Sunday, March 26, 2017
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This was a very long hiking trail that is located right near where we live. It's a straight shot of 3.5 miles straight into the woods and that's when you turn around and head back. If you do the entire thing it's approx 7 miles. Unfortunately, we were not very well prepared for this hike and had to turn around after about 1.5 miles. It's very primitive, and the bugs were very strong here. Unfortunately, we forgot the bug spray and the spider webs were so thick in some places I felt like we were in constant coverage of sticky web. Therefore, before doing this hike make sure you are 100% prepared for everything. This was definitely a lesson learned for us "new hikers". BE PREPARED! But, for what we saw it was really beautiful, however, the pictures were a lot of the same, so I do apologize. It was woods, woods, woods, and more woods.
This path is wide enough for a small truck to drive down or an ATV. We only passed by one person walking that day. It's a very secluded hidden trail.
As I said before most of the pictures will look similar. Most of the trail was wooded, there was a small patch of water but mostly just trees.
There were some signs of old logging, which is the history of this trail.
This is the small pond with a bench on the trail. I am not sure if there are more because we didn't make it to the end.
About a mile in there is this old metal fence door, it's actually embedded in the tree, so it hasn't been closed in probably decades.
At this point, we had turned around, we couldn't handle the bugs and spider webs. As stated before, we learned, BE PREPARED.
Our daughter so sick of the bugs, and she was teething.
This is a wonderful hike that I'd like to go back to but just not until we have more time and with more preparation. This is not for the newbie hiker, I'd say to get a few long hikes under your belt before you test this one out to try to complete.
Friday, March 24, 2017
Sugar Mill Ruins - New Smyrna Beach, FL
600 Mission Drive, New Smyrna Beach
The Sugar Mill Ruins in New Symerna Beach, FL are something to definitely go see. It was an extremely short hike (less than a mile) so we decided to hit two parks in one day. At this first park, we walked around what was left of a sugar mill plantation. The signs had a lot of the history of the location. Including the story of how the Native Americans in that area go together with the plantation slaves to fight the owners and burn the plantation to the ground! This is all that remains of the mill.
I love reading these signs to learn the history of a location. For instance, the material this plantation was made of. Even though this native stone feels hard and sturdy it's actually quite brittle.
The pots they used to make the sugar are still here, and in great condition for how old they are.
They do have nice bathrooms at the park, they are located in the back of the park.
Some of the floor stone are still visible, but much of it is covered with weeds and grass.
Around the main ruin, there are artifacts recovered from volunteers, and signs explaining what they are and what they were used for.
There is also a short (1/2 mile at best) nature trail. It's not very wide, maybe a single person trail. There are lots of trees, not too many flowers though.
Some of the trees are uprooted or missing limbs. This probably happened this past summer when this area was hit by Hurricane Matthew.
Gotta love three generations of women hiking together!
When you exit the nature trail you come across a small open field with some picnic tables. Along with other ruins and artifacts found by the volunteers of this park.
Lots of foliage and some even had red berries.
This was the only area where I found pine cones. The animals must be collecting them.
|(Map of our short hike around the ruins and on the trail)|
Sugar Mill Gardens - Port Orange, FL
950 Old Sugar Mill Rd, Port Orange, FL
Sugar Mill Gardens was our second stop of the day. It's located on a back street (like many other locations I've hiked at). This is a botanical garden that has lots of trails, paths, and wonderful places for events and weddings.
Lots of the flowers were in bloom. So many colors were visible, it was just remarkable.
This park was at one time a sort of "theme park" for dinosaur sculptures. This sign gives the history of the park that was once called Bongoland and the dinosaur sculptures that still exist there to this day.
There is also lots of art and sculptures all around the park. If you look close there is a face sculpture on this tree.
Around every corner there are large artifacts from the old sugar mill as well as small gardens with different type of plants and flowers.
There is a Children's Garden in the park. There we found lots of flowers, bird houses, hummingbird feeders and even this cute chime!
There are many sitting areas for photos. It's no wonder this place is known for hosting weddings.
Follow the trails around the park and you'll find lots of hidden wonders. Including, the wedding theater, more artifacts, small building ruins, dinosaur structures and much much more.
Lots of old and big trees cover the entire park.
This set of pergolas were covered in morning glories. So pretty and so neat!
The Iris plants were in full bloom!
Another sign telling the history of this wonderful plantation turned into a park.
Here's another small ruin building. They covered it in beautiful ferns which make for an amazing photo.
This cobble bridge and small pond are just magical.
There were two of these memorial benches. Painted so pretty and in a perfect little garden.
Mom really liked this barrel. Even though this isn't one, there are a lot of rain barrels around the property to help the volunteers water all the plants.
I always say how much I love these signs telling us the history of the trail or ruins. Great read.
Even the bathrooms were uniquely made and covered buildings that matched the ruins.
This little old library was picked up and transported here from Orange City, FL. It'san little old building with lots of character.
At the entrance don't forget to get a map and make a donation to the park.
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Until Next Time, Keep on Hiking!
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