Typical view [?]
NOTE: Not grassy but slope and irregular
LOCATION: Accuracy: Read me
Dense oak forest that leads to open pine with low vegetation and interesting environment specific birds. Steep altitude change for Florida.
Pine areas the best - night hawks and red headed woodpeckers especially, some warblers etc. Oak forest some raptors (vulture, hawk, owl). True for several areas in croom the the raptors are the most true on this north side.
It's odd but often see dear in the dense oak going in - not just in the pine below.
I think there are bathrooms off the parking lot but I've never looked close.
It's about a 15 minute walk to where it opens up to pines. You could spend a day on the loops.
Tucker Hill North, South, and the Secret Entrance to the Florida Trail are similar. They start out going through dense oak forest then at some point enter a relatively open area of tall old pines with low misc plants underneath. The secret entrance trail south, Tucker south, and bike parking area all start out with dense oak forest similar to this but this descends in altitude quickly and this has no power line easement to cross. Also this trail is where we've had the most wildlife encounters - odd for being in a dense forest like this.
When you arrive there is clear parking - actually too much. You park on in front of the fence on I think it's white shell. You can park in the parking lots but you enter here. There are big signs telling you you have to pay but it doesn't say where. Where is on the south side in the corner of the parking lot you are closest to. However - the iron thing usually doesn't have envelopes to pay in it and other people don't seem to pay... I'd definitely try to pay though.
That tower here supposedly you can climb though I've never tried it. All the other business in this parking lot - I'm not 100% sure but I know part is a separate horse trail and admin offices.
If you go north (south is across the street) you'll see it descends pretty quickly. if it's rained recently the roots make steps as each level gets partially washed away by water running down the trail. Listen close - sometimes there are owls - it's dark enough they seem to be active during the day in here. Also if you really focus on hearing branches break or to see any movement in the distance through the trees you might run into groups of deer. Before too long you cross signs saying there are loops for the Florida Trail and some biking trails. You can go right or straight. If you go straight, very soon you'll see a little sign for camping and there's a great little spot for the primitive camping area. At this point you're starting the area that's mostly tall pines with low plants underneath. I wouldn't call it shady but it's not miserable in summer - there is some degree of shade. In the morning you can see tons of spiderwebs out here with the dew. It's a fairly good place for forest birds since there are plants for them to forage at a height and openness for you to see and photograph them. It goes on for miles if you want.
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