Located West of Highway 231 off Scott’s Road, the Ecofina trails stretch for an impressive 17.7 miles across some of Florida’s most unique and diverse landscapes. These trails will take intermediate to experiences level hikers through uphill twists and turns and winding back down hill, leading you to a variety of scenic views where the natural beauty will leave you in awe.
This trip is especially beautiful during springtime when the azaleas are in full bloom. Throughout the trail, each section will present a different kind of terrain ranging from steep-sided clay banks with ravines to large sandhills and low swamp lands. There are also many designated campsites along the trail, all of which require a free permit to be obtained in advance.
- Scott Road Trailhead: This 0.6 portion of the trail is the most popular starting point and quickly leads past the forested road and sends hikers downhill toward the treeline where you will discover a wide variety of unique foliage dominated by southern magnolia trees. Almost a mile into the trail you will catch your first glimpse of the Ecofina Creek.
- Two Penny Bridge:This is the first suspension bridge in this section, roughly 1.8-miles into the trail. Enjoy the amazing views as you cross and be prepared for the bridge to sway. Next stop along the trail is Ecofina Falls, a beautiful scenic view of a cascading water over a cliff and a great place to stop and rest while you admire nature’s beauty, before the trail begins to dip in and out of ravines.
- Trap Pond Junction: Here the trail flattens out and you reach a designated campsite eastbound, following the edge of a small pond. Past this area you will emerge into a pine forest with a winding path that will eventually lead you to the Ecofina Creek. After a series of deep, steep dips the trail will begin to ascend to a flat bluff overlooking the creek. This is another great resting point to enjoy the views. Past this portion of the trail it’s back to intense ups and downs.
- Panoramic Bluffs: With a sharp drop off and heavy erosion along the edges it’s best to move forward along the trail to a flatter area before the trail enters the forest again if you’re looking for a place to set up camp. Past the scenic bluffs the trail begins loose elevation as it winds around a geological area filled with cypress swamps and sinkholes.
- Devil’s Hole: This magnificent portion of the trail is a bright blue, picturesque swimming hole, water source, and natural beauty spot. Beyond the Devil’s Hole, the path meanders through a shaded area before reaching Seashell Landing, another established recreational area. A little further along the path is another recreational space with picnic tables called Longleaf Pine. All three of these areas require a free permit for camping use. Follow the path along the bluffs before crossing the Walsingham Bridge and re-entering the forest on the other side.
- Tupelo Spring: You can’t miss this gorgeous shimmering spring as you come around a curve on the path that will lead directly to the water’s edge. As you climb up through the sandhills the trail will present you with some steep sandy slopes with high drop offs, where you should admire the view from a good distance away from the edge. After this you will cross a small stream before the trail has a steep ascend to the top of a tall hill where you emerge into a bluff forest.
- Quail Farm Spring Run: Prepare to plunge down a steep slope before passing Quail Farm Spring Run. The ascent out of this ravine is the steepest one on the entire trail. The last stretch of the trail follows the wall of Rattlesnake Spring Ravine, where the trail winds through oak hammocks and reaches a campsite with a covered picnic pavilion and a lake view. As the trail continues along the shoreline it circles a sinkhole before coming to a trail junction. Continue along the path past a series of restoration efforts.
- Little Porter Lake:Another camping area with a gorgeous water view that leads into a dry sinkhole. After emerging from the sinkhole you can pass a dry stream (depending on rainfall) before going up and over another hill with a view of Mabel Porter Pond. Beyond the longleaf pine forest the trail will finally emerge into a clearing in sand pine plantation. Thru-hikers must walk along the SR 20 to reach the next completed section of the Florida Trail.
Featured Uses: Hiking, wildlife viewing, and camping. Leashed dogs are permitted.
Park Access: Florida Trail Scott Road Trailhead Fountain Fl, 32438.
Amenities: Parking at entrance, campgrounds, and water access.