Apalachicola West

Bristol, Florida 32321

Apalachicola West

Apalachicola West Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"This hike traverses diverse habitat that includes pine flatwoods and cypress swamps. Near the beginning of the western end, between Memery Island and State Road 12, the trail passes through a remarkable area of pitcher plant savannas. An extract of the saw palmetto berry is thought by some to promote good health.

A distance of 35 miles, this is one of the most remote trails in Florida. A map and compass are mandatory. Of the two forest trails here, this is the drier. After heavy rains, you shouldn’t find water much deeper than your ankles in even the wettest parts. The trail first enters a wet savanna, home to numerous orchids and other wildflowers, and then passes through pines and cypress."

Apalachicola West Reviews

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I hiked portions of this trail near Sopchoppy in November 2006, and it's very hikeable, especially in dry weather. My favorite section was the few miles between the trailhead on 329 by the bridge over the Sopchoppy River (at the east end of Bradwell Bay Wilderness) south along the river to the next road. The only decent map I found is in "The Sunshine Connection," a "Recreational Directory" published by the National Forest Service and distributed free. The adjacent trail to the east through St. Mark's National Wildlife Refuge is equally nice. Be aware of hunting seasons.
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If you want to experience hiking in the panhandle of Florida, this is the way to do it! While the forest trail spans about 35 miles and is a part of the Florida Trail System, there are not very many options for re-supplying, however, there are tons of forest service roads that provide a nice opportunity to day-hike across sections and have a ride waiting at the other side. Just be sure you pick up a forest service map to be able to make some sense out of all the different routes. Pack plenty of water and take the trip in the late fall or very early spring to avoid the "buggy" season of hiking. While hiking through you will experience florida palmetto, natural sinks, tanic springs and maybe a black bear or two. Stay away from big water unless you have a guide because alligators are prevelant. The walking is flat and the trails are always well-blazed thanks to the local FTA chapters who do a tremendous job on trail maintenance.

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Trail Information

Nearby City
Several options
Trail Type
Skill Level
2 to 3 days
Fall through spring
Florida Trail Association Website
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Dec 2018