Guest Blogger, Jeff Sparks



Flagler Trail – Seminole County, FL

Took an out & back hike this morning on the Flagler Trail (blue blaze). Starting at the Trailhead off of Snow Hill Rd, I traveled north. The morning started foggy & overcast. Everything was soaked from the rain we had the night before.


The trail is in pretty good shape – there were a few puddles that I had to weave around. Not much was stirring due to the wet & cool morning. But every time I stopped I was swarmed by the ladies. Not human - but mosquitos.* They are not much into small talk but were always eager to see me. Only the benefits of modern science kept me safe and I was able to walk out of there without a bite.

If you like straight & flat trails – this one is for you! There are trail markers every ½ mile so you can gauge your distance & speed.


* Yes, only ladies. If there is only one thing I learned from reading The Far Side by Gary Larson, only the females bite and suck your blood. 

Green Soup – Flagler Trail – Seminole County, FL


Along the trail is this area of standing water that is entirely blanketed in green. Totally peaceful & I can imagine this was more common before the settlers arrived. I was expecting an alligator or the Swamp Monster to come out to scare me. But, I was able to move along without any problems.


Florida Trail

Intersecting with the Flagler Trail is a part of the Florida Trail (orange blaze). A 1.2 mile hike to Snow Hill Rd. It is well marked and meanders thru the forest and swamp areas. If you ever want to get away from civilization, it’s hard to beat this trail. Just you and nature – no man-made objects can be seen from here. The Snowhill Mountain Bike Trail does come close at one point but there were no riders to be seen today.


I made it all the way to the creek with a large & well-made wooden bridge. There I was able to gather the FTA Volunteer Trail Crew cache (GC2GPN3). According to the cache details, this trail was cut in 2005. After 10 years, it’s still in great shape and I hope you get a chance to explore it soon.


Brown & White

Came across this collection of fungi today. I was struck by the flashiness of the white fungi versus the more normal brown ones. All on the same log & living in harmony.


Circle of Life

Came across this stump on the Snow Hill portion of the Florida Trail. The stump is still giving life to other plants even though it no longer has a life of its own. A great metaphor for me as both of my parents passed away last year but they are still inspiring me today. I can only hope that I can provide the same legacy for my son.

Trekking Pole Lament

I lost my trekking pole. I left it at a trailhead last week & didn’t realize it until I got home. I went back several days later in the hopes that a kind soul had left it for me but it was not to be. Not a big loss as I only paid $20 but I still miss it!

When I bought it, I wasn’t sure if I would like using it. So, I didn’t want to spend much money and was able to get a collapsible pole cheaply. It has seen lots of use & the markings were starting to wear away.

I was thinking about replacing it anyway with a pair of lighter poles. I’ve got my eye on a cork handled model that may fit the bill. 

Don’t see many people using poles in Florida. Certainly the terrain doesn’t call for them. But I liked my pole for these reasons:

• Knocking down spider webs. I usually hike early in the morning on lightly used trails. The spiders have had plenty of time to span the trail.

• Stability – the pole allows me to look around without having to concentrate on the trail. I get to see more of the nature around me this way.

• Water – using the pole to measure the depth allows me to determine if I can make the crossing while staying dry.

• Caching – I can poke around for hidden caches without putting my fingers in danger.

Having hiked the last two days without a pole makes me miss it that much more. I almost felt naked without it. Can’t wait to get my new ones!


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Thank you Jeff for sharing your Wild Florida Hiking Trail with us, we really enjoyed the adventure and hope to see more from you in the future!