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April 2016 / May 2016 Newsletter


A condensed events and activities list can be found on our Calendar page.
Membership information can be found on our Membership page.
 

General Participation Guidelines
Always sign up ("pre-register") for an event by using our Meetup.com site or by contacting the leader so you can be reached if there is a change or an event cancellation.  Trip leaders generally make all reservations and arrangements and may set group size limits on some trips and activities.  If you are not pre-registered you may be turned away at some events.  Non-members and their guests must fill out a liability waiver form, available here, before participating in any Sidetrackers event or activity.  Please note that Meetup group membership alone is not the same as Sidetrackers club membership.  For more information please visit our Membership page.

Additional information about our activities and events may be announced at monthly meetings, on our Meetup.com site, and by Meetup.com email messages.  If you did not sign up for an event or activity at the last club meeting and would like to do so, you may add your name to the list at our Meetup.com site.  If you have additional questions, please contact the trip or activity leader directly.




ACTIVITIES and EVENTS
 

THERE ARE WEEKDAY EVENING WALKS IN APRIL IN SAN MARCO, AVONDALE/RIVERSIDE, THE WONDERWOOD BRIDGE AND JAX LANDING. BEST TO CHECK MEETUP.COM/SIDETRACKERS TO SEE IF THE EVENT IS ON. MANY WALKS ARE CANCELLED LAST MINUTE DUE TO ADVERSE WEATHER CONDITIONS. YOU MAY ALSO TEXT OR CALL THE LEADERS, VICTOR OR SANDRA.

Check Meetup.com for all dates in April, Frisbee Golf (Disc Golf) Ed Austin Regional Park: Come join us for a fun day of golf Frisbee. Even if you aren't great at throwing a Frisbee, if you've ever wanted to try playing a round of Disc Golf on a real Disc Golf course, this is your opportunity! We'll need at first to limit the number of players and then as our members learn the basic rules we can form additional 4-8somes and have a larger number of members on the course the next time. If you have your own discs you can bring them, otherwise discs will be provided. You might want to bring a hand towel to wipe your disc before you throw, something to drink and some bug spray. Wear sneakers or light hiking shoes and NOT sandals, flip flops or high heels.  There is a limit of 8 people, so please sign-up only if you are planning on attending and update your RSVP if your plans change.  Afterwards we will get a bite to eat; location to be determined later.  Leader Chris G., cell 904-536-3822.  For more information: http://www.pdga.com/course-directory/course/ed-austin-park-fore-palms-disc-golf-course

Fri 4/1, 7:15pm, Neptune Beach Walk: Come join us for a fun stroll along the beach.  We will do a 5 to 6 mile walk down on Neptune/Atlantic Beach.  Please call or text if you cancel. Please dress accordingly for weather and bring water and a flashlight,  as we will be finishing in the dark. We will meet by the white shack where sand begins next to Sea Turtle Inn. I will post some possible parking areas for the event in the Meetup.com comments section, Publix on Atlantic is one location, Russell Park by Atlantic Beach City Hall and Adele Grace Community Center. Once the Sidetrackers event concludes, we will find a place to get a bite to eat. In case of rain, I will make the decision to cancel around 6:15 pm. Leader: TBD.

Sat 4/2, 10am, Hike at Fort Matanzas and Picnic at Washington Oaks State Park (Sidetrackers Members Only):  Come join us at for a fun time at Fort Matanzas National Monument and Washington Oaks. We will take a free ferry ride over to Fort Matanzas and feel like you stepped back in time to the mid-1700s. Soldiers will display their daily activities and there will be cannon firings presented on each tour of the day. There are no fees to enter the park or to take the ferry to the Fort, however, tips/donations are accepted. The 36-passenger ferry operates on a first come basis. Stop at the Visitor Center to pick up free boarding passes. That is also where we will meet at 10:00 am. After the tour we will picnic on the grounds.  (There are no eateries nearby, so bring your lunch.) At 12:30 we will drive south a short distance to Washington Oaks Gardens; Washington Oaks Driving Directions. As you leave Fort Matanzas turn right and head south. It is two miles south of Marineland, off A1A. Leader: Vicki  904-923-2336. Carpool: 8:30 am sharp at the McDonald's (Bartam Park) at 14151 St. Augustine Road, Jacksonville, FL near I-95. Washington Oaks Admission: $5.00 per vehicle. Please use the honor box to pay fees. Correct change is required. Limit 2-8 people per vehicle. $4.00 Single Occupant Vehicle. $2.00 pedestrians, For additional information, check out: http://www.tidewater-florida.com/state-forests/matanzas-state-forest.htm and https://www.floridastateparks.org/park/Washington-Oaks. Fort Matanzas National Monument, 8635 A1A South, St. Augustine, FL 32080. Matanzas Driving Directions Map Entry and Ferry are free.

