Venturing far inland, Kiki and I went to Silver Lake Recreation Area in Brooksville, Florida seeking new trails and a deeper forest experience. There were positives and negatives about this area of the Withlacoochee State Forest, but enough of the former so that I can recommend trekking there along the Low Water and High Water trails.
Upon arriving at the area and paying the $2 entrance fee, the road funnels you right to Silver Lake. There were almost no people around. Dogs are allowed in all the day use areas, leashed of course, and even far out on the trail I kept Kiki leashed as well as sometimes an actual road would appear right in the middle of the forest with cars flying by.
The best find during our 90-minute 3.55 mile trek was this cypress tree. It was enormous and its based formed a natural arch. We stopped at the foot of this towering tree for water and a snack.
The view from the back of the cypress tree offers an otherwordly look into the forest itself. I did not dare pass through the arch for fear of coming out into another dimension. Kiki showed no desire to pass through it either.
Soft green grass grew throughout the forest floor providing an ethereal feel. The beginning of the High Water trail is too close to I-75 with far too much noise pollution to help one lose thoughts of the human created world, however, once out on the Low Water trail, one could feel the age of the Withlacoochee Forest.
Finding out about these trails and how to get to them took some doing. There is no good website to point you too (this one was a starting point at least), just basically search for Silver Lake Road in Brooksville Florida and Google Maps points you almost exactly at the park entrance. From I-75 take exit #301, then make for Silver Lake Road.