Did you know the Ocala National Forest is the southernmost forest in the continental US, and protects the world's largest contiguous sand pine scrub forest? There are 600 lakes, rivers and springs, including three first-magnitude springs perfect for swimming.
Every Martin Luther King Jr weekend, we head north to the Ocala National Forest for three days of backpacking. The younger Scouts started at Juniper Springs and headed north, camping at Hidden Pond and then at the sinkhole, logging in about 11 miles. The older Scouts started down at Farles Lake, camped a couple miles south of Juniper, then followed the younger Scout north, eventually meeting up with them at the sinkhole. In all, the older Scouts covered about 20 miles. This trip kicks off the training season for our older Scouts who are going backpacking for 2 weeks at Philmont this summer.
For once it was not rainy or freezing! The weather could not have been more beautiful. Everyone had a great time. No bears sighted, although something big crunched through camp at the sinkhole and left a mess on the trail the next morning. Can't wait to go back!