(This is a fairly detailed trip report as it is also my record of the trip)
I did a 2 1/2 day bicycle tour up to Jupiter/Hobe Sound to check out some of the remote areas to the west of this region.I stealth camped just west of Jupiter the first night after taking the coastal route up there stopping frequently at various beaches on the way in particular Palm Beach and Jupiter . Self-contained bicycle tourists draw a lot of attention and it seems that beach babes dig them too but that is another story.However it seems that touring cyclists have it rough these days because everyone while outwardly gasping at the idea actually expects nowadays to hear you are headed to some distant destination such as Ca. or Tierra de Fuiga etc.For example I stopped at the Yankee Trader a neat fruit /vegie mart near Juno Beach for some fresh squeezed juice and the lady asks how long I'm travelling for.I said just for the weekend but apparently that wasn't the answer she wanted to hear as she commented oh a week long trip(I guess I do a good job of acting like a world traveller lol).
Anyway I frequently in the past have done long day rides up to Jupiter/Hobe Sound and back but as this is 120-130 miles round trip and I don't always like to push for distance particularly when touring I have had plans to find a good steath camp site in this area to use ocassionally or even perhaps set up a permanient camp somewhere really remote.I have once before stealth camped near Hobe Sound but that was not a site I would camp again but this site was very nice in fact on to the west there would be quite a few good camping spots as I kind of figured.Prior to finding this site I checked out where a new spur of the Fl. trail called the Ocean to Lake(Okeechobie)trail will cross the main road(when complete early next year)but this was all on fenced and posted govt land so I kept going.
The next morning I set off to explore the backcountry(much of which is govt. land or land they intend to acquire.I would have to say this area rivals Big Cyprus and the remote areas along the southern boundry of the Ocala N.F.(ONF itself is too managed to be pretty imo) in shear beauty for remote Florida backcountry.In particular I wanted too check out some of the hiking/backpacking trails in the Hungryland/Pal-Mar area(ie water mngt. district lands).Soon after I turned north into this area I saw my first wild pig and heard another(this proved useful later as you will see). At a canal/levee where you can hike I stopped and abruptly heard a splash into the water.You guessed it soon the beady eyes of an alligator surfaced.Continuing on I soon reached the hiking trails proper and got some useful info from an outdoor type who was just leaving as I got there.I hiked the eastern section which was about 2 miles roundtrip noting the westerly
trail went considerably farther.
From there I headed around to Hobe Sound including the WMA at the beach then headed south to Jonathon Dickenson S.P. A cute ranger chick confirmed you could backcountry camp if you backpacked 9 miles in along the Fl. Trail spur to the designated camping area.Heading on southward I took a more westerly route back ie. out along the everglades and farming areas(what hasn't been turned into housing developements in that area yet anyway.At nightfall I found a stealth camp in some neat pine forest land.After a few hours I began hearing noises that sounded strange but vaguely similar to the noises I had heard earlier in the day.Then I began hearing movement almost like human footsteps and I was briefly concerned maybe some homeless types inhabited this area but I was well enough concealed no human would find me and the noises were a dead giveaway there were wild pigs in the area moving very close to my campsite(I'm pretty sure thats what they were anyway).Well after much flashlight shining didn't seem to move them away just made them very quiet I decided I would let out a roar like a lion lol while just in case grabbing my bicycle pump.Well that along with a lot more flashlight shining seemed to make them keep there distance though I heard their noises periodically thoughout the night as while I got plenty of rest didn't really fall asleep.Now I did have my food with me in the tent though I had done no cooking and I guess I should have followed the tip I got about using a metal tin to store food in in areas where its difficult to hang food.Oh well live and learn though I did kind of actually enjoy the encounter and definately enjoyed the peace and tranquity and various forest noises through my tent mesh.I wonder how dangerous those things are though? I do plan to check it out on the internet. Anyway next morning was a rather uneventful ride the rest of the way.
It was a very enjoyable tour in spite of the heat and the camping temperature was fine once I cooled down from all the cycling.And both camp sites were basically bug free a real plus.I already have my next tour destination decided Wauchula along the Peace River and it will be sooner rather than later probably a 4 day trip.I have toured Okeechobie,Arcadia and Sebring areas I will cover on this tour as well but mostly on main roads without the time to expore the backcountry areas north of Arcadia and west of Sebring.An acquaintance on another internet group originally gave me much info on this area as he has a place out that way and use to be a Fl. backcountry guide.When we camped in Arcadia on a prior tour I went several miles down the backroad to this region and it was very nice.