Jan 15 & 16
6:10 AM - Meet at UMC Parking Lot
6:30 AM - Departure for Withlacoochee State Forest
Proceed north on Veterans Expressway/Florida 589 to US Highway 98. Make right turn at exit and follow Hwy 98 South 3.7 miles to County Road 491. Make left turn at CR 491 heading 3.1 miles north to CR 480 (a/k/a Stage Coach Road). Make right turn on CR 480 heading east 5.6 miles to State Road 581. Make left turn onto SR 581 heading north 4.3 miles. Look for signs to Mutual Mine Campground on left. Total travel time will be approximately 85-90 minutes.
Drop off James’ car near campsite. At end of Day 1 all drivers take James’ car back to Mutual Mine. From there, they caravan to CR 491 (FR 22) and drop off the cars at the gate entrance to the State Forest. James confirmed there is room to park there. Everyone then jumps into James’ car and returns to the FR 13 parking area. At end of day 2, one driver must shuttle James back to his car from FR 22 to FR 13.
Start: Mutual Mine Recreation Area (N28 deg 45’3094″, W82 deg 21’1053″)
Finish: the intersection of FR 22 and South Lecanto Hwy (CR 491). (N28 deg 42’5519″, W82 deg 27’0859″)
The water car cache site will be at the intersection of Loop D and Brittle Rd (approx. 400 meters to the west of Taylor Camp) (N 28 deg 41′ 3642″, W 82 deg 25′ 3453″) (intersection of Brittle Rd and Loop D)
Saturday AM Start: From Mutual Mine Campground parking area (directly east of Loop C), proceed 1.6 miles west, then 1.4 miles south, then straight the 4.8 miles to the “tent” symbol (Camp Taylor), which will be our primitive campsite. We leave our gear at the campsite, continue west to the “P” site where the replenish water will be stored in a vehicle and taken back to the campsite. That completes Saturday and will total approx. 9.8. For Scouts interested in earning credit towards their Hiking Merit Badge, we will ensure you complete the necessary distance to get credit for a full 10.0 miles.
Sunday: Head clockwise (generally northwest) on Loop D for about 3.0 miles and then cutoff-trail west again to the caves that are in the area. From the caves we continue west until we reach South Lecanto Rd (on the map indicated as “CR 491″) where the vehicles will be parked at the forest road entrance gate. The day-two hike distance should be approximately 5.0 miles.
Cave No. 1: N28 deg 42’5528″, W82 deg 27’0860″
Cave No. 2: N28 deg 42’5522″, W82 deg 26’4031″
Cave No. 3: N28 deg 42’5622″, W82 deg 26’4077″
You can view a suggested gear list for this event here. Remember, this is contains suggestions only. Prepare your gear and clothing based on the conditions forecast (paying attention to the weather as we approach the event).
There is some great information from a recent Backpacker Magazine hiking seminar held at Bill Jackson’s (12/4/2010) audio here. Be patient while file loads in browser. At that point, you should be able save the files off to your computer if you wish.
Clicking on the map below will download a larger PDF version.