Content by Wildernet
This wonderful 31-mile loop road encompasses both State Route 12 and County Route 379. Longleaf pine flatwoods, cypress swamps, and prairie savannahs characterize the Apalachicola District. Here, visitors enter an area inhabited by more endangered red-cockaded woodpecker clusters than any place else in the world. Looking very similar to the hairy woodpecker and slightly larger than the downy woodpecker, the red-cockaded woodpecker has an advanced social system that revolves around family groups. A group usually includes one breeding pair, the current year's offspring, and several male adults called helpers. A group may be as large as nine, but never more than one breeding pair. As a member of the federal list of endangered species, the perilous bird lives as far north as 100 miles southeast of Richmond, Virginia.

An open understory invites sightings of Bachman's sparrows, pine warblers, brown-headed nuthatches, tiny downy woodpeckers and the sometimes-noisy pileated woodpecker. These large woodpeckers create a thunderous hammering and flicker-like call. This crow-sized bird (17") is not only seen effortlessly swooping from tree to tree, but also seen near ground level hammering away on dead tree stumps.

Late spring and early fall are good times for bird watching and a good time to view the area's beautiful display of wildflowers. Be sure to notice the profusion of wildflowers including skullcap, Harper's beauty, candyweed, meadow beauty, orchids, and several varieties of pitcher plants.

Oftentimes dawn and dusk drives afford sights of white-tailed deer, raccoon, and wild turkey. Black bear, bobcats, and gray fox thrive in the region, but are seldom seen. Alligators and fox squirrels are common sights.

Elevation: 5 - 10 Feet

Elevation Gain: Minimal

Directions: From Bristol, FL, Travel south about 12 miles on State Road 12 to intersection with County Road 379. Loop begins and ends here.

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Apalachicola National Forest

Visitor Information

Telephone Number: (850) 643-2282
The details, dates, and prices mentioned here were accurate at the time of publication.

Review by Wildernet Copyright © 2010 all rights reserved.