Length: 32.9 miles (linear)
FTA Volunteers call the Florida Trail on Eglin the land of “was that thunder?”. Hiking is on an active military reservation. Of special interest is Eglin’s role as a weapons development and testing facility. The rumbles in the distance are rarely thunder.
From the trailhead on SR 285 you hike southwest and quickly drop into Gum Creek drainage. The route parallels Gum but the creek is rarely seen until you cross it just shy of 2 miles. Just before reaching Gum, the Speck Pond Spur Trail (campsite) connects from the south. From Gum Creek the trail begins an up and down pattern for the next 6 miles. The first major stream is Big Fork Creek. The floodplain west of the bridge is often flooded after heavy rains and during periods of high water. Hikers should exercise extreme caution. Do not attempt the crossing if conditions are dangerous.Not far past Big Fork the trail starts to parallel Titi Creek. Titi is the major drainage creek in the section. The trail crosses Titi on an old wooden road bridge. A half-mile ahead you pass Jr Walton Pond (campsite). Moving west the trail crosses three major creeks – Honey, Silver and Pearl. Each of the creeks is different. Honey is cut deep with the bridge high above the water. Silver is open, wide and inviting. You can sit on the bridge and soak your feet. Pearl is lined with Atlantic white cedars. The trees form a canopy keeping Pearl shaded and cooler than the surrounding forest. Just before reaching Pearl Creek you come to Pearl Backcountry Campsite.On this portion of Eglin there is one backcountry campsite (Pearl – not vehicle accessible) and two vehicle accessible campsites (Speck Pond and Jr. Walton Pond). For more information contact the Choctawhatchee Chapter