Hiking the Cross Florida Greenway - Ross Prairie to Pruitt
By Kevin Mims
You know I'm pretty sad about leaving our camp at Ross Prairie on the Cross Florida Greenway. It's been an incredible experience to be able to be situated so close to great hiking and biking trails.
Seriously, I'm writing this post and can see the Florida National Scenic Trail sign -- that's how close we are. For outdoorsy people like my wife and me, the Ross Prairie Campground is heaven.
Although I've done it before, the section between Ross Prairie and the Pruitt Trailhead near Dunnellon is a great hike. A few years and several fitness levels back this was one of my go-to spots in the area for a trail run.
From the Ross Prairie Trailhead head east and cross over SR 200. Be super careful when you make the crossing; the road is pretty busy all day long. Once across it's a six-mile hike to the Pruitt Trailhead and you'll pass underneath huge live oaks and through grassy pasturelands along the way. There's a unique feature in this section too and hikers generally refer to it as 'Stonehenge.' It's a group of rocks that were placed as a memorial to the son of a local ranching family.
The trail also features some of the digs left over from the failed Cross Florida Barge Canal project and you'll hike high on some limerock ridges. Because this is a linear hike give yourself enough time to return to the Ross Prairie Trailhead or make arrangements for a shuttle. Bring a friend!
For more information check out floridastateparks.org/crossflorida.