The Carnivorous Plant FAQ Field Trip Report -

Apalachicola National Forest in 2010

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A long hike
So much of our time in Apalachicola National Forest involved exploring sites within a few hundred meters of the road. We wanted to try something more remote. And you can't get more remote in the panhandle than Bradwell Bay Wilderness.

Bradwell Bay is about 25000 acres (i.e., 100 km2). A trail through it winds through pinelands and bay vegetation. (In this context, a "bay" is freshwater swampland.) This path is a challenge to follow---it is at times barely marked and includes passages through standing water and slime that is knee, waist, and chest deep. Sounds great, doesn't it?

Backpacker Magazine called it one of the ten toughest hikes in the United States.

We were not fully prepared for an extreme adventure, so we decided to approach Bradwell Bay from the eastern, dry side. Were we being "babies?" Maybe. Respectful? Yes.

We did not have the gear for an overnight, so our plan was to hike in as far as we could, then return on the same trail. We'd hike until either half of our 10-hour time budget was used up, or until we drank half of the two gallons of water we had in our packs.

The day started in the pine habitat that characterizes so much of the natural area in the panhandle.

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Revised: June 2010
©Barry Rice, 2005