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Ascent of Lake Louisa State Park High Point on 2014-02-02

Climber: William Musser

Others in Party:Karen Musser
Willie-Weimaraner Musser
Date:Sunday, February 2, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Lake Louisa State Park High Point
    Location:USA-Florida
    Elevation:185 ft / 56 m

Ascent Trip Report

Returning after 5 years and this time with Willie. After days of record cold in the midwest and unending rains we got a break. The rain had stopped and the temperature was out of the 30s and 40s and back up to 80F! Muggy and fog everywhere. We parked at the first lot by the ranger sign in and headed out at 8:30 AM down trail to go see Lake Louisa taking Orange Trail to marker 32. We noticed the sand had animal tacks of dog, racoon, rabbit, bobcat, turkey, pig, and deer. We met a guy photographing since the park opened and he caught some bobcats cleaning themselves. He sat at the junction #32 and shot a cool pic thru the fog of the cats on top of the hill nice zoom up close shots.

We hiked down to Lake Louisa and the lake is huge but with the fog was mysterious. Stunted cypress along the shoreline were 4 to 6 inch MBH diameters but had butressed trunks as wide as 4 feet! The lake was down lower than normal but probabaly around elevation 97. Spider webs lit up by fog dew were everwhere. Nice area. Most of the hike down to this area is under transition from ornage grove to longleaf pine sandhills and will look pretty ugly for another 20 to 30 years but I see the vision of the park for the future. We then hiked up the hill (signs call it "Hilltop" a small feature that rises about 50 from the lake and inspected the bobcat tracks and then hiked a figur 8 loop around a cypress wetland then srcub hammock and then back around into the former ag lands with some manmade citrus ditches used to pump water out for the old groves. Finally making it back to the car going thu stations #30 and around and back to 34.

At the car and nearly 4 miles later, I began jogging up the paved road past the guard shack to the obvious state park HP in the middle of an old abandoned grove with a view of the chain of lakes below.
Someday the restored sandhills will be nice especially if they leave some open grassy areas for vistas out toward the lakes. For now, much of the park remains a work in progress to restore much if its habitats.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:143 ft / 43 m
    Total Elevation Loss:60 ft / 17 m
    Round-Trip Distance:4 mi / 6.4 km
    Grade/Class:1
    Quality:2 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Bushwhack
    Weather:Pleasant, Low Clouds
80F and foggy
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:143 ft / 43 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 88 ft / 27 m; Extra: 55 ft / 16m
    Loss on way in:55 ft / 16 m
    Distance:3.9 mi / 6.3 km
    Route:parking lot to #35 to #32 to Lake (make TH) to #33
    Start Trailhead:Lake Louisa shorline/Parking lot near ranger gate  97 ft / 29 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:5 ft / 1 m
    Distance:0.1 mi / 0.2 km
    Route:bushwhack to parking
    End Trailhead:picked up in roadway  180 ft / 54 m



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