Birding · Commonly Backpacked · Lake · River/Creek
Need to Know
- This area is very remote.
- There's water pretty much all the time along the way. But it's mostly dark tannic water! We filtered only moving water and found it quite good actually, no bad taste, it just looks like apple juice! It didn't clog our filter also (Katadyn Hiker Microfilter).
- Bringing two pairs of shoes is your best bet. One to run in and get wet, one for using at camp.
- Lots of ticks live in the dry areas. Check and re-check every day, several times. Tick repellent is a good idea.
- Some long stretches of prescribed burned forest. Sometimes the blazes get burnt and disappear.
- Try to follow the orange blazes religiously. There are several forest road connections that may be confusing. A gpx track on a phone (or the Trail Run Project mobile app
- You'll have several bail out options (road crossings) but you'll end up hitchhiking in a very remote area.
- Day 1: Fly, drive, Lyft, drop car at end of trail, get dropped at trailhead, then run a mile or two to the first camp (Bent Sapling Camp). Beautiful long leaf pines and palmettos grow in this forest. Thankfully you won't have wet feet.
- Day 2: Run to Martian Camp following the dark, tannic Sopchoppy River. It's pretty through here, and roughly 13 miles total so far. Expect easy and fast running through "pampered" trail: it's mowed and wide, and 2 persons can travel side by side.
- Day 3: The trail becomes way less pampered as soon as you enter Bradwell Bay Wilderness Area. After Monkey Creek there are swamps. Camp at the obvious clearing after 2 swamp crossings, where there's only a small blue camp sign near Bradwell Island. This day is approximately 10 miles.
- Day 4: Today is another 10 mile day. Cross the biggest swamp of this trail section right after camp. It keeps going and going but that's the heart of this route! Once out of the wilderness, keep following the orange blazes, find your way along the bluffs of the Ochlockonee River, and camp at Porter Lake. This is a nice place to recoup after all the emotions! Expect a spigot and compost toilet.
Flora & Fauna
- We saw deer, one coyote, one black snake (probably a rat snake) and one Moccasin Water Snake, poisonous but just warming up, coiled up, still don't step on one ;-)
- You might see some flowers, but March is probably still too early.
- Up through at least March, there will be very few mosquitoes. That's the good trade off for colder swamp waters!
Shared By: Joao Bras-Jorge