Hike Around a Swamp

Friday February 12th 2021

Mother nature added a new wrinkle to the weather pattern last night. It rained for an hour or two before the morning fog settled in. For some reason the rain on the roof was enough to keep me awake most of the night. Even after the actual rain was over, the sporadic drip drop from the trees was very attention grabbing. By the time I got out of bed this morning it was just the usual fog. It lasted most of the morning before the sun broke through. The temperature made it to the upper seventies before a series of rain showers brought it back down.

This swamp is the rather bland scenery along the trail.

To break up the daily pattern I’d been in since I arrived at Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park, I drove out of the park and around to the southeast corner of the park. There are a number of trails in that area to explore including the Gainesville-Hawthorne State Trail. It is a converted sixteen mile rail bed used for bicycles and other mixed use recreation activities. Today I took a couple of woodland trails that parallel the rail trail and returned to the parking lot along the paved main trail.

It was an enjoyable walk, but there wasn’t anything remarkable on the hike. The trail went through woodland areas and around swamps. In some area boardwalks or plank bridges have been built over wet areas. The trail didn’t have any real destination so you have to find something interesting along the way. I didn’t see anything that stood out and I didn’t encounter any wildlife. The trails through the woods were a one time thing. I won’t take them again, but I will bring my bike back and ride the Gainesville-Hawthorne trail.

As I was returning to the car a big black cloud was closing on the area from the south. Not long after I made it back to the car, the sky opened up. It wasn’t a thunderstorm, just a very heavy cloud burst of rain. The storm was quick moving. Before I got back to my RV home, it had moved through the area leaving wet surfaces and deep puddles all over the area. A partly sunny day return a little later. The weather forecast seems to indicate that this area is in for a lot more rain with just a little sun mixed in for the next few days.

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