Winter in Florida is the best. The temperature is great, it’s slightly windy, there is no rain. I certainly love summer, but Florida in the winter is just as wonderful. Maybe it’s because I am still enjoying all the ‘SNOW IS HITTING THE NORTHEAST HARDDDD!!!!! weather forecasts and I am still loving my snow free life. I’m determined to make the most out of it all and we are getting out hike on now!
Yesterday, I took the kids on a hike at Triple Creek Nature Preserve, a beautiful 969- acre preserve that is about 20 minutes from our house. (One day it will be about 10 minutes away- just gotta connect 2 roads with an overpass which will, of course, take for-ever to build!) I love having so many preserves or state parks near by for exploring
We are working our way through the Hillsborough County Hiking Spree as a fun, healthy activity to do. I randomly found out about the Hiking Spree and I’m hooked on getting out of the house with the kids and doing the 8 hikes. There are so many to pick from so I think we were breeze through the 8 and do a few more. Autumn is very excited about this hiking challenge, asking me when she is getting her trophy. ha!
So we ventured over to Triple Creek Nature Preserve to do the 2.7 mile hike along the Deuces R’ Wild Trail in the gorgeous mid-afternoon sun. So, so perfect.
The preserve is a great mix of grassy areas and shaded sections where gorgeous old oaks create a canopy overhead. I love palm trees in Florida, but my favorite trees are the old oaks that have gnarly branches and have lots of Spanish moss hanging all over them. Autumn is now used to me commenting on all the old trees, like they are my friends. ha!
With Hunter on my back, in a carrier, and dogs leashed up, we were ready to go check out Deuces R’ Wild Trail. I was savoring the beautiful mossy oaks all while Autumn was flitting along picking up sticks and singing to the birds. No lie. She was singing to the birds like Cinderella, all while I was telling Hunter to stop yanking out my hair- all was good. ha! The walk was going by quickly since it was fairly flat, smooth, and we were just enjoying ourselves.
I felt comfortable knowing that we were the only ones there, so I let Autumn walk Brinkley. I would hate for Autumn to be walking her and get dragged along while Brink is off charging ahead to meet another dog. Autumn was thrilled to have this responsibility. Plus, she had a ball running around with Brink.
It was all going well until we were transported back in time to the Oregon Trail.
Now, the map had said there were “Seasonably Wet Crossing” in several places along the trail but I didn’t think anything of it. It’s January! It’s not the rainy season here. I was expecting that July would be an issue with the daily afternoon down pours. We hadn’t had real rain in a few weeks. Umm, I thoroughly miscalculated this whole situation.
Autumn was skipping ahead with Brinkley and then she came to a halt. I caught up with her and turned the corner to see her eyeing a big stretch of water in front of us, blocking the trail. We evaluated what to do, and found a much narrower, shallow section off of the trail. Okay, 1 crossing was done and we were only a little bit wet!
But there were more! More water!! More mud!! Oh my goodness!!! There even was a tree across the trail that we had to climb over. The dogs must have thought this was awesome, since they hopped up on it with ease, looking at us, like were we going way too slow for them.
The last area really was a creek crossing. “Ford the River!!!!” And then there was just tons of mud for us to trudge around and through.
The funniest part of the hike was when Autumn’s shoe got stuck in the mud. We were cracking up. The whole situation was hilarious. We were wet, muddy, and just so silly from the adventure we had just enjoyed together. Hunter didn’t really know what was going on, but he was giggling too.
It took us an hour and 20 minutes to do the loop at Triple Creek Nature Preserve but we conquered through it and has a blast!
Once we were home we had some showers to get the mud off, and our shoes were tossed in the laundry. After getting cleaned up we felt refreshed and were ready to plot out our next hike for the Hiking Spree. Can’t wait to check out more hiking spots in Hillsborough County.
13305 Balm Boyette Rd, Riverview, FL 33579
How to get there:
Take 672, and turn on to Balm Boyette Road. The entrance for the parking lot will be on the left. Marked by 2 metal posts- wrapped in red when we arrived.
(813) 672-7876 (This is an unmanned facility, so this is a general number for the park services)