While on vacation from my day job, I was finally able to accomplish a major personal goal of mine: hiking Longleaf Pine Preserve! This preserve is located in western Volusia County and has multiple hiking trails. The reason this is such a milestone for me is that I have been training very hard to be able to cover the distance required for a successful hike.
Let me back up for a bit here. I actually discovered Longleaf Pine Preserve when I attended a guided hike of Lyonia Preserve sponsored by the county. It turns out that the land management department of Volusia County actually hosts guided tours and hike at most of the county preserve locations. Longleaf Pine Preserve occasionally offers eco-buggy tours at this location as well. (Think hay ride without the hay!). I went to scope out the location awhile back and found a rather large parking area right off of state road 44 towards Deland. I stopped by to see what it’s all about and the parking area was empty. All that you can really see at the parking area is a display board with a map of the trails offered.
So why did I need to train to do the Longleaf Pine Preserve hike? Well it’s rather long.. There are multiple trails to choose from that overlap each other depending on the distance you are looking to cover. I prepared myself to be able to cover about 8 miles which covered 3 of the 4 trails. I figured that would give me the best overview of the preserve and I was correct! Continue reading