Wed 4/6, 6:30pm, Sidetrackers Monthly Meeting: Regency Square Library, 9900 Regency Square Blvd., Jacksonville, FL 32256

Fri-Sun 4/8 thru 4/10, Camping/hiking/paddle/bike at Manatee Springs/Suwannee River:

This event is open to Sidetrackers (paid) Members Only!

Come join us for a fun filled weekend in beautiful Chiefland, FL.

There are plenty of activities to keep one busy.  Let’s see what we can do all weekend!

Hiking: There are 8.5 miles of nature trails that wind through cypress swamps, sinkhole ponds and uplands. Excellent wildlife viewing is available along the boardwalk that winds through the cypress swamp from the spring to the river as well as along the hiking trails.                                                               

Snorkeling & Scuba Diving: Scuba divers must present their certification upon registration. Open water, cavern and cave diving is available in Manatee Spring or Catfish Hotel Sink. Dive instructors are required to purchase a Commercial Dive Permit. All divers are required to register with the office prior to diving.

Canoeing and kayaking: Paddle trips are available year round down the famous Suwannee River. The Park offers rentals and delivery service via contracted Concessionaires. There is a canoe launch into the spring run, portage of canoe or kayak over a distance of about 200 feet from vehicle drop off area to the launch is required. Canoes/kayaks can also launch from two boat ramps on the river, one located on the north end of the park and one on the south end, each is about 1 mile from the park’s main entrance. Both of these are accessible by driving outside the park. Ask for directions at Ranger Station.                                                 

Bicycling: Bicycles are welcome on all the park's roads. Mountain bikers can enjoy over eight miles of wooded off road trails within the park.

Fishing: (Freshwater) Fish from the park's boardwalk along the spring run and in the Suwannee River is always popular. Largemouth bass, catfish and a variety of pan-fish will delight the lucky angler.

*Old Florida Celebration & Festival: April 9 and 10 at Cedar Key about 25 minutes away from the Manatee Springs.  There will be music, food and art on the historic Beachfront City on 2nd Street. This island community is 60 miles SW of Gainesville on Hwy 24

 Find your pleasure, Grab a friend and let’s have FUN!

*Carpool: to be announced.

*Individuals will be responsible for reserving their own camp site; see first web link below.

*Campsites reserved 055,057 and 053.They permit two tents per site and up to 8 people.

*$50.30 for two nights with water and electric. Seniors 65 and over, reservations are half price

*Check in 11:00am Friday. Check out Sunday 1:00pm.

*Individuals going so far are: Marta A., Kathy P., Mike S. and Vicki A.  

Individuals will be responsible for reserving their own camp spot:
 

http://floridastateparks.reserveamerica.com/camping/manatee-springs-sp/r/campgroundDetails.do?contractCode=FL&parkId=281053  

  https://www.floridastateparks.org/park/manatee-springs https://www.floridastateparks.org/things-to-know/frequently-asked-questions

Thur 4/14, 6:00pm, Palm Valley Golf Club, Nocatee: Attention all golf hackers! If you wish to hit a few golf balls during the week after work, we have an event for you. Palm Valley Golf Club is an executive 9 hole course. They use pull carts, no electric carts. It's only $10 for 9 holes; 2 par 4's and 7 par 3's. Be there by 6 pm and play till dark. Yes, they even rent golf clubs and pull carts. Plus, there is also a driving range to practice a few swings before hitting the links. Event leader: Vic Corrales, 904-517-2321. txt. if you are running late or cancelling. Palm Valley Golf Club, 1075 Palm Valley Road, Nocatee, FL 32081. http://palmvalleygolfing.com.                

Sat 4/16, 9:00am Mountain Biking at Tillie Fowler Park: Tillie K. Fowler Regional Park, 7000 Roosevelt Boulevard, Jacksonville. Meet between 9:00 - 9:15 am at the first parking area inside the entrance. Intermediate ride on the off road trails begins at 9:30 am. The south end of the park contains a small network of off road bike trails varying from beginner to advanced skill levels.  The main loop is Whistling Kitty Chaser aka WKC, this is the beginner trail that is just over 1.5 miles.  Branching off of WKC are the more advanced trails. These trails contain features from rollers and berms to steep ladder bridges.  All of the bike trails are signed to indicate the required skill levels, please do not ride over your limits. Bring sunscreen, bug spray and plenty of water for the ride.  Helmets are required. Ride at own risk. Link to WKC Trail Map. For those interested, we will have lunch afterwards at Trent's Seafood. Leader: Steve D.

