Mud Spring and John’s Landing Loop Trails

Welaka, Florida

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At 2,288 acres, Welaka State Forest is modest in size compared to nearby Ocala National Forest (360,000 acres), but the terrain and history here are of considerable interest. Located on the east bank of the St. Johns River, the forest is a mix of flatwoods, hammocks, wetlands, sandhills, and bay heads. The two hiking trails, part of the Florida State Forest Trailwalker Program, lead to some of the forest’s best features. Since 1935 Welaka State Forest has been used as a center for the study of forestry and wildlife, yet this is probably one of the state’s less-known forests. And that’s so much the better for hikers. Unlike many other Florida state forests, Welaka is not crisscrossed by logging roads. In the western part of the forest, the hiking trails furnish the only public pathways.

Mud Spring and John’s Landing Loop Trails Professional Review and Guide

"At 2,288 acres, Welaka State Forest is modest in size compared to nearby Ocala National Forest (360,000 acres), but the terrain and history here are of considerable interest. Located on the east bank of the St. Johns River, the forest is a mix of flatwoods, hammocks, wetlands, sandhills, and bay heads. The two hiking trails, part of the Florida State Forest Trailwalker Program, lead to some of the forest’s best features.

Since 1935 Welaka State Forest has been used as a center for the study of forestry and wildlife, yet this is probably one of the state’s less-known forests. And that’s so much the better for hikers. Unlike many other Florida state forests, Welaka is not crisscrossed by logging roads. In the western part of the forest, the hiking trails furnish the only public pathways."

Activity Type: Hiking, Horseback Riding
Nearby City: Welaka
Distance: 1.7
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Skill Level: Easy
Duration: 3 to 4 hours
Season: Fall through spring
Local Maps: At forestry center
Driving Directions: Directions to Mud Spring and John’s Landing Loop Trails

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May 2018