Comparison of longleaf pine area on 1-14-2017 and  2-4-2017 after a controlled burn See the video on Vimeo or YouTube

Florida Trail: First FTA Hike on CRS

Two Florida Trail Association chapters planned to hike the newly opened Choctawhatchee River Section of the Florida National Scenic Trail together on January 14, 2017. About the turn of the new year, rains came and the Choctawhatchee River rose over flood stage. The trail crosses Cypress Creek that backs up when the river floods. The Panhandle Chapter hike leader postponed the hike to February 4. The Choctawhatchee Chapter hike leader watched the flood level reports that appear each morning and night and decided the hike was on.

I hiked through the forest, across the longleaf pine restoration area, up to the creek and over the boardwalk with hikers on both dates. The first hike featured green pines and water over the boardwalk. The second hike featured burned pines and a dry boardwalk. In making a video weaving these varying conditions together into a single CRS hike, I started with comparisons of the same places on different days.

January 14, 2017 < - > February 4, 2017

Longleaf pine - green 1/14/2017, #1 Longleaf pine - burned 2/04/2017, #1

Longleaf pine - green 1/14/2017, #2 Longleaf pine - burned 2/04/2017, #2

Longleaf pine - green 1/14/2017, #3 Longleaf Pines - burned 2/4/2017, #3

Longleaf pine - green 1/14/2017, #4 Longleaf pine - burned 2/04/2017, #4

Longleaf pine - green 1/14/2017, #5 Longleaf pine - burned 2/04/2017, #5

Creek boardwalk - flooded 1/14/2017, #6 Creek boardwalk - dry 2/04/2017, #6

Creek boardwalk - flooded 1/14/2017, #7 Creek boardwalk - dry 2/04/2017, #7

Creek boardwalk - flooded 1/14/2017, #8 Creek  boardwalk - dry 2/04/2017, #8

Creek boardwalk - flooded 1/14/2017, #9 Creek boardwalk - dry 2/04/2017, #9

Creek boardwalk - flooded 1/14/2017, #10 Creek boardwalk - dry 2/04/2017, #10

Hydrographs

Hydrograph of Choctawhatchee River flood stage from 1/5 to 1/14/2017 Hydrograph of Choctawhatchee River flood stage from Hydrographs from NOAA observed on 1/14 and 2/4/2017. Based on these hikes, I'd say the Cypress Creek boardwalk is 4" under water when the river flood stage is 13'. The boardwalk is 2' above water when the river flood stage is 11'. See measurements of the Choctawhatchee River level which is frequently updated.

Map

MapBlue line indicates the CRS trail.

Red pin is the parking area on Boat Ramp Rd of SR 20. Green pin is as far as I hiked, about 1.6 miles.


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