Sun 4/17, 10:15am, Crocodile Crossing Challenge/Zip Line Course: Let’s spend a fun morning in beautiful morning in St. Augustine. We will zip through the treetops and conquer aerial obstacles on The St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park’s thrilling zip line attraction, Crocodile Crossing. Across seven acres on two challenging courses, you’ll see live alligators and crocodiles right under your toes, tropical birds at eye level, and red-ruffed lemurs nearly at arm’s length. More than 50 different obstacles will have you flying, climbing, and zooming through the zoo!  We will be doing the 1 hour Sepik River Course. The cost is $35 a person and you must register on line.  By registering on line, you are guaranteed a full refund if you need to cancel.  We will meet at the Alligator Farm, 999 Anastasia Blvd., Jacksonville, Florida at 10:15am, for a 10:45 zip line time. To register on line, go to: http://alligatorfarm.com, then click on Crocodile Crossing, under the price, click the down arrow and click $35.  After the Sidetrackers event is over, we will grab lunch at a nearby restaurant. Call leader, Julie H. (904)424-1548, if you have any questions.

Sat 4/23, Sailing Day on Mosey with Captain Ken (Members Only-see meetup.com for details)

Sat-Sun 4/23-4/24, 7am, Hike and Bike at Providence Canyon, GA:  Hike on Saturday then bike thru St. Marks lighthouse and Wildlife Refuge on Sunday. Road trip to Providence Canyon in Lumpkin Georgia for a 7 mile hike thru Georgia's little grand canyon. The hike will go thru massive gullies as deep as 150 feet which are a result of man's poor farming methods during the 1800's. In the canyons are all kinds of wildlife, rare Plumleaf Azalea’s and the unusual natural painting of the canyons pink, orange, red and purple stripes. This drive is about 4 hrs from Jacksonville for at least 4 hrs of hiking. This will be a moderate to hard hike. We will stay over night in Bainbridge, GA, which is about one hour and 40 minutes away in a hotel/motel. Days Inn, rates vary $60 to $75 a night with free breakfast 1 229 248 6300. Sunday morning we will head out early to St. Marks lighthouse to bike the wildlife refuge entrance to lighthouse and back, 10 miles up and 10 miles back. There's 17,000 acres of wildlife, alligators, birds, migrating Monarchs and some of the scenic Florida Trail runs thru park. As a fun fact, the lighthouse has been standing since 1844. It's an easy bike ride that you can use a road bike, mountain bike or even a good Beach cruiser to coast by the alligators that are basking in the sun right by the main road. Bring typical items for hiking and biking. Leader: Victor C. 904-517-2321.

Sun 4/24, 10:00am, Hike at Ravine Gardens State Park: Come join us for a beautiful 4 mile hike in the Palatka area. This 146-acre state park in Palatka has about five acres of formal gardens with many flowering plants and terraces.  We'll take trails leading down into the ravine and complete our walk on the perimeter road.  After the Sidetrackers event is over, we'll go to a local venue for lunch. Dress for the weather; bring water, snacks, sunscreen and insect repellent. Cost: $5 entry fee per car. Leader: Sandra, 904-881-7439.  http://www.floridastateparks.org/ravinegardens/default.cfm

THERE ARE WEEKDAY EVENING WALKS IN MAY IN SAN MARCO, AVONDALE/RIVERSIDE, THE WONDERWOOD BRIDGE AND JAX LANDING. IT’S BEST TO CHECK MEETUP.COM/SIDETRACKERS TO SEE IF THE EVENT IS ON. MANY WALKS ARE CANCELLED LAST MINUTE DUE TO ADVERSE WEATHER CONDITIONS. YOU MAY ALSO TEXT OR CALL THE LEADERS, VICTOR OR SANDRA

Check Meetup.com for all dates in May, Frisbee Golf (Disc Golf) Ed Austin Regional Park: Come join us for a fun day of golf Frisbee. Even if you aren't great at throwing a Frisbee, if you've ever wanted to try playing a round of Disc Golf on a real Disc Golf course, this is your opportunity! We'll need at first to limit the number of players and then as our members learn the basic rules we can form additional 4-8somes and have a larger number of members on the course the next time. If you have your own discs you can bring them, otherwise discs will be provided. You might want to bring a hand towel to wipe your disc before you throw, something to drink and some bug spray. Wear sneakers or light hiking shoes and NOT sandals, flip flops or high heels.  There is a limit of 8 people, so please sign-up only if you are planning on attending and update your RSVP if your plans change.  Afterwards we will get a bite to eat; location to be determined later.  Leader Chris G., cell 904-536-3822.  For more information: http://www.pdga.com/course-directory/course/ed-austin-park-fore-palms-disc-golf-course

