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Visit the Citrus Trail for an Adventurous Hike

Destinations

The Citrus Loop Trail has over 43 miles of trails to challenge hikers. This backpacking loop is the second largest trail in the whole state of Florida; the outer loop can take 4 days to explore in full. Backpackers hit the trail to see the native wildlife and rugged landscape in this shaded forest area. You can park your RV nearby and explore this hidden Florida attraction.

Dames Cave which is found on Loop D of the Citrus Trail. Photo credit hikingtheappalachians.com.

What is the Citrus Trail?

This trail was designed by Florida Trail Association planner, Fred Mulholland, in the late ’70s. The pathways are clearly marked and well-groomed. The Citrus Loop hiking trail is a favorite spot for beginner and expert backpackers. The signposts at the trail junctions are marked, but you may want to have a map or GPS device. If you don’t follow the right path, it can mean losing a day of hiking time. If you are leery of going on a four-day hike, there are forest paths located near the roadways for a more relaxed day hike.

Multiple Loops on the Trail

Citrus Hiking Trail Map. Photo credit suncoast.floridatrail.org

The Citrus Trail is located near the town of Inverness. The full loop is actually 43.3 miles and consists of 4 separate loops. The shortest loop is only 7.5 miles long. The full loop can be a challenge for any hiker. Restrooms are located at both the Holder Mine and Mutual Mine spots. The yellow painted markers are not part of the Florida Trail thru-trails. If you are looking to complete the full trail, you will need to finish both the orange and yellow painted marked trails.  The Florida Trail Association has a great map which will help you plan your trip.

Directions to the Trail

You can easily find the trail by following the sign to the Holder Mine Recreation Area. Make sure to turn right and continue for another mile. A hunt check station and campground will be on your right. On the left, you will see the trailhead with a kiosk and sign marked “FT.”

Be Prepared Before Hitting the Citrus Loop

You will need to plan before hitting the trail. This pathway is considered a dry trail since it has no streams. It is a good idea to grab some water at the forest road before heading out. Designated backpacking campsites are limited on the trail. You can set up a camp in the areas marked with white bands around the trees. The official campgrounds will require an advance reservation.

Plenty of Florida Wildlife to Enjoy

You will have plenty of chances to see wildlife on the trail. Deer love to travel along the paths. It is almost guaranteed that you will see one while hiking. The Florida panther has also been spotted in the area. Sandhill cranes can be aggressive. If you see one, admire it from afar and keep your distance. Birders have opportunities to spot the scrub-jay in the sand pines.

RV Camping Sites

The Holder Mine Campground is a peaceful area shaded by oak trees. Many people visit this campground for game hunting and archery events. The pavilion can be used by paid campers. Pets are also allowed on the grounds. There is plenty of space to set up a picnic lunch or dinner. The campsites all have electricity, water, fire grills, and a picnic table. The facilities include a bathhouse and restrooms. Holder Mine also has a dump station for RVs.

The Mutual Mine Recreation Area campsite is surrounded by a rain-filled lake. The area can only be accessed by paid campers. Pets and alcohol are not allowed on site. Mutual Mine has more primate facilities for campers and RVers. Restrooms are available without showers. Each campsite has a fire ring, water hookup, and picnic table. This site only has one designated spot available for RV camping.

There are some great hidden spots to visit in the state of Florida. The Citrus Trail is a challenging pathway for both hikers and day campers. Once you park the RV for the day, you can hit the trail and start to explore.

 

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