Among many wish lists to create this winter, one that many should consider making is a hiking bucket list.
Making a hiking bucket list gives one the opportunity to plan a trip this winter to explore and encounter nature’s historic sites, both sceneries of hills and mountains, connecting with nature and hiking nature trails both inside and outside of Florida.
FGCU Hiking Club co-presidents seniors Francisco Garces, a biology major, and Jaclyn Chastain, a psychology major, explain why people should hike during the winter.
“Hiking during the winter in Florida is one of the best times to do it because of the nice weather,” Garces said. “There are less mosquitoes, cool temperatures, and this is during Florida’s dry season for those that don’t like going waist-deep through the swamps. If you want to challenge yourself and get a good exercise, I’d suggest Myakka State Park up north near Sarasota. There is around 40 miles of trail up there with varying landscapes and would be really fun to turn into a camping trip as well.”
Chastain added that Corkscrew Regional Ecosystem Watershed, also known as CREW, is another nice place to go in Florida, and it’s close to FGCU’s campus.
“It’s a great area that has a multitude of trails to try and lots of wildlife to be seen,” Chastain said. She said her most memorable hiking experience was Ferd’s Bog in the Adirondacks. “The bog really reminded me of Florida because it’s wet and mossy, but you are definitely reminded that you’re not in Florida, especially if you spot a moose,” Chastain said. “When I went, I spent most of my time hunting for amphibians like frogs and newts.”
Garces recommends studying maps of the area you plan on hiking. Bring enough supplies to last you for the entirety of your hike. For long hikes, such as the Appalachian Trail, months of planning are necessary, and there are plenty of great online resources to help you plan. For the places around here, little planning is necessary.
If you are interested in exploring what hiking is all about, the Hiking Club at FGCU can help you explore the options. The club makes recreational hiking its main focus.
With a new semester rolling around, the club will have open leadership positions.
For more information, find the FGCU Hiking Club on Facebook and follow it on Instagram @fgcuhikes.