Fri Sun,  5/6 -5/8, 7am, T.H. Memorial St. Joseph State Park, camping, kayaking, hiking, fishing and snorkeling trip :  Come join us for a fun weekend on the gulf side of Florida.  This beautiful lagoon state park sits across from Port St. Joe in the Florida panhandle. The park has 9.5 miles of snow white sand beaches with aqua blue waters with a wilderness preserve nearby. This park has camping, hiking, biking, fishing and kayaking. If you wish, just sit back and relax or bird watch or do some star gazing at night. I have 4 camping sites available. Anyone wishing to go must pay me for campsites in order to reserve a site. The campsites can have 2 tents, 8 folks per sites, with water and electricity.  You can try to double up in tents so we can have as several people participating in the fun. Event leader:  Vic Corrales at: 904-517-2321 txt. The state park address is:  8899 Cape San Blas Road, Port St. Joe, FL 32456, 1-850-227-1327. Kayaks are available just before you get to state park at:  Happy Ours Kayak and Bike Outpost 1-800-229-1991. Kayaks are $35/4 hrs, tandem, $50/4 hrs and bikes are $15 a day. https://www.floridastateparks.org/park/St-Joseph and http://www.happyourskayak.com/

Sat 5/14, 10:00 am, Biking on the Baldwin Trail, Jacksonville: Come join us for a fun morning in our own backyard.  We will meet in the parking lot at 10:00 am. Just west of bustling downtown Jacksonville, the Jacksonville-Baldwin Rail-Trail, one of north Florida's oldest, traverses a rural setting of hardwood uplands, wetlands and pine flatwoods. A dense tree canopy shelters much of the nearly 15-mile paved path, providing habitat for hawks, wood storks, stilts and belted kingfishers. You're also likely to encounter turkeys, alligators, rabbits, gopher tortoises and coral snakes.

We will be meeting at the Camp Milton Historic Preserve, which serves as a mid-point trailhead located at 1225 Halsema Rd N, Jacksonville, FL 32220. From town take I-10 west to Chaffee Rd. North exit. Turn left on Chaffee heading north to Beaver St. (Hwy 90). Turn left on Beaver until you take a right on Helsema Rd. The park is on your right.  The plan will be to meet at Camp Milton and then take the Jacksonville-Baldwin trail west for 1 hour and 15 minutes.  At that time the group will turn around and head back for Camp Milton. Hopefully with having a timed ride it will not make a difference if you are a fast or slow bicyclist. No matter how far you travel on the trail if everyone turns around at the same time we will all finish together. After the Sidetrackers event concludes, some of us will get a bite to eat at Cross Creek Steakhouse and Ribs for lunch, located at 850 Lane Ave S, Jacksonville, FL 32205.

Leader Mike Miller 904 294-5064.  For more information, Baldwin Trail http://www.traillink.com/trail/jacksonville-baldwin-rail-trail.aspx Camp Milton http://www.exploresouthernhistory.com/campmilton.html Cross Creek http://www.crosscreeksteakhouse.com/

Sat 5/14, 9:45 am, Otttis Castle Tour in Vilano Beach (Sidetrackers Members Only): Come join us for a day of fun exploring the Otttis Castle. Castle Otttis is an impression of an Irish castle of 1,000 years ago. The interior was created under guidance of historians from the Catholic Diocese of Northeast Florida.  Enjoy the view of the Atlantic Ocean, Vilano Beach and St Augustine from the roof top of its towers. This is a free tour, however, donations are encouraged. The Castle is located 103 3rd St, St Augustine, FL 32084 on highway A1A three miles north of St. Augustine, Florida.  The tour will begin promptly at 10 am. For additional information:  http://www.castleotttis.com/. Hosted by Joanne G, (904)553-7707. After the Sidetackers event is over, some members may opt to have lunch at the Reef near by the Castle.

