Thanksgiving Day, 2010
I have an aversion to the holidays, particularly Thanksgiving, so instead of stuffing myself to capacity I took a drive out to Krul Lake in Blackwater State Forest instead to do a bit of hiking. First, let me say that hiking on a holiday almost guarantees you’ll have the place all to your self. Sure, the campgrounds and picnic areas around the lake were bustling with activity, but despite that I didn’t encounter a single hiker out on the trails.
My selected trail wasn’t overly long, only a 1.3 mile hike from Krul Lake to Bear Lake, but it was very scenic. Sweetwater trail takes visitors along a 2,900′ boardwalk that meanders past a replica grist mill and a wooden suspension bridge that crosses Sweetwater Creek. Upon leaving the boardwalk hikers can journey onward to Bear Lake Mountain Bike Loop Trail.
On my way to Blackwater (not inside the recreation area) I noticed a lot of hunters scoping the place out; turkey season opens tomorrow. Always cautious, I clipped my keys to my belt loop so that I made a bit of noise while I walked. I suppose it’s a habit I picked up from hiking on the Florida Trail. I want hunters, bears and feral hogs to hear me coming.
It’s fall in the Florida panhandle. Leaves are falling, but we haven’t had what I would call a fall foliage display yet. Nonetheless, it was a pleasant hike with just the right temperatures.
Hiking allows you to get up close and personal with nature. A watchful eye can even find hidden treasures along the way, like this bat house.
And remember the hunters I mentioned earlier? I bet they were looking for what I found standing just a short distance from my car. She’s probably safer in the parking lot anyhow.
So, I found Krul Lake to be quite charming and I may plan a camping trip there in the near future. The area has many more miles of trails that I just didn’t have time to explore on this outing. That just means I have all the more reason to plan a second trip!