Ascent of Chinsegut Hill on 2011-10-21

Climber: William Musser

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Friday, October 21, 2011
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Chinsegut Hill
    Elevation:274 ft / 83 m

Ascent Trip Report

OK why a 4? Look, in FL all county highpoints are boring and uneventfull. If this HP was in say, CO i would give it a 1 or 2. BUT it is in FL and if you do it right it is a pleasant surprise.
First of all.... do not drive it. Why park at the driveway to the top and only do 90 feet? Make it a hike? I found a way.

I was done with a meeting at the Public Utilities Dept in Hernando County (at work) and time to call it an early weekend. I found parking at US 41 near the entrance to the driveway under a shady live oak. The driveway sign explains that the lands contain a Conference Hall for USF; a research station for the USDA; and some extension of the agricultural office of the U of Fla. Basically Go Bulls; Go Gators; and lots of state and federal folks earn their living here.

I proceded downhil and saw a wire fence and signs that likely said get the heck out of here, but no and to my pleasant surprise - it was signs saying no slaying the mighty beasts on this property. I saw a pedestrian only gate and slid through it and sure enough it was public lands next to the highpoint so I could hike down hill and stretch out the mileage and vertical and do what is so rare in FL - make an acual hike out of the highpointing. The trails were nice and winded down to a large grass savanah-lake ecosystem as part of state lands. Woodpeckers and gopher tortoises were everywhere. Very pretty land with marked trails and wildlife conservation. Had the reserve to myself.Reaching May Prairie at elevation 66 according to the USGS map - I now defined my starting point for the adventure uphill.

Passing back throug the public woodlands I crossed US 41 again, passed my car and headed up the steep paved entrance. The driveway to the hilltop is steeper and marked "keep out" not no tresspassing but is the entrance to the USF Conference Hall. Heck my kid went to USF, my taxes pay for this state land so I walked up the driveway. I think it meant no cars. I saw some other driveways leading through the woods with more forceful messages of stay out state employees only and respected those. At the top is a beautiful historic buidling sitting on the top of the hill overlooking the county. Odd historic structure from the 1850s or something it said.
Still seeing nobody I walked over to the USDA buidlings, looked over the valley and headed down.

Gained a whopping 208 feet which is like doing a fourteener in FL!!!
and round trip was several miles so a little excercise on an nice fall day with temperatures around 55-60 degrees.

Perfect weather. Actual hiking. Woods. Animals. So mileage and gain. A view. A historic structure. No people encountered. For FL that is as good as it gets. Gonna give it a 4 out of 10 for being pleasantly surprised today. Now back to boring drivebys

Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:208 ft / 63 m
    Total Elevation Loss:208 ft / 63 m
    Round-Trip Distance:2 mi / 3.2 km
    Quality:4 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
55-60 F
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:208 ft / 63 m
    Distance:1 mi / 1.6 km
    Route:tail for State lands to driveway
    Start Trailhead:May Prriarie  66 ft / 20 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:208 ft / 63 m
    Distance:1 mi / 1.6 km
    Route:tail for State lands to driveway
    End Trailhead:May Prarie  66 ft / 20 m

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