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Tosohatchee WMA

Birding / Hiking / Adventuring Roadtrip Info

ROUGH DRAFT

Mar 2018
 Typical view [?]
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Typical View (27)

Snapshots! (10)
GRADES: Click each for info, * = Note
Revisit? A
Birding C *
Wildlife A *
Summer Heat A *
Terrain C *
Fun Hike B
Maintained B *
Mosquitos D
Biting Files B
Ticks D
NOTE: C to B
NOTE: We see evidence more than the wildlife but hard when deep in dense woods
NOTE: Good shade
NOTE: C to B
NOTE: Though it's big and you can get into overgrowth areas
 LOCATION: Accuracy: Read me
Map On Big Map: Click map (or on google maps). Address: 3398 Taylor Creek, Christmas, FL, Orange, USA, 32709

1) What It's Like

It's a large, dense, diverse, and old forest. It feels very large/old/wild which is why we like it. Great hike, be careful with poison ivy, ticks, and hunting seasons. 50 iles of trails - Florida Trail is good place to start.

2) Kinds of Birds

There are wetlands in here but we haven't explored that yet. Mostly we see birds on the roads in and some birds that like to be on the forest floor like cardinals and wrens. Orlando Wetlands up the road is incredible for birds.

3) Wildlife

Everything but bears. That said we see lots of signs for wildlife but it's such dense forest we don't usually see it. Sometimes from roads when it's not hunting season. It's the kind of place where you constantly expect to run into wild life around every corner. 

4) Amenities

Chem toilet at entrance and pretty good forest roads for ordinary cars. Might be more but that's all we've seen so far.

5) Directions

See Experience section. GPS/map points to the main point of interest mentioned.

6) Time Requirements

You could spend a week here but you can have a nice experience in an hour as well.

Experience

Tosohatchee is pretty great place to hike. To me the draw is just that it feels like a big, old, wild place you're wandering around in rather than a trail 1,000 people do every day. I'm not seeing a great single map so look at both of these - an official one shows trails but not by color. Another map shows trail by color but not where Fish Hole Rd is. Stop at the entry area where you pay and there should be better maps printed or at least on the display board.

There are quite a few trails and we've been to a few but mostly we've done the White Trail which is the Florida Trail.Enter the park off Taylor Creek Road. On the right will be a pull-in with a chem toilet, a place to pay (I think it's like $2), and a great big info display area / brochures area. Check for warnings about hunting season etc - closest place I know to buy the blaze orange vests you're required to wear is the Walmart in Titusville. From there continue on in the main road and turn left at St.Nicolas Rd. Before long you'll hit the power line easement: Power Line Road. Turn right on to that and before long driving past the power lines you'll see Fish Hole Road T into this road. Directly on the left when that's on your right you'll see a little parking area and a small brown sign saying "Trail". Also - there are white signs on each power line tower and this one is T-124... so you can count them down.

You just walk into the tree line and there will be a left-right arrow sign showing you can go either way. To the right is plenty interesting but to the left it seems to approach water quicker and be slightly more interesting. There are plenty of other places to explore here however.

I would generally say that it's a dense dark forest but it's hard to pin it down to being oak/pine/cabbage palm or the ground cover being just saw palmetto vs other things. It's a mix, parts become dominated by one kind of forest but not for so long that you feel you're in that kind of forest. IME vegetation varies and is composed of plants you are not used to seeing more often the older a forest is. I think it develops into dense food webs / complex ecosystems and that draws in interesting birds and wildlife - etc.

A few mild warnings -

1) We've never seen more poison ivy than we have here.Even if you don't have reactions I'd suggest bringing extra clothes, gloves, and trash bags to not get the oils over everything. Or - just be careful and look around as you walk.

2) It's a WMA and hunting is very popular here at certain times. Everyone is very nice and friendly and they tend to avoid the Florida Trail areas from what I can tell but it's a good idea to keep blaze orange vests in your car in general when you go hiking in Florida so you don't have to constantly be aware of hunting seasons. Not many flat out close but rather require you wear those.

3) They have a lot of signs warning about ticks but so far we haven't run into problems. I think if you're hunting you're walking off trail in tall grasses much more often - trails are pretty safe unless the trail hasn't been mowed in a long time. I would definitely expect there are plenty of tick opportunities in here however.

There are a lot of places to stop near here. Orlando Wetlands is incredible for birds. Seminole Ranch is between this and the wetlands but we haven't hiked that one yet. Coming from the south is Hal Scott. That one isn't for everyone - read our review. There's more if you drive north and south.


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