January 7, 2017 - Hike to Hidden Springs of Seminole State Forest
Park Biologist, Ralph Risch, Park Ranger, Mike Martin and author and naturalist, Bill Belleville opened the morning with an introduction to the hidden springs of Seminole State Forest.
Twenty-five undeterred hikers, wearing various forms of rain gear from ponchos to black trash bags pilled into 4 wheel drive vehicles and headed out to personally discover hidden springs in SSF.
To see Helena Springs we trekked along a long narrow path bordered by low-growing palmettos. We slowly descended to the wetter ground and entered a hardwood hammock. There, before us, appeared a crystal clear pond. As we looked down we could see not only our reflection but the boil that was releasing the underground water.
In the other springs we saw the water flowing out of the rocks, forming a stream that would eventually empty into Blackwater Creek, the Wekiva River, the St Johns and finally into the Atlantic Ocean.
The morning was a gift… The group shared their interest in coming out in spite of the dismal forecast. The forest was glistening after the rain, the air, so fresh it should have been bottled! Imagination and curiosity were stimulated. What happened thousands of years before our feet touched this ground..and the ever gnawing question,”How can I help to protect it? What is my part?”