Sun 5/15, 11:00am, Paddle Board Lessons at Black Creek Outfitters, Jacksonville: We will meet at Black Creek Outfitters at 10:30am, 10051 Skinner Lake Drive, Jacksonville, FL. It’s right by the Town Center on Gate and (JTB/202) Butler Blvd.   This is a beginner class, but you need to be in fairly good physical shape. It is a full core workout, per the instructor.  We will be in flat, wave free water and will paddle in a safe lake.  I have already secured 15 reservations. The cost is $25.00 a person if we have 15 people in attendance. The class will be around 1 hour. If we get enough people on the wait list, we will do another class. Leader: Julie H. (904) 424-1548. The website is: https://www.blackcreekoutfitters.com/

THERE ARE WEEKDAY EVENING WALKS IN JUNE IN SAN MARCO, AVONDALE/RIVERSIDE, THE WONDERWOOD BRIDGE AND JAX LANDING. BEST TO CHECK MEETUP.COM/SIDETRACKERS TO SEE IF THE EVENT IS ON. MANY WALKS ARE CANCELLED LAST MINUTE DUE TO ADVERSE WEATHER CONDITIONS. YOU MAY ALSO TEXT OR CALL THE LEADERS, VICTOR OR SANDRA

Sat 6/25, 9:30 AM, Crazy Fish Airboat Ride: Come experience one of the top ecotour/thrill rides in the state of Florida. You will be amazed as you board this 600 horsepower, state-of-the-art, air boat, piloted by a licensed US Coast Guard Master Captain. Sit back while you tour the views of the Giant Ships of the Mayport Naval Station. You will be in awe of The Planes and Helicopters that do fly-over maneuvers above your head. You will be intrigued as we cruise by the historic and very active Mayport shrimp boats, as these large ships with nets cruise in and out of port with a bounty of fresh shrimp.   Get ready for your hair to stand up on top of your head, as we fly and spin around the magnificent marshlands, wetlands, creeks, streams and islands, this is the part of the tour that will blow you away... Goose bumps will form on your skin as we float through the pods of atlantic bottlenose dolphins. Yes folks, it's true, there's so much wildlife on our tour we GUARANTEE YOU WILL SEE DOLPHINS!  Captain Josh is offering a special price of $39.99 (regular $99) for a one hour tour with 15 prepaid riders.  If you RSVP for this event, you must mail a check in the amount of $42.80 made payable to Old Florida Aquatics to 4461 Port Arthur Rd, Jacksonville, FL  32224. We will meet at 9:30 am at Morningstar Marina at 4852 Ocean St, Jacksonville, FL  32233 – just past the Ferry.  For more information, check out http://www.crazyfishjax.com/fun.html


Non-members and their guests must fill out a liability waiver form, available here, before participating in any Sidetrackers event or activity.  Please note that Meetup group membership alone is not the same as Sidetrackers club membership.  For more information please visit our Membership page.

Additional information about these activities and events may be announced at monthly meetings and on our Meetup.com/Sidetrackers trip reservation pages.

2016 Monthly Meeting Schedule.  Locations Will Be Announced.
MONTHLY MEETINGS are always on the first non-holiday Wednesday of the month at 6:30 p.m.
and the location may vary.  Subscribers to our Meetup.com group receive an automatic reminder message in their email two days before the meeting.

WEDNESDAY, May 4, 2016 - 6:30 PM
WEDNESDAY, June 1, 2016 - 6:30 PM
WEDNESDAY, July 6, 2016 - 6:30 PM
WEDNESDAY, August 3, 2016 - 6:30 PM
WEDNESDAY, September 7, 2016 - 6:30 PM
WEDNESDAY, October 5, 2016 - 6:30 PM
WEDNESDAY, November 2, 2016 - 6:30 PM
WEDNESDAY, December 7, 2016 - 6:30 PM

The Sidetrackers Newsletter
Our newsletter is maintained by Chris who can be reached by email at newsletter 'at' sidetrackers.com.
If you have any comments about the newsletter, or if you have material to submit for inclusion in the
next monthly newsletter, please send email to newsletter 'at' sidetrackers.com.

To Become a Sidetrackers Member
Members pay a small annual fee to help share the annual cost of maintaining this web site and the small costs of running the club.  Members are not required to submit a Guest Waiver form at each Sidetrackers trip, activity or event.  Membership applications are accepted throughout the year.  Please visit our Membership page, or send questions and comments to membership 'at' sidetrackers.com.

The Sidetrackers Web Site

Our web site is maintained by Frank who can be reached by email at webmaster 'at' sidetrackers.com.  Please contact Frank if you have any corrections, photos, or other items of interest from any current activities. We will be pleased to consider your suggestions concerning the web site content.

In Case You Were Wondering...
Email addresses are slightly obscured with 'at' instead of '@' in an attempt to foil automated spam robots.



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