We arrived in Florida in the fall of 2016 to begin our first winter full-timing in our RV. We were very excited about being in Florida and started researching the area near the KOA Lake Panasoffkee where we were staying. We found the Daubenmire Trail, which was about 20 miles from the campground.
This was our first Christmas on the road and we decided to go on a hike. Since this first Christmas hike, going on a hike on Christmas has now become a tradition for us since starting full-time RV’ing.
What Exactly Is A Day Hike
We enjoy day hikes, and our definition of day hikes are any kind of walk/hike we can start and finish in the same day. Day hikes could last from an hour to all day. There are different levels of difficulty and provide a great way to get/stay in shape and get outdoors and see what nature has to offer.
What Level Of Fitness Are You At?
Everyone is at different levels of fitness and we recommend before you go out and hike or perform any physical activity you check with your doctor. We also recommend you do a little research on hiking of any kind. You can encounter a number of things on a trail including but not limited to bug bites, snake bites, twisted ankles, dehydration, cuts, and bruises. Please always plan ahead and bring some basic things with you, especially water. If you have allergies and have an epi-pen please take that with you always. Some kind of protein snack would be a good idea if you are going on a longer trip. Also, a can of bug spray would be a good idea.
Remember these are day hikes and not overnight hikes. Those are another whole ball game
The Daubenmire Trail is a 4-mile loop located on the property of the Lake County Water Authority on the Flat Island Preserve. To access this trail, you will turn off of Highway 27 onto 25a. From there you will turn onto Owens Rd which is a dirt road but has a sign indicating “Flat Island Preserve.” Following that road around will lead you the parking area at the trailhead. There are restrooms located there which we found to be extremely clean.
There is a book that you sign yourself in at the beginning and out once you have completed the trail. Upon entering the trail, you will walk about a quarter of a mile before you hit the beginning of the loop.
Can You Rent Canoes?
The loop is approximately a 3 or 4-mile loop with 2 trails you can use as crossovers to the other side. There are multiple types of plant and tree variations and a boardwalk that leads over the marsh. There is a phone number at the trailhead you can call to make arrangements to rent canoes to take from the boardwalk across the canal to Magnolia Island. Since we started a little late in the day, we did not do that.
Although when we hiked it, we only saw some birds, a ton of geckos and lots of spider webs, we ran into some other people who have hiked the trail multiple times before and have seen piglets, raccoons, and an armadillo.
Be sure you pack some water and insect repellant. There were a couple of benches along the way and we definitely used them for our water breaks. We also had packed but did not use insect repellant. Bad move…lol. All in all, we had a great afternoon. Great exercise and some great nature. We recommend checking out these hiking trails and we enjoyed our time there.
Date of Visit: 12/25/16
Pet-Friendly: No Pets Allowed