|Hike Name:||Hopkins Prairie to Lake Delancy - Fl. National Scenic Trail|
|Nearby Town:||Salt Springs|
|Directions:||To access Hopkins Prairie, you go down unpaved FR86 off hwy 19 east of Ocala.|
|Total Hike Distance:||44.00 miles|
|Hike Difficulty:||Easy to Moderate|
|Hike Type:||In & Out, Backtrack Hike|
|Hike Starts/Ends:||Hopkins Prairie Campground|
|Trails Used:||Florida National Scenic Trail|
|Backcountry Water Sources:||None|
|Management:||U.S. Forest Service|
|Contact Information:||Florida Trail Association / US Forest Service|
|Road Conditions:||Maintained Gravel or Dirt Roads, Unmaintained Gravel or Dirt Roads, Four Wheel Drive Required|
|Hike Summary:||I did this up and back hike just before Christmas. I was hoping for a bit cooler weather but oh well! Hopkins Prairie is beautiful and scenic. The trail going around the rim is still cluttered with deadfall and blowdowns from previous storms. The dry weather made it easy to pass around all the obstruction though. Past the Prairie, the hike is a mixture of peaceful long leaf pine and burned area that needs time to re grow. Surface water is available but again due to the dry conditions, near the pond edges it was a bit muddy and hard to filter. About 14 miles north of Hopkins, there is a .4m side trail leading to Store 88, an old fashioned bar and convenience store in unspoiled old Florida. You can get water and a beer to go.
Some sections were well marked and maintained, others were more of a challenge. I saw a couple of hunters, but no other hikers. Wear your blaze orange during general gun season!