The drive getting to the parking lot of this trail is a little far from the main road. Get in early, parking spaces fill up quickly. The map for Old Ridge said the trail is strenuous - for a beginner, it is true. This can also be an all day experience. From the parking lot tot he start of the trail is about a mile. The first two miles of the trail is okay, not much going on. A little pass mile 2, there are some rocks you can rest on and have a good view of the bottom forest. When you hit the beginning of the third mile, you can get a good view on the other side of the mountain. Good place for a picnic too. After this area, the rocky trail begins. I'm not a mountain climber but you need to have a good balance and stamina to get to the very top of the mountain. Some of the rocks can be slippery, so be careful. There is a sign that will tell you the highest peak of the mountain - it will be around mile 4. The view from the top is amazing. Even now, I still could not find the right word/s other than amazing to describe the feeling being on top of that mountain. I suggest going through the whole trail, saw many hikers who after reaching the summit turned around. The walk down from the summit requires a good amount of endurance. As a runner, I would have sped through but living in Florida you don't get to see and experience this much lush forestry and cool weather. It is a nice path to clear your head and just enjoy the scenery. Also If you find yourself in need of assistance, there are volunteers who goes around the trail on a daily basis and there is a phone on the second shelter where you can call for park rangers to pick you up. I suggest to bring liquids with electrolytes as they may come in handy and some snacks too.
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