Richloam Loop Trails
Length: loops of 10, 12, 14 and 26 miles
The Richloam Hiking Trail is just off SR 50 east of Ridge Manor. Follow Clay Sink Rd to the Richloam Fire Tower. Park at the fire tower. A blue blazed connector trail leads to the loop. Richloam offers mostly dry hiking, with some wading during rainy seasons.
The Richloam Tract of Withlacoochee State Forest offers a wide variety of plant and animal life. Of interest here is a state owned herd of longhorn cattle descended from the original Spanish cows, and one of the state’s top fish hatcheries.
Richloam Tract (Brian O’Halloran)Follow the perimeter trail for a 25.6-mile weekend backpacking loop, or take a long day hike using the cross trails, which enable you to configure loops of 10, 12, and 14 miles. The trail passes through cypress floodplains, bayheads, pine-palmetto flatlands, hardwood hammocks and open pine prairies. Ancient live oaks shade the trail in places. There is also a relict experimental eucalyptus plantation from the 1930’s that the loop trail passes through. Wildflowers are abundant from March until November.
The trail borders the Withlacoochee River in the southwest and the Little Withlacoochee River in the northern section and crosses numerous streams which drain the tract. Eagles, deer, turkeys, and other wildlife inhabit the area. Fishing is good here. A brochure is available from the Recreation Coordinator’s Office, Withlacoochee State Forest, 15019 Broad St., Brooksville, FL 34601.