Happy Trail Tuesday! If you find yourself in the Orlando area, swing by and check out Hal Scott Regional Preserve. It's out near the Orlando International Airport, and is situated along the Econlockhatchee River. Yes, that's a tough name – most folks just call it the "Econ" River.
There are a couple of things here that may bother those looking for complete peace and quiet, those being the airplanes constantly buzzing overhead and the occasional glimpse of the Stanton Energy Center over the tops of the trees. So why is it a place you should visit? Well, save those two issues, Hal Scott Regional Preserve has really nice multi-use trails, a few primitive campsites and is a great place to see orchids, bromeliads and pitcher plants.
I found myself less distracted by the overhead noise and more interested in exploring the bogs along the trail in search of hooded pitcher plants, a threatened Florida native species. Grab your cameras; the short section along the Econ River is especially scenic, and I I found all sorts of incredible orchids and bromeliads to photograph.
There are several loop trails to choose from, ranging in length from around four to six miles in length. Ride horses, bikes, run or hike – these are multi-use trails. It's a great place to explore near Orlando and should be added to your list of places to visit, especially if you are a plant and wildlife enthusiast. For more information maps and directions, check out the Hal Scott Regional Preserve page on the St. Johns River Water Management District website. Have fun!