Connecting With Nature By Hiking

Wednesday, 22 November 2023
  • By
  • Jeff Ammons
  • Tags:
  • Healthy Living
  • Nature
  • Hiking
  • Photography
A section of the Volksmarch trail in Wekiwa State Park, Florida
A section of the Volksmarch trail in Wekiwa State Park, Florida

When the daily grind of your life has ground you down, sometimes you need to step outside of yourself to recharge.

A great way to do that is to step outside and into nature.

Finding the time to get out there has become more and more difficult for me, but one of my goals for the coming year is to work into my schedule hikes at least twice a month.

My wife and I try to walk at least 30 minutes a day, but I find time in the forest to be one of the most restorative things I can do.

In this post I'll share some photos and details about Wekiwa and the Volksmarch trail.

Wekiwa Springs State Park is in the Orlando metro area and known for their spring that maintains a constant 72 degrees Fahrenheit (22.2° C). During the summer months it is virtually impossible to get in due to the park reaching capacity within minutes of opening each day.

During the fall and winter, it is much more accessible. Hiking is also much more pleasant during those times of year.

One of the most popular trails in the park is the Volksmarch trail. It is approximately 5.3 miles and passes through several different environments.

Super Clear Water

Crystal Clear Water with Red Tint from Tanin

Despite the fact that the ChatGPT backed Bing search engine argued with me that the water is not red, I can assure you that it was. You don't see much water on the Volksmarch trail, but you do cross a tiny footbridge across a small creek. I'm guessing it was tannins in the water from the breakdown of leaves, but it was something to see. As you can tell from the photo, the water is as clear as air.

When I hike I love to see and photograph wildlife.

Close to the half way point, a mountain biker going in the opposite direction warned me he had seen a large black bear in the direction I was heading.

I would love to tell you that I got some great pictures, but unfortunately I didn't see the bear.

Bears go to great lengths to avoid running into people.

What I did see, however, were some gophor tortoises.

Gopher Tortoise

Gopher Tortoise Trying To Be Invisible

I was lucky enough to see two gopher tortoises. The one above was the shy one.

Close-Up of Tortoise

I Still Managed a Close-Up

Actually I used a combination of zoom lens and cropping in Lightroom, but it gave a cool close-up.

Tortoise Number Two Wasn't Concerned

The second tortoise was too busy eating to pay much attention to me. In both cases I was over a meter away since that's the minimum focus distance on my lens.

I also got some pictures of a wasp and bee that I will post separately along with some flowers and landscapes.

If you want to find hikes near you, check out All Trails.