50 Hikes: #23 Geneva Wilderness Area

50 Hikes: #23 Geneva Wilderness Area

This is Hike #23 in the book 50 Hikes in Central Florida, completed on June 28, 2020.

After a short drive from the Lake Proctor Wilderness Area, I arrived at the Geneva Wilderness Area around 11:30 am. I ate a quick lunch in my car before starting the next hike just before noon.

50 Hikes: #23 Geneva Wilderness Area Trailhead

There were others approaching the trailhead with their dogs, so I quickly started down the trail ahead of them. This was going to be a short hike but I could tell that the trail was going to be crowded.

50 Hikes: #23 Geneva Wilderness Area

After less than ten minutes walking, the trail reached a lake with a fishing pier reaching out to the center. On the pier I stopped to have a look around and take photos (see first photo and above). The water was calm and clear. I noticed people waiting for me to finish, so I quickly headed back to the trail.

50 Hikes: #23 Geneva Wilderness Area

I continued on the Loop Trail which cut across a thin strip of land between the two lakes in the park. I stopped to take some photos of the larger of the two lakes, on the left of the trail (the lake the Loop Trail encircles).

50 Hikes: #23 Geneva Wilderness Area Chapel

Off to the left of the Loop Trail, a short side trail took me to an outdoor chapel. Here I explored a little before taking a short break in shade of the chapel itself.

I rejoined the main Loop Trail where many hikers and mountainbikers were walking, riding, and resting. I passed them and continued south, past a small canal. This was the end of the shady half of the hike. Also the last of other people, as it turned out.

50 Hikes: #23 Geneva Wilderness Area

At the southern end of the Loop Trail I emerged into an open and sunny area with a wide and sandy trail. For the next few hundred yards it was very hot and very hard walking in the thick, soft sand. At the junction of the Flagler Trail, I turned left to continue around towards the lake. There was a marked (detour) trail to the right—which wasn’t in the 50 Hikes book—so I continued straight to the lake.

50 Hikes: #23 Geneva Wilderness Area

At the lake the trail was flooded, so I skirted along the far right side of the trail trying to stay on dry land. I had to jump a few puddles of water and did get my shoes wet once. Just past the flooded trail, the detour trail rejoined the main trail and I realized I could have avoided the flooded section. No real harm done! I might let the authors know so they can update their book, however.

50 Hikes: #23 Geneva Wilderness Area

The trail followed the lake shore and provided views across to the chapel where I had rested earlier. This section was also very sunny and hot with no shade.

Past the lake, I soon arrived at the Ed Yarborough Nature Center. On the right side, there were man-made houses for both bees and bats. I took a rest and enjoyed reading about them. Unfortunately, it seemed there were no bees at home and I also did not see any bats in the middle of the day.

I was hot and thirsty and nearly done. There was just one short section of trail left, passing through a gate, and along a sandy road back to the trailhead. This 1.9-mile hike took just over an hour to complete. The temperature at the end was 89°F.

50 Hikes: #23 Geneva Wilderness Area MINI

I returned to my MINI, which was parked in the shade in its own little corral. I ate another sandwich before leaving the park just after 1:00 pm.

50 Hikes: #23 Geneva Wilderness Area Route

This was the second of two hikes on this day, my first was at the #22 Lake Proctor Wilderness Area.

Post-Hike Beer

My drive home would take me near Sanford, so I planned to have my post-hike beer at one of my favorite local breweries, Wop’s Hops. In the parking lot I changed my shirt, socks, and shoes. Inside I ordered a pint of their Tipsy Trip C American Wheat Beer and found a table in the restaurant side of the building. Unfortunately, since it was Sunday neither of the owners, Greg and Pete, were there. Even so, it was a cold and refreshing way to reward myself for finishing two hikes from the book in one day.

50 Hikes: #23 Geneva Wilderness Area Beer