Varsity Pathfinder backpacking trip

Our varsity Pathfinders (ninth grade and up) are having a two-day backpacking trip the last weekend of this month in the Green Swamp Wilderness Preserve. This will be a time to worship, play, and learn together in nature. The Green Swamp is home to a wide variety of plants and wildlife. Blueberries are ripening and flowers are blooming. We will be hiking on part of the Florida National Scenic Trail, a 1,500 mile trail that goes from Big Cypress National Preserve near the Everglades to the Gulf Islands National Seashore in Pensacola.

  • When: April 23 to 25
  • Where: Florida National Scenic Trail between State Road 471 and Rockridge Road
  • Map
  • Weather forecast

Currently our plan is to hike in from SR 471, north of Colt Creek State Park and just south of the Withlacoochee River. We will stay at the Trial Ford Camp site on Friday night, then hike to the Mott Hammock Camp site and spend Saturday night there. Sunday we will hike out to Rockridge Road.

Varsity Pathfinders should bring their camping equipment to the Pathfinder meeting on April 17 for inspection. The packing list for a regular campout is attached as a guideline. For this backpacking trip, keep in mind the following:

  1. It is not necessary to bring uniforms.
  2. You will need to carry your own tent, utensils, and enough food, toilet paper, and water for two days.
  3. Pack as light as possible. You will enjoy the trip much more if you are not carrying extra weight.
  4. We will use wet wipes for cleaning because there will not be water for showers or washing dishes.
  5. The new picaridin insect repellents have been shown to be as effective as DEET and do not dissolve plastic.
  6. Parts of the trail do not have mobile phone service.

I recommend installing the iNaturalist app on your smart phone so you can use it to identify your plant and wildlife pictures when your phone has Internet access.


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