Triple N Ranch WMA - Crabgrass Road Access Areas

The Triple N Ranch made up of over 16,000 acres, mainly scrub and pines. Crabgrass Creek runs through it, which to me is the prettiest section of the ranch. Looking at the State of Florida Land Management Plan I found that the ranch is actually comprised of a number of old ranches and homesteads acquired over the years. For my visits I divided it into three sections; this write-up will describe the two lower sections of the ranch, accessed from Crabgrass Road. The best section for actual hiking is from the main entrance off RT192. That area has a number of very nice blazed trails maintained by the local FTA chapter. To read about them click here

The Triple-N’s vastness is so huge it is doubtful you could see the whole ranch from anyone of the access points. I am told that during hunting season, the roads are open to vehicles; I suspect that it is just to hunters. Be forewarned, this is mainly a WMA, that means hunting interests are the prime concern, while all other interests [hikers, bikers, birders and equestrians], are secondary.. I suggest that you don’t enter the ranch during hunting season unless you are hunter. I also suggest that you have access to a GPS (handheld or phone) and mark your access point. Much of the area is just palmettos and pines and looks the same. The GPS coordinates of the two access points I used are listed below.

Access from Parking Area Next to Bull Creek WMA
Choosing to enter near the Crabgrass Creek Bridge is nice because it is takes you in just below Crabgrass Creek. You must park at an area on the left side of the road. The parking area is also used as an entrance to Bull Creek WMA. After parking, walk down Crabgrass Road to the entrance to Triple N Ranch, there is a dirt road with a gate. There is no signage, so just be sure to find the right spot. You may have to climb over the gate. Many Florida homesteaders lived around creeks, for the water and the shade provided by the taller trees found around water. The State of Florida has decided to destroy anything historical in these areas for some reason. It disturbs me when I find what I know is an old homestead area, but everything relating to it has been bulldozed under. I am disgusted with whoever decided that was a good thing to do! Once it is gone, it is gone! The reason I mention it at all is that while wandering around this section of the ranch I found many remnants of old time Florida. Old fences, foundations, vehicles, cattle vats and other miscellaneous items missed by the bulldozer (maybe too far into the swamp). It may be gone by now, but I did see it. You can see old orange trees which were planted by very strong willed people quite a while ago. Outside the cypress swamp you will encounter dirt roads, palmettos and pines. There are a few cypress domes scattered throughout the area.

Access from Parking Area at the End of Crabgrass Road
The lower access point will lead you into an open area of palmettos, pines and some cypress domes. The parking area is at the end of Crabgrass Road. You will see a dirt road across from the entrance to Bull Creek WMA. Take that road and the first left. There should be some signage, but if not don’t worry. The parking area is vast. It is a very pretty area to start your exploring; there is a nice pond there. I believe this area was also part of a homestead once upon a time. Enter Road #9 through the gate and start your wandering. You really can’t wander off the roads very much; previous cattle trails have all grown over. The area was part of a number of ranches and they had cattle. Normally you can find some nice trails when cattle are present, but due to the prescribed burns performed over the years, all the old trails seem to be gone. The day I visited the area I hiked down to what was an old ranch. I had seen photos of it when visiting Boonie Man’s website. I had contacted him and he told me it was a nice place to visit. I hiked over 4 miles to it; only to find that it had been pretty much destroyed by the state (seems another casualty of their bulldozer). Needless to say I was disappointed finding nothing but a pile of rubble! Even though the buildings are pretty much gone, you still can get a feel of the times. There still where some fenced in areas, private ponds and even palm trees around the area planted by the homesteaders.

This southern section of the ranch is a pretty place to visit. The blue sky and clouds over the area were just spectacular! Many of the pine trees seem to have a personality all their own! There are some cypress domes and swamps around. I did hit some water around the cypress swamps, so if you go during the wet season, expect that and be prepared. Just about in the middle of the southern section the FWC is creating a shooting complex, as of early 2014 it had not been completed yet. It is proposed to be quite the place, so if you hear a lot of gunfire in the future it may well be the shooting complex.

Conclusion
The Triple N Ranch is vast; it is unlikely that you will see every section of it on foot. You can bike it, but I would hate to get a flat tire way out there in the scrub. I only walked as far as I could walk back. Make sure you have water, sunscreen, bug spray and a good hat! A GPS is also highly recommended. If you own a lightweight portable seat of some sort, it might be good to bring it along. Benches are not provided to weary explorers. Be aware of hunting, you can use the Internet to get the hunting times or you can go to the main entrance on RT192. If hunting is going on there might be a FWC representative there.
The roads are nice, with all the main ones numbered. The walking is flat and easy going, since you are walking on old roads. Certainly, easy on the ankles, as you don’t need to be concerned with tripping on cypress knees, roots, vines or long grasses. Plenty of time to enjoy the blue skies and the tall pines dotting the horizon line in front of you.
I did come across a certain amount of wildlife – sandhill cranes, turkeys, hawks, songbirds, wading birds and some deer. During my last visit in early 2014 I found very few wildflowers, this seems to be a real problem. These areas use to produce all kinds of wildflowers; I hope that when you wander around that the wildflowers have returned!

GPS Locations
Note: You can use in Google Earth "Fly to" box - just "copy & paste" the coords to Google Earth to zoom to the spot
• Bull Creek Parking Area on Crabgrass Road - N28 06.945 W81 00.473
• Entrance Gate to Ranch Just Below Crabgrass Creek – N28 06.749 W81 00.496
• Some Historical Items – N28 06.678 W81 01.554
• End of Crabgrass Road Parking - N28 05.060 W80 58.174
• Enter Road #8 from Road #9 - N28 04.560 W80 59.824
• Old Ranch Area - N28 03.291 W80 59.519


My hikes can be viewed/downloaded at Wikiloc –
• Bull Creek Parking Area Entrance and Hike - Click Here
• Enod of Crabgrass Road Parking and Hike - Click Here

Here are some external Links you might be interested in –
• You can see other pictures of the area at - Triple N Ranch Area - use the “Launch Slideshow” function to loop through them

Some Pictures (click to enlarge) -

Old Ranch Road Leading Down to Crabgrass Creek -

Clearing/Old Homestead Area Above Crabgrass Creek -

Old Rusty Automobile Found Near Creek -

Entrance Gate From Parking Area -

Dirt Road View -

Remains of Old Ranch Building -

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