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Published: February 11th 2011
Mutual Mine campground
see van in far distance
I’m not so sure that the 5 out of 5 stars were earned for Beauty by the Mutual Mine campground, I would give it a 4 maybe! The trip to get here was beautiful though, with giant live oaks dripping with Spanish moss dotting rolling grasslands, where horses & cattle grazed around ranch houses. The other ratings in my travel book were: Privacy: 3 out of 5, I would say that’s about right, only 2 campsites and one camp host were there. Spaciousness: gets a 5, I agree with that rating. Quiet: gets a 2 because of some road noise. Security: gets a 3, I felt pretty secure... And, cleanliness gets a 4, which is about right.
Mutual Mine is a small Forest Service campground situated around an old phosphate mine that was abandoned in 1914 because a bigger and better vein was discovered nearby. The mine has filled in with water. My book also rated Mutual Mine campground as one of the best campgrounds for hiking in Florida. I’ve enjoyed 2 afternoons of hiking, but I wasn’t that impressed. I would give the hiking a 4!
The trails are sandy and wind through a variety of plant communities,
including sandhill scrub, oak thickets, and long-leaf pine timber stands that have nice savannah-like grass underneath all probably due to prescribed burning. The weather was a little rainy this morning, but it was good sweater weather for hiking in the afternoon, AND NO BUGS!
From the information kiosk on phosphate I learned that some 10-15 million years ago organic matter on the sea floor accumulated (they think). The phosphate deposits formed due to changes in sea level, pressure and erosion. Apparently Florida produces 75% of the phosphate used in the US and 25% used in the world. 95% of all phosphate is used in agriculture as fertilizer (essential for root & flower production) and supplements for livestock (promotes strong bones). The other 5% is used in soft drinks, toothpaste, bone china, film, light bulbs, vitamins, flame-resistant fabric, optical glass, and shaving cream. Who knew!
Today I’m headed to Caloosahatchee Regional Park Campground.
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