Trail Trekkers 3/29/2008

Campbell Lake, path 5

Campbell Lake Trail, path 5

The March hike was in Topsail Hill Preserve State Park, intended to be a little over three miles round trip. However, the reality was different than the plan. Note: This entrance to the park is now closed for restoration.

See pictures (slideshow by Caroling, Pitcher Plants by Joan, and More by Scott) and videos (Anita: Trail Plans, Nancy: Finding Path Markers, Donna: Tread Softly Plant, Group: Lost) of the hike.

Here are directions to the hike. We entered the park at the Hwy. 98 entrance (in 2015 it has been closed), on the south side of 98 about one-quarter mile east of the stoplight at Mack Bayou Rd. (near Sacred Heart hospital). When approaching from the east, you need to make a U-turn at Mack Bayou and retrace that quarter-mile to the park entrance. Unless you are a member of Florida State Parks, deposit $2 in the box near the entrance. Then drive most of that road to the sign on the left that says Campbell Lake, where you park.

marker #3, foundCampbell Lake Trail startOn the Campbell Lake trail, we passed markers 5 and 4, intending to take those paths to the lake on the way back. Unknown to us, marker 3 had been stolen, so although the path looked familiar, we bypassed it. Finally reaching a construction site, we realized we'd gone too far. On the way back, we met a tracker/trapper who said path 3 was the next left. Against our better judgement, we turned there, only to go too far before deciding this was the wrong path. We were lost and had several paths to follow. At one point most of the group turned towards the lake. I was one of the three that returned to the main path, where we found a pile of the vandalized marker signs. The lakeside trekkers crossed swamps, saw rare pitcher plants, and seemed content with their adventure.

After the trek was completed, seven hikers who had brought lunches ate at picnic tables at the end of the road. From there, some walked a sandy path to the Gulf, which was not emerald colored. However, different plants graced the path.

See the Trail Trekkers page.

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