Hernando County may not have grand mountains like the Carolinas or Tennessee, but our lovely Brooksville rolling hills are above the norm as far as Florida contour goes.
‘Long Hikes and Overnights,’ a social meet-up group created by Melanie Batta, coordinated a backpacking hiking event to celebrate National Summit Day in collaboration with BACKPACKER Magazine. The group met at Tucker Hill Trailhead in Brooksville for the occasion.
“Florida is just not represented when it comes to hiking groups and backpackers, but we have a Florida Trail,” Melanie said. “When the BACKPACKER National Summit hike came up, I asked if I could lead a group.”
Earlier this month, fourteen hikers traveled from Punta Gorda, Pinellas County, Clearwater, Tampa, New Port Richey and Reddick (between Ocala and Gainesville), to participate in the 6.5-mile trek through the Withlacoochee State Forest.
Whether it’s the highest hill or tallest peak, National Summit Day is “a celebration of summits and those who climb them,” according to BACKPACKER Magazine. It’s intended to encourage people to get outdoors, enjoy nature and build friendships among hikers.
“It’s a feeling in my heart- I need to do it,” Melanie said. “I think you’re just born with that.”
Interested in being part of the group, check out ’Melanie’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/longhikes/