here. If you have questions just ask.
I'm not sure if I'll be able to get out there early on Friday the 21st but if I can't get off of work then I should start hiking in by about 5:30 if anyone is unsure of the hike in and wants to tag along. There is usually a group that heads in early on Friday... I think 11 is an average depart time for them.
Hopefully we'll get some cooler weather this year... or at least let's hope it isn't in the 90s again