Interlachen, Florida is a gem of a burgeoning small town. Neatly placed on lightly trafficked county roads, you can get to Ocala, Putnam, or Gainesville each in short time. But the longer you’re there, the less often you leave. With a population of only 1500, Interlachen offers all the necessities, multiple grocers, and country restaurants that make you feel at home. You can add hiking to that list.
Hiking Carl Duval Moore State Forest
Off-Road Parking and Kiosk
While the hiking loop at Carl Duval Moore State Forest clocks in at under 1.5 miles, it’s well worth the time for locals and passers-through alike. The trail is well-maintained and you can sense the small-town pride with plaques throughout to help you learn the local fauna, such as distinguishing longleaf from slash pines or live oak or laurel oak. And since the trail is relatively flat and within town, it’s ideal for either a morning walk or a jog, whether taking one lap around or three.
You will find some un-mapped, intersecting trails. I suggest sticking to the main trail as going off from it can quickly lead you from the forest into someone’s yard. You shouldn’t have any difficulty as the trail is well-blazed with orange paint and signage. Since traffic is light, it’s also an ideal place to take your leashed dog along with you. Just be sure to stop and enjoy the view of Up & Down Lake.
If one and a half miles isn’t enough for you, take the loop a second time. Work up an appetite, and maybe stop in at True Grits nearby to fuel back up. I haven’t tried it yet, but the reviews are great!