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Withlacoochee Croom Tract Smith Prairie

Birding / Hiking / Adventuring Roadtrip Info

ROUGH DRAFT

Nov 2018
 Typical view [?]
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Typical View (12)

Snapshots! (5)
GRADES: Click each for info, * = Note
Revisit? B
Birding C *
Wildlife A
Summer Heat B
Terrain D *
Fun Hike B
Maintained C *
Mosquitos C
Biting Files C
Ticks C
NOTE: C+
NOTE: Relative to Florida
NOTE: It's fine - just a bit rough.
 LOCATION: Accuracy: Read me
Map On Big Map: Click map (or on google maps). Address: CR 480 W and Forest Rd 7, Brooksville, FL, Hernando, USA, 34601

1) What It's Like

Most trails go through oak forests before running into an expanse of tall pines - this is a relatively flat section in the middle of the forest that starts out with that pine expanse right away.

2) Kinds of Birds

Warblers and forest birds most likely to be seen and heard at entrance. Towhees across street to northwest. South along the trail anything possible but night hawks and red headed woodpeckers are the standout.

3) Wildlife

I see lots of tracks for deer but haven't seen any while walking here.

4) Amenities

A rough parking lot and warning signs on a big sheet of plywood. But it works.

5) Time Requirements

You can do a short walk because everything starts quickly and take a short cut back out to the main road on a forest road - or you could spend a day or two connecting to all kinds of trails in here.

Experience

See main overview page for context/maps.

If you're crossing the forest to/from Tucker Hill to the bike area this is right in the middle. The parking area is kind of a big mud pit - drive your car in slowly. There's a big board that's more of a place important things are posted than what you'd think of as a typical trailhead sign. There's no ads for yoga in the woods - just "hey I lost my dog" or "hunting season - put your orange vest on!" - that kind of thing. Going forward there are a few trails - one I think is meant for hiking specifically, one is for biking with an emphasis of NOT being for horses. To the left a bit is forest road seven. If you go to the right maybe a quarter mile there's another forest road I often walk back to this from. If you turn around and look at the north side of the street you see forest road seven again - it's actually a nice walk along here though I've only done a bit of it. To the left not too far, though you may have to walk over there to see it, are horse trails. On the north side if you walk along the road you can often spot and hear towhees and mixed birds, some warblers. At this area in general you hear warblers etc more than in the forest.

I get the impression this is more of an entry point for hunters than others I might mention so I'd suggest paying attention to hunting seasons. I always just keep a blaze orange in my hiking stuff so I'm not caught off guard. I haven't heard shooting close enough to be worrisome.

I usually go ahead (south) on the hiking trails. It's pines with low vegetation more or less. So you see rolling hills inside the forest. There are some unique plants, flowers, and bugs so it's interesting to keep an eye out. Sometimes there are biting flies along here as well. It's not the BEST place for night hawks in this forest but we often see them out here. Listen for their call and look up - you'll see them pass over or circle around periodically. Here's a page with pictures and sounds. They are usually high enough up that you may or may not see the white stripe on their wings but they do have that boomerang shape to their wings and they keep making the call. Listen to this. The boom sound they don't do so much here as much as other areas of the trail but it's surprising if you do hear it. The up close view - they are VERY well camouflaged and I've only seen it when in an area where they like to be low.

Other birds in the area - again not the best area in this forest for this but there are still good chances of seeing red headed woodpeckers here.

If I was going to complain about this section it would be that the trail can be uneven to the point that good boots might be a good idea and it can be somewhat dull and uniform compared to other sections... but that's compared to other places here. It's still very interesting.

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