Munson Hwy in Milton, FL lives in my mind’s hall of fame for boiled peanuts, float trips, and toting through the wildflowers in the woods. When we were kids, Mom worked out off Friendship Road. She’d drive us right into a different world when we would hit the lines of trees and single-lane highways that turned off into dirt roads.
Summers were spent in huddle-ups or hanging out at Coldwater Creek. Nothing much more refreshing than the steady flow of fresh water on our scorching Florida days. Creek temps average in the low 70s and plenty of tree coverage offering natural shade.
Sometimes we would camp out there or spend single-day trips posting up at one of the rocky sand bars. There is plenty to explore around the Blackwater State Park. Munson Highway and Red Rock Road are key areas for the best views and walkways.
Days seemed simpler back then and getting lost out in the woods didn’t seem to take as much effort as it does now.
I’m thankful that those memories turned into motivation to keep exploring those areas in my adult life. Now my daughter and I frequently find ourselves lost in the woods. We have some of our best conversations out there as we make our way to the “honey holes”. That’s short for the special places we explored as kids.
For those of you that don’t read directions by which gas station you turn at, Juniper Creek is a 13-mile-long trail hike with creek access and dirk cliffs along the route with more than one point of entry. You can find the directions here for when you decide to go!
Our most recent walk started out in the earlier morning, we saw groups of people parking at Bob’s Canoes as we passed by. Crossing the bridge over the creek, the early birds were already offloading. The sun was still east side and we were feeling the benefits of the shadiness provided by the tall pine trees.
Less than a mile into the trail, you veer off to the left to find the dirt cliffs and all-natural clay. Walk-in spots to the river, and easy access to spend the entire day.
The traffic of people floating on the creek seemed to be pretty light, and for those who were exploring the trail it was similar. We made some new friends and almost got into a friendly clay fight!
Exploring out in the woods, by the creek, disconnected from the busyness of life is one of our favorite things to do. With school starting back up, it felt like we both needed a trip out there to recharge.
Taking adventures and experiencing the beauty around you shouldn’t be something that takes more out of you. It is a gift that creation is as accessible as it is and has proven to be healing too.
Juniper Creek, Bob’s Canoes, Adventures Unlimited, and Coldwater Gardens are just to name a few. There are many places out in Milton, FL that offer a time of retreat and healing adventure out in the woods.
For those of you who are parents, soak up these final days of summer with your kids. It is time that they will treasure and never forget.
Local Pulse Staff Writer, Makenna Curtis, Life Long Explorer