Croom Loop Trails
Length: 19.1 miles in 3 loops
The Croom Loop Trails are located on the western side of the Withlacoochee River in the Croom Tract of Withlacoochee State Forest, near Ridge Manor, FL. There is hilly walking through deeply forested ravines on the northern section, gently rolling sandhills to the south, and low-lying floodplain forests along the river.
View of the Withlacoochee River in Croom Photo: (Sandra Friend) The Croom Tract Loop Trail is a favorite for backpackers training for strenuous mountain treks, as it is one of Central Florida’s more rugged hikes. A 3.7-mile blue-blazed access loop leads you from the trailhead at Silver Lake Recreation Area under a bridge under I-75 into the forests along the river, and makes a nice short day hike on its own. The “low water” route passes through cypress stands with some immense trees, while the “high water” route heads right up into the sandhills to access the backpacking loops.
The trail is divided into three stacked loops: A (7 miles), B (9.9 miles), and C (8 miles). Loop A is part of the Florida State Forests Trailwalker Program. There are two deep ravines along the trail, one near the Tucker Hill trailhead on Loop B, and the other along Loop C. Most of the trail is in shady hardwood forests, sandhills, and longleaf pine forests.