The Yearling Trail Hiking Review
- Historical Value
- Trail Markers
The Yearling Trail is a great historical trail to hike. You'll see the cemetery and remains of the Long family living on the land. The trail map uses a number system so you know where to go to see the historical remains of what is left. Be careful of bear along this trail. I woke one up that was sleeping and everything was fine. I know of another hiker that ran into the same bear and he was fine too but still be cautious.
The Yearling Trail
Sunrise – Sunset
About The Book
The Yearling, a book written in 1938 by Majorie Kinnan Rawlings, was a best seller in 1939 and won a Pulitzer Prize the same year and was also turned into a movie starring Gregory Peck and Jane Wyman in 1946. The book was about a family (The Longs) that settled and lived in the North Central Florida woods in the 1800s. The area is now called the Ocala National Forest and I hiked out on The Yearling Trail.
The Long family set up homesteads in an area called Pat’s Island. Pat’s Island is a large area where the family could grow crops but was surrounded by desert like conditions around it where the crops wouldn’t survive.
I hiked The Yearling Trail which is also part of the Florida Black Bear Scenic Byway and found an old wagon trail leading into Pat’s Island, old homestead remains, the Long family cemetery, a very large sink hole where they would gather water and of course, signs of bear everywhere. The trail is about 6 miles long and takes you deep into the forest. I was the only one out on the trail that day and it is quiet. I enjoyed the hike as there was so much history still left dating from the 1800’s.
The trails were overgrown. A ranger at the welcome station told me they don’t get a lot of hikers out during the summer so everything grows quickly. He mentioned that they have a crew of volunteers that come out in November or December and clear the trails up for easier hiking. I hiked in August and it was thick. I made it through so you should be able to as well. This would be a much better hike in December than August when I went. It was hot.
Yearling Trail Hiking Suggestions
- Plenty of water (I used 1/2 gallon)
- Good shoes or boots for hiking
- Bug spray
I love historical trails and The Yearling Trail is one is just about my favorite. You won’t be disappointed.You’ll find markers along the trail with numbers that match up to historical points explaining what you see when you are there.