Coleman Lake, the Pinhoti & the Beach

There are several trails in the  area including hiking and horse trails.

There are several trails in the area including hiking and horse trails.

We plan to leave for Coleman Lake tomorrow.  Since there is no cell service there, I thought I’d post a preview, and will update the blog when we are back in civilization again.

The main activities in the area are birding, camping, hiking and horseback riding.  There’s a primitive horse camp not far from the Coleman Lake campground.  I’m not sure about the fishing.  But when we were there a few years back, one family went frog gigging and harvested 17 big frogs that night.

Coleman Lake swimming beach

Coleman Lake swimming beach

For me, the main attraction is mushroom hunting.  There’s a tremendous variety of habitats from dry hardwood hills to primeval-looking swamps covered in fern.  I’m sure I won’t be able to identify most of the ones I find, but I sure will have fun trying!

For long distance hikers, the close proximity of the 335 mile Pinhoti Trail should be of interest.  It ties in with the Benton McKaye and Appalachian Trails and is part of the Eastern Continental and the Great Eastern Trails.

Gulf State Park right on the Gulf.

Gulf State Park right on the Gulf.

After that, we’re planning to head for the beach the latter part of April.  I changed my mind about the Mississippi beaches when I read that the water is brown and muddy like it is at Galveston.  So now the plan is to go to Gulf State Park in Alabama.

It has excellent reviews.  The water won’t be as clear as it was at Ft. Pickens, but it should still be nice there.  And I’m pretty sure our dogs will be allowed to walk on the beach with us.

So it looks like I will finally, finally, break free of the winter-weary cabin fever blues and go camping!

28 Comments

  1. Camping . . . yay! ;-> Have a ball!!!

    Virtual hugs,

    Judie

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  2. We spent two months in the Gulf Shores area. Drove through the Gulf State park. Very nice. We rode our bikes through it while on the Backcountry trail. It is an amazing walking and biking trail. Lots to do in that area. Every beach we went to were “no dogs allowed”. You might have to do some searching to find a dog beach. The people in this area are so nice. You might check out my blog for some of the interesting places we found. cathieal.blogspot.com

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    • Cathie, thanks so much for the link to your blog! I have it bookmarked now.

      We may have to change back to Mississippi and its muddy beaches so the dogs can be with us. Or maybe come up with alternate plans. We can’t just leave them in the trailer while we go out for hours. Thanks for letting me know about that.

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  3. BKL

     /  March 29, 2014

    Gulf SP is a nice one! (very big, very popular). We liked Bear Rd when we were there a couple of weeks ago. The beaches are awesome! It’s true that the swimming near Buccaneer SP isn’t great, but the camping is. We’re heading to Fausse SP in LA tomorrow. Brandee and Peer

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    • We will probably end up at Buccaneer. If we just had our Maltese it wouldn’t be a problem leaving him in the trailer. Sheba, the Aussie/Lab is another story!

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  4. Yay! Look forward to your trip report on the flip side.

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    • I’m looking at my budget. It might have to wait until May 1, but we’ll get there, Lord willing!

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  5. Have a wonderful time. It is time to hit the road for you. You’ve had to cancel so many trips already.

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  6. have fun!

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  7. Jerryc

     /  March 29, 2014

    Yep! Dogs banned on AL beach’s. According to a local website, dogs are allowed at Buccaneer (Hancock County) on a leash. Not allowed on the beach’s around Biloxi (Harrison County). Also allowed on Jackson County (Ocean Springs) beach’s. Hope you have a wonderful journey. I know it’s been a long time coming.

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    • Wow! We really made a mistake getting Sheba! Thanks so much for the info, Jerry.

      And thanks for the good wishes. This has been one long, tough winter!

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  8. Bonnie Borgeson

     /  March 29, 2014

    Take us ‘Northerner’s some sunny warm envious pictures please. I’m pulling my hair out up here in Northern Illinois. What a winter ride we have all had. Have fun and enjoy it for all.

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    • Bonnie, I know it has been interminable for you. I only have an inkling of how you folks up there feel, but I pray that a beautiful spring comes soon for you!

      I’ll do my best with the pictures. 🙂

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  9. Old Guy

     /  March 29, 2014

    HI,,We love the Gulf State Park,,We go there a couple of times a year,,Try to go before school is out…or after school starts again..It is a Big Park,,Lots of summer campers..When you get there ask if you can get on any of the following sites 47 thru 51 ..I prefer site 49 but it is a popular site,,But you can always ask…One other site we like is 64…None of the sites are really bad,,But these are close to the Laundry..Camp Store,,Bath houses etc..Enjoy your time there..Old Guy

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  10. Sharon, hope you have a wonderful time. Looks like the weather will cooperate….you and Ron deserve this! Enjoy!

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    • It looks like tomorrow will be a little chilly, then 4 glorious days in the 70’s! I will probably not want to go inside the trailer even to sleep. I am so looking forward to being outdoors!!! If it wasn’t going to turn cool and rainy again, we’d stay a lot longer!

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  11. Old Guy

     /  March 29, 2014

    Hi again ,,Lots of places in the park to walk your dogs..Since I do not have any animals I do not know the Regs for the Beach…But I think they are allowed in the park..Just keep them on a leash..They do have Alligators in areas around the water..I have never encountered an Alligator,,But they do have signs out warning where they are… Old Guy

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    • That’s the one thing I wish was really afraid of people and dogs. Alligators! Fortunately they seem to stay very close to the water so they can be avoided.

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  12. Horst

     /  March 29, 2014

    Good on you Guys…Looks like a SUPER place to thaw out and refocus on the positive things…hope you find some neat species of mushrooms…..have fun and enjoy yourselves. I am envious..:)…Horst sends

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  13. Frogging??! I will require photos. ;-))

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  14. Georgia Pinhoti trail is open all the way through to the Benton MacKaye trail with new sections being upgraded and improved. Mapping needs an upgrade to be sure but help is out there. Contact me at Diane@mulberrygap.com and if I can’t help you, can point you to others on the Georgia Pinhoti Trail board who can. Many sections are multi use and not as hiker friendly as the Alabama Pinhoti. It’s a great trail system and trail angels are out and about especially if they know thru hikers are coming through!

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    • Diane, thanks so much for that info. I have COPD so can no longer hike anything but short day use trails. But I wanted to pass on on that information for others who might be interested.

      We just got home, but sometime in the next few days, I’ll add that information to one of my regular posts so it will be seen by more people.

      Thanks again! If I could, I would love to thru-hike it!

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  15. You are welcome and thanks for helping us spread the word. It’s encouraging to know where there is shelter and help along the way! Happy trails to you!

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