Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Cypress Creek Redux

Last week I wrote about Cypress Creek Preserve, and today I feel the need to supplement that post, especially when it comes to the unsigned trail I described as traveling “for a considerbale distance along the spine of what passes for a ridge in Florida.”

After publishing the post, I realized that despite visiting Cypress Creek quite often, it had been a few years since I really bothered to walk that particular trail. And when I mentioned that last winter “Sarah and I ventured down off the ridge and were met by an armadillo,” I didn’t think to mention that we did our venturing less than 100 steps past the point where the trail “enters the shadows of a hardwood canopy, turns south, and narrows” of course, I also didn’t think to mention that that was as far as we went that day.

Therefore, I returned to Cypress Creek this weekend to sharpen my memory of the trail, and here I am this evening, seeking to offer some more details about it as well as to clarify some points about the preserve in general.

For one thing, this weekend’s walk reminded me that the trail does not travel a singular ridge, but a dual one. Not very long after turning south, it forks into parallel paths atop parallel ridges with the one on the west notably higher than the one on the east. This picture was taken from the west ridge looking over at the eastern one:

Sarah wanted to cross from one to the other and I told her to go ahead. Here she is in the saddle between them:

Because I previously wrote that the trail travels “a considerable distance,” this weekend I brought my Garmin wristwatch so I could measure it and be more specific. My friend Tom and his son Jackson were with us, and we did not follow the trail to its end due to being somewhat slowed by the kids; however, we had walked a half-mile past the trail’s “turns south” point when we decided to turn around. This was at a spot that is obvious because: 1) the path up ahead starts looking overgrown, and 2) off to the right, a house suddenly comes into view.

If you check out the trail map, you will see a spot where the preserve narrows so much that it is pinched inward by private property. I believe that is the precise spot where we saw the house and turned around. (Remember that this trail does not appear on the map, and, unlike the others I wrote about last week, is not signed.)

Anyway, in my previous post I said that you will not see Cypress Creek itself on the trail network I was writing about. However, now I think I was wrong. This weekend I snapped the following picture at the bottom of the east ridge, and looking at it along with the map I linked to above, I am pretty damn sure this has to be Cypress Creek:

And here is something else worth mentioning -- if you hike this trail soon, you will find that it reveals that much of Florida’s fall foliage lasts all through the winter:

If you hike it with your kids, you may learn a thing or two about perspective. Most adults (including me) would consider an old stubborn vine draped across a trail to be an obstacle, but Sarah and Jackson immediately saw it as a swing to be played on. Jackson seemed to enjoy it even though his extra heft caused him to bottom out:

One last thing I want to point out is this: When I said last week that the trail network totals 12 miles, I was quoting the preserve’s own web site; but when I attributed mileage to specific trails, I was “quoting” my Garmin.

Happy Trails!

1 comment:

  1. Funny how kids can make something relatively ordinary seem special. I agree, hiking with kids gives great perspective. The trail looks like a great one for cool weather.