Get ready for some nature viewing and time alone on this web of winding trails, rail trails, and abandoned roads near the Penney Farms Forestry Station and acquired under the Florida Forever program.
Parking is simple. Just 1/4 of a mile east of the forestry station, there’s a well-maintained dirt road that leads back about 1000 feet to a grassy parking area with an adjacent covered picnic area with tables and a grill. There’s ample parking, but don’t be surprised to have the place to yourself. While Belmore State Forest Ates Creek Tract just to south is popular for picnics, the Satsuma Tract discussed here is barely used yet well-maintained.
Hiking the Trails at Belmore State Forest
From there, you have 3 trail heads to choose from. Trails consist of winding paths through the woods, former roads out of use, and an old rail line. There are uncounted miles to explore – and you could explore for days. My hike of 5.5 miles as a loop (leaving one of the three trail heads and returning on another) is a good starting point. The views
range from open fields to dense, subtropical forest. Dogs on leashes are welcome, as are off-road biking and horseback riding. The trails themselves consist of packed earth and hard dirt road, but with some stretches of very soft sand and cobblestone, so bikers may prefer to stay on the old roads.
Overall, this is a wonderful and under-utilized place for hiking and nature viewing well away from the noise of traffic.
Trail Images Below
Land Bridge over Bull Creek
Sweet Sand on Trail
White Oldfield aka Frost Aster
Leaf galls may contain wasp larvae, but these likely contain mites