First stop Florida Caverns State Park (http://www.floridastateparks.org/floridacaverns/), were we got to tour one of 32 caverns on the park, and walked down the 9 rooms in the cave open to the public. While waiting for the tour of the cavern to begin we got to hike some trails in the park. The park also has other amenities such as the Blue Hole Lagoon, which is a spring fed lagoon that remains at 64 degrees year around. The campsites were spacious and provided plenty of trees for Derek to hang his camping hammock, and the facilities were clean, and comfortable.
Tribute to the Citizen Corps who helped create this caverns.
http://gastateparks.org/AmicalolaFalls). The park offers great hiking trails, among them the beginning of the Appalachian trail. The main feature of the park is the water falls and the 600 step climb to the bottom of the falls and the top. The campsites are at the toop of the mountain and are very nicely/privately set up. The drive up to the campsites does include a very steep incline for about a mile and a half that required driving in first gear the entire length and no faster than 10 mph at 3000 rpm. Once set up we went on a hike to see the falls. We hiked a total of 2.9 miles, the first mile was down hill and the second mile plus was uphill and included the 600 step climb and proved to be a great work out. Lots of wild life to be seen and the friendliest squirrels that would pose for pictures.
On our way out of the park we ran into this sight.
Third stop: Smokemont Campground in the Smoky Mountains (http://www.mysmokymountainvacation.com/camp-smokemont.html), N.C. Unfortunately although Derek and I went for a nearly 6 mi. hike I wasn't able to take but a few pictures with my camera due to a thunderstorm that passed after we were near the halfway point and climbing up to over 1,300 ft. of altitude. Most of the pics from this part of the trip were taken with my Samsung Galaxy S5 since it's water proof and they are on my facebook page.
Just outside of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the town of Cherokee, N.C. (http://visitcherokeenc.com/#home )where we stopped for breakfast and to do laundry before heading to South Carolina (which at this point we didn't know yet).
Fourth stop: Sadler's Creek State Park, S.C.(http://southcarolinaparks.com/sadlerscreek/introduction.aspx) this park was selected by "luck of the draw" and because of their excellent costumer service. Not only it was a great drive to the park, but also a beautiful place where we got a great waterfront site to camp in 3 out of the four days we stayed.
Fourth Stop: Talbot Islands State Park, Fl. (http://www.floridastateparks.org/littletalbotisland/) Like the previous stop this one was also decided on the go, and it worked out great! This place had a good trail for hiking and beautiful coastline with a "bone yard" of dead trees. Wildlife in this place was easily spotted and considering the time of year, the heat wasn't so bad. Like most of the Florida State Parks the campsites had plenty of shrubbery and trees to make it both private (enough) and protected from the sun.
Like always, hope you enjoyed these pictures, and maybe even got inspired to go out there and find your own adventure. In the meantime remember to leave only your foot prints, and leave whatever place you visit better than you found it!