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Wednesday, November 19, 2014
On the north end of Rice Creek Conservation Area by Hwy 100 I found this old railroad trestle. I believe this was part of a railroad line that was formerly run by The Georgia Southern and Florida Railroad Company in the late 1800's.
Today it is abandoned and is actually utilized as part of The Florida Trail out of Rice Creek Conservation Area. If you continue following this railroad grade it eventually leads into the Palatka Lake Butler State Trail.
I explored around the trestle and down by the creek, it is such a beautiful place. I couldn't help but envision the past when the trains crossed the creek here over 100 years ago.
|On The Trestle|
Saturday, November 8, 2014
|Abandoned Fish Hatchery|
As I approached the silo I passed by an old cattle feeder, this area was part of a farm or ranch at one time I think. The silo had panels missing at the bottom so I was able to go inside and check it out. That was a really neat experience I've never been inside a farm silo much less find an abandoned one in the woods. You could still see the shaft with a ladder inside but I did not attempt to climb it as it isn't very safe to do so. I spent a good amount of time out here imagining what it must have been like all those years ago. I can't say for sure but I think the silo could be dated somewhere between 1930's-1950's but as I said I really don't know. I am hoping to learn more about this area that is for sure.
|Old Farm Silo|
As I returned to the trailhead I thought how nice it was to discover these things while enjoying this scenic wilderness. If you look hard enough you can discover these things and so much more at Hálpata Tastanaki Preserve.
Abandoned Fish Hatchery
Old Farm Silo
Cattle Processing Site
Old Farm Equipment
|Inside the Silo|
|Looking up into the Shaft|
|Piece of Machinery|
|Old Cattle Feeder|
Posted by Joe Dunn at 7:01 PM
Sunday, November 2, 2014
|Plane Crash Wreckage|
I went to the area actually looking for some other sites to check out when I came across the plane wreckage that had been found. As I entered the site I got an overwhelming feeling of sadness. Sure it was exciting finding it but at the same time it is also one of the most unfortunate discoveries I've had on the trails. I've always envisioned finding an abandoned plane on an adventure but never under these circumstances.
I hope that the fact that it was discovered helps to put some closure on this. I know that at least he passed away doing what he loved to do. I read that he had a big passion for flying these planes. He seemed to have been a very experienced pilot as well. Which leads me to wonder how he went down and we may never know.
|Theodore Weiss, 74, of Zephyrhills|
I left the site as it was and took some photos and videos which you can see below. From everything I have read on this man he seemed like a good person and that he will be missed by many. I made this post to show my respects and perhaps even a sort of memorial for him. I know he is at peace and flying high somewhere in a much better place now.
Plane Crash Wreckage
Abandoned Plane Crash Wreckage
Thursday, October 30, 2014
|Exploring An Old Phosphate Mine|
I particularly enjoyed the Trestle Point trail because of it's history. In the early 1900's they mined for phosphate in this area and you can still see evidence from that period as you walk along the old tram roads which are now part of the nature trail. I found large pits and even an old dragline shovel along the trail. I followed the trails towards the river and found the site where a small trestle used to cross. The phosphate would be hauled out of the mines across the river over the trestle. Here is some history I found on the area from the park website. "Phosphate mining in the park covered two major periods. Exploration mining began prior to the turn of the 20th century, consisting of mule and wheelbarrow-assisted excavation in nearby sinkholes and depressions. Later, the mine used boilers, pumps and steam shovels for ore extraction. A series of narrow-gauge railroads were installed to cart the ore out to local railroad lines. This early phase of mining was never as intrusive as our present-day methods, but many pits were left in the park and are still present today, especially around the Head Spring area. Another relic of the phosphate era is the series of 'tram beds' crisscrossing the park, left behind from the railroad conveyances."
If you plan on visiting the springs at the North entrance don't forget to check out these beautiful and historical trails!
|Trestle Point (Where the Trestle Was)|
|Trails by the Mines|
|Old Dragline Shovel|
Old Dragline Bucket
Old Phosphate Mines
Old Tram Road
Ichetucknee Springs State Park
Friday, October 24, 2014
|Exploring Oriole Mines|
On a recent hike out there I found what looks to be an old mine way back in the woods. I managed to find an old tram road where you can see the areas dug up. These are known as the Oriole Mines and were managed by the Oriole Mining Company. I believe they would mine phosphate back here up until around 1915. Initially I set out not knowing what I would find. Little did I know I would discover yet another connection to history on this old town.
Exploring Oriole Mine
Oriole Ghost Town
Withlacoochee State Forest
Hernando County History
|Looking Down Into Oriole Mines|
Posted by Joe Dunn at 7:44 PM
Labels: Discovering Oriole Mines in Withlacoochee State Forest, Ghost Towns, Hiking, Withlacoochee State Forest
Monday, September 15, 2014
|Abandoned Railroad Trestle|
Florida has many abandoned railway tracks in the Suwannee River Valley. In the early 1900s freight and passenger steamships were replaced by trains that carried crops and timber and also made passenger stops in small towns such as Chiefland, Cross City, and Trenton. The Nature Coast Trail follows this historic route which is part of the old railroad.
I wanted to see what remains I could find from this railway. So I followed a trail back to the Steinhatchee River north of Cross City. It is known as the Steinhatchee Conservation Area. This trail lead me to an abandoned railroad trestle dating back to the early 1900's. I traced the railroad line here on maps and it eventually connects into the Nature Coast Trail.
|Abandoned Railroad Trestle Over Steinhatchee River|