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Amelia Islander

Cary State Forest

Nov 09, 2012 02:00AM

Can you really have too much beach, too much sun, and too many grains of sand between your toes? I don’t think so, but now and then I must leave the island in search of a new adventure. This time of year when the weather starts to cool off and the mosquitoes take leave of absence, I like to head out to some of our state forests to do some hiking.

Yesterday I drove out to Cary State Forest in Bryceville, where I was surprised to find a very well-equipped camping and picnicking area, and plenty of places to hike and bike. Cary is known for its numerous carnivorous pitcher plants, and is also popular with equestrians. The day use fee is very reasonable, only $2 per person; there are full restroom facilities, a fire tower you could climb, if you dare, and an environmental education center.

October is Florida State Forest Awareness month, and the perfect time of year to explore our woodland areas. Besides Cary, the Four Creeks State Forest, located in Callahan, and Ralph E. Simmons State Forest in Hilliard, are all located in Nassau County, and not too far from Amelia Island.  In addition to hiking and biking, there are lots of other activities to do, including bird-watching, wildlife photography, horseback riding, canoeing, and geo-caching. For more information, visit: