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  1. #1
    Senior Member L84toff's Avatar
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    Where to hang in Florida?

    Hey, wife and I are just getting into hanging and have decided to make our annual run to FL this Feb a hang. We usually stay in the St Pete's area and just love it there, Indian Rocks beach to Treasure Island and everything in between have been awsome to us. This will be our first hang although I'm planning on testing out the gear in the garage so we are both comfortable with everything. I'm really looking forward to some quilts just so I can hang in the garage a few nights in fact.

    We're driving down from Ontario in Feb for a couple of weeks, I suspect we'll stay indoors the first night on account of the wife not having a fondness for the cold and me not wanting to have her first hang in the snow. Although this will depend on how far south we get day 1, we typically make a run for it and get to St Pete's in around 20-21 hrs but as we are going down sans the kidletts it will depend on the mood at the time, coast down or giv'er...

    We are wondering where some of the recommended spots to hang are across FL? What we know for sure is that we are going to hit the keys this time out, everything else is open. We'd also like to get some hiking in, nothing crazy long or difficult. I'd be open to hiking in, hanging over night and hiking back out. I just found a link to floridastateparks but haven't had a chance to go through it too much as of yet.

    Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

  2. #2
    Florida State Parks, by policy do not allow anything attached to the trees while camping. This would include a Hammock & its suspension.
    There are plenty of places to camp in Florida using a hammock without going to a Florida State Park.
    Just Northeast of Tampa Bay/St Petersburg is Green Swamp. Lots of places there to hike in & overnight with your hammock. A place referred to as "Richloam" is one I enjoy. Google Maps link: http://g.co/maps/sbp9k
    Enjoy your hammock camping

  3. #3
    Prefers life at 12 MPH. FLRider's Avatar
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    I don't know the Tampa/St. Pete/Clearwater area too well for camping (most of my experience down that way is with skating), but a resource I recommend is Florida Hikes! It seems to do fairly well at covering an areas hiking resources (just look for "backpacking" options, and you'll be golden).

    Another resource that might be worth looking at is the Florida Trail website. It doesn't pass too close to the Tampa area, but if you're driving, that shouldn't bee too much of an issue.

    Generally, hammocking is okay in wildlife management areas and water management areas, as well as state forests and national forests, but not state parks (the price of tourism, I suppose). However, it's always best to call ahead to the local land management before going, both because it's hunting season in most of Florida through until March-ish and because they should be able to give you an hard answer on the hammocks being okay.

    I hope you enjoy your stay down here! Feel free to PM me if you come up Gainesville way.

  4. #4
    Senior Member L84toff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by islander View Post
    Florida State Parks, by policy do not allow anything attached to the trees while camping. This would include a Hammock & its suspension.
    I did not know that. Weird but good to know for sure.

    Quote Originally Posted by islander View Post
    There are plenty of places to camp in Florida using a hammock without going to a Florida State Park.
    Just Northeast of Tampa Bay/St Petersburg is Green Swamp. Lots of places there to hike in & overnight with your hammock. A place referred to as "Richloam" is one I enjoy. Google Maps link: http://g.co/maps/sbp9k
    Enjoy your hammock camping
    Thanks for that, we'll add that to our stop.

  5. #5
    Senior Member L84toff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FLRider View Post
    I don't know the Tampa/St. Pete/Clearwater area too well for camping (most of my experience down that way is with skating), but a resource I recommend is Florida Hikes! It seems to do fairly well at covering an areas hiking resources (just look for "backpacking" options, and you'll be golden).

    Another resource that might be worth looking at is the Florida Trail website. It doesn't pass too close to the Tampa area, but if you're driving, that shouldn't bee too much of an issue.

    Generally, hammocking is okay in wildlife management areas and water management areas, as well as state forests and national forests, but not state parks (the price of tourism, I suppose). However, it's always best to call ahead to the local land management before going, both because it's hunting season in most of Florida through until March-ish and because they should be able to give you an hard answer on the hammocks being okay.

    I hope you enjoy your stay down here! Feel free to PM me if you come up Gainesville way.
    Thanks for the info & links, I did have the florida trails one saved already but not the other. We have really enjoyed the St Pete's area in the past but are not necessarily planning on that being our destination this year. In fact our goal is to see the rest of FL.

    Any spots to hang in the keys?

  6. #6
    Prefers life at 12 MPH. FLRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by L84toff View Post
    Thanks for the info & links, I did have the florida trails one saved already but not the other. We have really enjoyed the St Pete's area in the past but are not necessarily planning on that being our destination this year. In fact our goal is to see the rest of FL.

    Any spots to hang in the keys?
    To be honest, I don't know. It's entirely possible, but I've actually never been to the keys.

  7. #7
    In the Florida Keys all land is at a premium. I am not aware of any place there to openly hammock camp from. Whenever I'm in the Keys' I have my boat with me and sleep overnight on the water.
    I have found a number of good spots when out in the boat & the backwater Mangroves. Some possibilities there, but only accessible by boat.
    Sorry to not be much help there.

  8. #8
    Senior Member lilricky's Avatar
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    I don't know how far too far is for you to hike, but a spot I like to hang is a place called Hidden Pond. Its located in the Ocala National Forest. But don't let the name fool you, its right off of the Florida Trail, and every hiker in Florida probably knows about it. Plenty of water to filter from, lots of trees to hang from, and most likely 4-5 other hikers will be there. There are 6 different camps at Hidden Pond, so you can seclude yourself if you wish. Now the possible bad side, the shortest distance from the nearest parking is 3 miles. So you would have an hour of hiking to get there. But on the way there you could check out part of the Yearling trail, get to see the Long family cemetery, and a very large sinkhole where the former residents used to gather water from(now completely dried out). Here, you can get a pdf of that section of trail.

  9. #9
    Senior Member L84toff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lilricky View Post
    I don't know how far too far is for you to hike, but a spot I like to hang is a place called Hidden Pond. Its located in the Ocala National Forest. But don't let the name fool you, its right off of the Florida Trail, and every hiker in Florida probably knows about it. Plenty of water to filter from, lots of trees to hang from, and most likely 4-5 other hikers will be there. There are 6 different camps at Hidden Pond, so you can seclude yourself if you wish. Now the possible bad side, the shortest distance from the nearest parking is 3 miles. So you would have an hour of hiking to get there. But on the way there you could check out part of the Yearling trail, get to see the Long family cemetery, and a very large sinkhole where the former residents used to gather water from(now completely dried out). Here, you can get a pdf of that section of trail.
    That's perfect, I think we'll add that to our stops, anything under 10 miles would be easy depending on terrain.

  10. #10
    Prefers life at 12 MPH. FLRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by L84toff View Post
    That's perfect, I think we'll add that to our stops, anything under 10 miles would be easy depending on terrain.
    That hike is a lot of fun and really easy, as long as it isn't above 95 F. The most elevation change you're likely to see through there is in the 50 to 60 foot range.

    I don't know how it is in the "winter", but you may want to carry a stick to knock down spider webs with if my experience this last August is any indication. Banana spiders are ugly, but not venomous.

    I hope you enjoy it!

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