Saturday, April 29, 2017
Wekiwa Springs State Park - 3.4 Mile White Loop - 4/29/2017
On this week's hike, we went back to one of our favorite parks, Wekiwa State Park. This time we traveled on the White Loop. This medium length hike turned out to be the most nerve wrecking hike we have ever done. Due to the massive drought in the area recently we encountered lots of animals and insects you normally don't spot that much of. The beginning of the hike was pleasant and we got to hike around the Sand Lake. We even saw a small alligator sunbathing on a log in the middle. As we continued onto the trail we started to notice that there were many horse flies around. Not thinking anything of them until we were getting attacked by them. I am not sure if they are attracted to the color black but they were biting me thru my black pants and basically chased us for almost a mile. I ended up being bit multiple times by more than one horse fly, lost my balance and fell really hard after tripping on a tree root. This fall made me want to immediately turn around and not continue, but the only way out was to go on. With scraped knees, elbows and a hurt back we trucked on. Turning at a service trail where we spotted a soft shell turtle well away from water. We called the park rangers and they told us that they are laying eggs this time of year so to leave it alone. When we hit the Equestrian trail to head back, the ground was covered in bees. We hiked the equestrian trail previously and didn't encounter any of these insects. When we asked the park rangers at the end of the hike they told us that due to the lack of water the insects and animals are out in areas they normally are not seen. Needless to say, it was a long and painful walk back to our vehicle. We have decided to not return to our favorite park until there is more rain in our area. We were just lucky that our daughter was bit or stung by any of the bugs.
Right at the beginging (where you park) there are really nice bathrooms.
You don't have to hike around Sand Lake, but it's worth the extra 0.25 mile. A great view of nature.
There was a small alligator sun bathing on the log in the middle of the lake.
There were many fo these bridges throughout the trail. However, the farther you went the older and more "simple" they became.
Around the lake, there are picnic tables and bbq's for you to use. However, know that this is right next to a lake where you can see gators so be careful. But, we do hear it ahs good fishing!
The sign post at the beginning of the loop.
As you can see the trail is covered in roots. This is almost the entire way to rock springs run. Which is why when I fell it really hurt.
The bridges are getting more "rickety"
And even more narrow and rickety.
I found this tree really interesting. My husband had to duck under it, but I was short enough to not have to.
It was shortly after these photos that I was attacked by horse flies and fell really hard.
I took a break from photos after I fell. This is the equestrian trail and you can't see it in the photos but the sand was covered in ground bees.
I was not feeling well after my hard fall. And yes, the stupid horse flies were still biting me!
UNTIL NEXT TIME, KEEP ON HIKING!
For a copy of the trail map go to:
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