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When I used to live in Florida (over ten years ago now!), I used to love hiking.

Now, I know that Florida isn’t the first place that comes to mind when people think about hiking: there’s practically zero elevation, the terrain can be marshy, and there are all sorts of creepy critters that aren’t for the faint of heart.

Snakes, spiders and alligators aren’t exactly everyone’s forte and let’s face it, no one likes 90 percent humidity and mosquitoes.

But…then, there are a few crazy folks like me who find all of that just part of what makes Florida so unique and worth exploring in the first place!

Secret Woods is a nature park in Florida that takes you through 3 ecosystems: a hardwood hammock forest, a tidal marsh, and a river area which flows in from the Everglades. Some native vegetation includes laurel oak trees, sabal palms, wild coffee, and strangler figs.

Along the trail, there is a thriving community of fiddler crabs, wading birds such as egrets and ibises, small lizards, the occasional snake, and lots and lots of spiders.

We also saw a raccoon and some really pretty butterflies…

Sounds fun, right?

Below are some pictures from our afternoon at Secret Woods. For more information, check out Secret Woods on Yelp.

Fiddler crabs…there were thousands of these guys ranging in size from about the size of a dime to the size of my hand! They burrow holes into the sand and are also hanging out in the shallow waters of the tidal march.

During hide tide, this area is under water…

 

I was kind of obsessed with watching these guys! Again, warning: creepy crawlers. #Florida

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There was a gorgeous tour boat docked on the river…. Bromeliads… Golden Orb Spiders are about 4-5 inches long, including their legs; (their torsos are about 1.5-2 inches long!)