In the Osceola National Forest, there is a small trail called Nice Wander Loop. Part of the statewide Florida Trail, the loop is a natural and easy trail to hike.
The trail is adjacent to the Olustee Battlefield Historical State Park, located off of US Highway 90, which is 18.6 miles east of Lake City. There is no fee or permit required to hike the trail.
The trail features an open forest environment and single track segments. Vegetation spans from pine trees to palmettos which is typical to the northern region of Florida.
Along the trail there are varying amounts of vegetation. Some of the forest floor is clear and open, while the rest is covered in palmettos.
A civil war reenactment occurs each year at the Olustee Battlegrounds. Actors reenact the battle of Olustee where the north fought the south.
This location would be very suitable for time pieces such as Civil War films or other films involving life during the 19th century. You can check out the grounds yourself here.
I spoke with Aaron Abell, 21, UF telecommunications student, who has worked in the industry professionally for 5 years, including Paramount Pictures.
“Urban is definitely more challenging than rural,” Abell said. “Rural has a challenge too, how do you get the power you need to power your scene … Generators make noise.”
This poses some questions about setting up a scene in a rural location. How does one work without power? Controlled lighting? Weather?
These are variables that indie filmmakers and professionals alike have to deal with. What is good about shooting in a location like this is typically accessibility and minimal people interrupting your shooting.
“You’re not rushed in time,” Abell said.
Shooting in a rural location, especially a park, means that you can come back if you need to shoot multiple days or reshoot a scene. Like Abell said, you’re not rushed in time.
The location is pretty sparse of visitors. The last few times I have hiked the trail I was alone the entire time. I can’t guarantee this for you but it’s something to think about.
As always, check out the location yourself prior to filming. Have fun shooting!