Anthony Galluscio Florida Trail Aucilla River Hike

Florida Trail Aucilla River Section

Quick Facts

  • Distance: 14.8 miles
  • Duration: 1.5 days
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Terrain: Primarily flat forest with some water crossings
  • Human Impact: Heavy impact due to many access roads near the trail
  • Location: Florida Panhandle southeast of Tallahassee
  • Start: Aucilla Northern Trailhead: 30.25587, -83.86396
  • End: Aucilla Southern Trailhead: 30.18519, -83.93732
  • Dates: February 4-5, 2017

Getting Started

I met my son (Bobby), my daughter (Katie), and Katie’s boyfriend (Miguel) for a very scenic hike of the Aucilla River Section of the Florida Trail. The “kids” live in Gainesville, FL so I met them there and we caravanned to the Southern Trailhead where we left my truck. We then drove to the Northern Trailhead and hiked south from there.

The Aucilla River Trail Crew
The Aucilla River Trail Crew

Northern Section

We started out hiking down an access road. We missed the first trail marker and ended up hiking about a mile out of the way. However, once we got onto the actual trail the orange blazes were easy to follow. The only time it was at all difficult was at the very beginning when we were hiking through some controlled burn areas and some of the orange blazes had turned white. Once we realized that, it was not a problem.

Aucilla River Controlled Burns
Aucilla River Controlled Burns

The Northern Section primarily follows the winding Aucilla river. There are some beautiful views of the river and you are rarely ever far from the river.

Beautiful Views of Aucilla River
Beautiful Views of Aucilla River

About half way through the first day we came to some rapids that seemed bigger than other rapids I have seen in Florida.

Aucilla River Rapids
Aucilla River Rapids

One of the landmarks you will pass along the way is Burnt Bridge. You can’t miss it.

Burnt Bridge on Aucilla River
Burnt Bridge on Aucilla River

We decided not to camp at the South Aucilla River Camp Site. That camp site was quite littered with beer cans and paper. Needless to say we moved on up the trail to a cleaner campsite.

Aucilla River Camp Site
Aucilla River Camp Site

Southern Section

The next morning we got a late start because we only had 6.4 miles to go. This is where it really starts to get interesting. The river actually disappears under ground. We saw a large beaver here making its home in the driftwood and debris. Note there is a lot of trash that floats down the river and collects here. We marked this site mentally for a possible future cleanup.

Aucilla River Disappears
Aucilla River Disappears

Hiking the South section of the trail there are many many places where the river reappears, called “sinks.” We lost count of the sinks and the scenery on this section of the hike makes the hike worth it. Here are some noteworthy pictures.

Typical Aucilla Sink
Typical Aucilla Sink
Palm Tree Growing In Sink
Palm Tree Growing In Sink
A Large Aucilla Sink
A Large Aucilla Sink
Lilly Pads on an Aucilla Sink
Lilly Pads on an Aucilla Sink

The  Aucilla Sink Campground is really nice. There is even a bench there!

Aucilla Sink Camp Site
Aucilla Sink Camp Site

After leaving the Aucilla Sink Camp site we hiked through some beautiful pine tree and palmetto forest.

Aucilla River Forest
Aucilla River Forest

The End

We got back to my truck around noon on the second day.  This was a good hike. We ended at Longsuffering Road. Hilarious!

Ending at Longsuffing Road!
Ending at Longsuffering Road!

Many thanks to Rick and Brenda Harris for this excellent article that inspired us to take this hike: http://www.cherokeehikingclub.org/special%20aucilla.htm

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