Ascent of Club Lake Ridge on 2016-01-24

Climber: William Musser

Others in Party:Willie-Weimaraner Musser
Date:Sunday, January 24, 2016
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Club Lake Ridge
    Elevation:83 ft / 25 m

Ascent Trip Report

Tired of the same old trails plus they were practicing control burning at the state park HP so we could not use the trails in the area...although I snook up close to it at one point and 5 Cooper's Hawks were circling the control burn going crazy..i presume they were watching for mice and rats and other small mammals running from the blaze to get an easy meal. That was fun!

Ok how we did this trip. Parked at the parking lot at Sand Lake. Walked down to the artificial borrow pit and touched water to make a TH.Headed north on the 3.4 mile loop trail called Mill Creek Trail but took the East West Cross-over as I did not want to go lower and down to the river. Have done that before and wanted something new. Slid over and picked up the big sandy horse trails that go north and followed a couple of side trails up to some xeric scrub investigated and headed west crossing Mill Creek a few times and it had nice base flow. Looking at the USGS map I decided to try to see out its origination something called "Witherington Spring" but was disappointed to find posted no trespassing signs there with stiff warnings. It appeared that a private residence is located at the base of the spring or some sort of former house that the state park owns now - not sure. Suppose there is a story but they keep it from the public so I will have to dig that out of a ranger sometime. I did not go back to find it as the base flow is quite low and would not be worth the effort to get in trouble to seek it so I headed back and to the far west.

The horse trail I followed becomes the extension of Ponkan Road and connects outside the park boundary. I crossed the old rail road easement trail that is now a hiking - equestrian trail and found the small ridge line. Willie went crazy as the neighboring houses outside the park had noisy roosters that scared him. It was a bushwhack through un-burned wire grass to the top of the ridge. There was a surprisingly large sand live oak near the "summit" - that term being so ridiculous to use when hiking in Florida (more like the top of the sandhill bump).The Highest point was not the large sand live oak on the false "peak" in the SE corner of the closed contour; appears to be on the NW corner of the contour behind the small depression that does not show on the USGS map.

On the way back I thought I could go explore the tallest ridges on the north side of Lake Prevatt so I hiked down the south side of the R/R trail bisecting several steeper sand ridges ( I guess the rail road had to be at shallow grade) but once again got stopped by signs to say go back...rangers burning the grasses ahead!

I hiked back towards the parking area but took Willie on an extended journey down the road to try to bag the SP HP by paved roads but once we got within 100 yards of the HP we encountered the rangers burning so we were content to watch the Cooper's Hawks and head the mile or so back to the car.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:520 ft / 157 m
    Total Elevation Loss:460 ft / 139 m
    Round-Trip Distance:6.2 mi / 10 km
    Quality:3 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Bushwhack
    Weather:Cool, Breezy, Clear
37F cold in morning and 67F at noon
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:380 ft / 115 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 60 ft / 18 m; Extra: 320 ft / 97m
    Loss on way in:320 ft / 97 m
    Distance:3.5 mi / 5.6 km
    Route:varies see TR
    Start Trailhead:Sand Lake water edge  23 ft / 7 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:140 ft / 42 m
    Gain on way out:140 ft / 42 m
    Distance:2.7 mi / 4.3 km

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