Fortunately, you can get a glimpse of what used to be thanks to the St. Francis Trail. Bounded on the north by the Alexander Springs Wilderness and on the east by the mighty floodplains of the St. Johns, the St. Francis Trail is a very enjoyable hike.
Directions to St. Francis:
Turn right onto SR 42 at the light after the bridge. Watch for the sign on the right -- it comes up fast. Turn right at River Forest and drive past the group camp to the trailhead at the end of this short unpaved road.
Starting from the trailhead kiosk -- which is where you’ll learn about St. Francis’ agricultural past -- follow the orange blazes (painted over the former blue blazes) into an upland hammock of oaks. The path is easy to follow and well shaded.
Some of the sights you'll see include foot bridges, old citrus trees, a well, and various other signs that show this was once a thriving community.
This is the perfect time of you to explore the St. Francis Trail, before it gets too hot. Make sure you bring plenty of water and bug spray.
Length: 7.9 mile loop
Trailhead: 29.012710, -81.392275
Fees / Permits: Free
Restroom: None. Try nearby River Forest campground.