Length: 28.4 miles (linear)
The section is along rural roads through the small city of Lake Butler and within the Lake Butler Forest which is operated as a tree farm by Plum Creek Timber. Although the great majority of the forest is planted pines, a few hardwood areas remain. The most notable are along the banks of Swift Creek, Granny Bay, and the South Prong of the St. Mary’s River.
At any given time, a large part of the trail will pass through or along the edge of clear-cuts. Between new seedling planting and their maturation, these areas are typified by high grasses and panoramic vistas. Sightings of deer and turkey are fairly common.
If you are hiking through Olustee or on Osceola National Forest trails during the middle of February, be on the lookout for enemy scouts, infantry, and artillery! You may detect the characteristic odor of gunpowder if the wind is right. The annual reenactment of the Civil War Battle of Olustee fought near Ocean Pond on February 20, 1864 occurs near the Battlefield Museum on US 90, east of the town of Olustee. Everyone is invited, but don’t wear a Civil War cap unless you are ready to do combat with the other side! For more information contact the North Florida Trailblazers.