To get to this spot you have descended more than 50' in elevation since beginning the trail on top of the hill. You are in a ravine. There are sand hill ridges east and west of you. A small creek meanders northwest through fern covered banks shaded by giant deciduous trees. The creek originates at a Seep Spring (Stop #12).
You have entered a rare and special place - a remnant piece of a primeval bottomland forest once common in Ocala and now very rare. During the last 40 years, spring fed ravines like this one were systematically bulldozed, cleared, graded, and converted to engineered drainage ditches and retention ponds to support residential and commercial development. Except for this one, they have all been 'filled-in and paved-over'.
Here in this ravine is a micro-climate. Compared to the top of the hill, down here it is cooler in summer and warmer in winter. Northern 'Temperate' zone trees such as Black Tupelos, Chestnut Oaks, Hickories, and Sweetgums that live on tops of hills along the Ohio and Tennessee Rivers can only live this far South in these 'cool and moist' ravines. Here in this little ravine you can see, smell, and touch some of the most spectacular trees of the Great American Forest.