This is Hike #6 in the book 50 Hikes in Central Florida, completed on March 10, 2019.
My second hiking trip from the book was actually three hikes of three parks in Lake County, near Leesburg and Eustis. I began with the longest and farthest hike from home at Flat Island Preserve, arriving just before noon. The recommended route was 3.7 miles along an entry trail and a perimeter loop trail. The morning was cool and sunny.
The hike began on a winding, wooded trail which soon reached the beginning of the loop (marked with an B sign). I turned left to walk the loop clockwise.
About a quarter of the way around the loop was a side trail which went through a marsh (on a boardwalk) to a river with a canoe launch. This was the most scenic section of the hike. The end of the boardwalk overlooked stands of cypress trees (see photo, at top) and and an open, slowly flowing river.
After a short rest to enjoy the quiet and views, I returned up the boardwalk to rejoin the loop trail. I turned left to continue a pleasant hike clockwise, passing a campsite and signposts E, F, and D. Between F and D the trail was littered with hickory nuts.
From point D it was a short 0.8-mile hike around the rest of the loop and back out the main trail. At the trailhead I ate a quick lunch before motoring to the next park.