Ascent of Tangerine Hill on 2015-12-31

Climber: William Musser

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Thursday, December 31, 2015
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Tangerine Hill
    Elevation:167 ft / 50 m

Ascent Trip Report

Last hike of the year. After completing treatments at the cardiologist and bummed that I am back in for treatments, I needed to close out the year with a long walk. Having found Tangerine Hill earlier in the week and scouting out a nice urban summit, I executed a full 5 mile hike with over 300 feet of gain to end the year. It sure would be nice to end the year on a "real mountain" but then again, I don't live Colorado or California so........

Parked at Gilbert Park in Mount Dora. Walked down the shoreline of Lake Dora at elevation 63. Took my pedometer readings and headed up from Tremain to Liberty past the RR tracks and turned right (west) onto Clayton. Along the way I spotted some side trips with some nice hilly terrain to stretch out my route and add some gain to the walk.
Soon the roadway zigzags left the straight and left again along Hill Road which is the ridge line coming off Tangerine Hill with some nice views of Lake Dora through several subdivisions under construction along the route as you pass from Lake County into Orange County where the old community of Tangerine is located (and established in 1878).

The highpoint is within an abandoned development project to the left off of Allen Street. It is posted "no trespassing construction site" but then again that was a long time ago before they went belly up. Now idiots dump their trash along the nearly completed subdivision roadway with no houses. The highest point in Tangerine was bisected by the road cut so i explored both candidate remaining hill features and then left. On the way out, I spotted an undeveloped culd-de-sac on the right that had some steep relief and there were no fences keeping one from investigating so I could not help myself. As it turns out I venture onto the back end side of Chesterhill Subdivision which me and my staff designed back in the 1980s - kind of weird stumbling into kind of thing. But the back side had undeveloped lots on a steep slope and one of the deepest dry retention ponds I have ever seen in Florida so I hiked on down to the bottom of the pond and then hiked back up figuring there was about a fifty foot drop. A new home was scheduled to be built there overlooking the feature and I noted that it would be an unusually impressive wooded lot to overlook such a steep drop in a Florida terrain.

Continuing back along Hill Road I spotted a small turtle in the road about to be creamed and since I was on a high hill ridge I expected it to be the infamous Florida Gopher Tortoise but was surprised to find a 2 inch baby Alligator Snapping Turtle wandering in the road about 100 feet above the nearest lake and over 2 miles away!
I scooped him up and walked him back to Lake Dora. On the way I explored the wetland marsh feature south of Hill road and hiked up and down the hill a few times. I also explored a little off the subdivision called Elysium on the way back. Finally, I explored Lake Dora where my new friend was let go along the shore of the lake.

Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:349 ft / 106 m
    Total Elevation Loss:245 ft / 74 m
    Round-Trip Distance:5 mi / 8.1 km
    Quality:3 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Bushwhack
    Weather:82F amazingly hot for this time of year
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:119 ft / 36 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 104 ft / 31 m; Extra: 15 ft / 4m
    Loss on way in:15 ft / 4 m
    Distance:2.1 mi / 3.4 km
    Route:Tremain to Clayton to Hill Road
    Start Trailhead:Lake Dora at Gilbert Park  63 ft / 19 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:230 ft / 70 m
    Gain on way out:230 ft / 70 m
    Distance:2.9 mi / 4.7 km
    Route:similar but with side trips

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