Near Jellystone park, 24 miles
We slept well in the picnic pavilion and hit the trail at first light.
The river is shrouded in fog. With the overhanging oaks covered in Spanish moss it makes for a mesmerizing scene.
We’re in the forest with old growth oaks for a bit following the river still. We pass a boater who is camped a little bit further down but otherwise see nobody on the trail.
To our surprise there is a mailbox at the Black Tract trailhead. It contains a log book for hikers. How fun! We’re the first ones to sign it and wish those behind us happy hiking. Soon after we pass by a small historic cemetery and shortly after we arrive at the Mill creek campsite. This is our last break spot next to the Suwannee and we get some water and relax at the picnic table. There is even a trash bin! (These things excite us).
We now have an almost 50 mile road walk to the Aucilla section. We’re apprehensive but it turns out not to be too bad today. It’s not very hot and there is some shade along the way. The last bit to the Jellystone campground is less fun because it’s along hwy 53 for 7 miles. There isn’t a ton of traffic but we have to step aside for every car and there are a bunch of large trucks passing by. Luckily most of them give us a wide berth.
We finally turn onto Old St Augustine rd and look at the fast food restaurants on the other side of I-10 longingly. We could walk there but we’re ready to leave hwy 53 and hopeful that the Jellystone campground will have just what we need. And they do, sort of. They have pizza and sodas and ice cream and snacks. Yay! But again I’m out of luck for crackers. The lady behind the desk hears me talking though and offers me some of her own. Score!
We happily settle in on the comfy rocking chairs on the nearby deck and enjoy our loot. We asked about camping here but $45 is their cheapest rate and we just can’t justify that. We end up stealth camped in the woods nearby. Traffic is noisy but the hooting owl is balancing it out.