Skip to main content

Hernando/Citrus County 491 in the Lecanto Sand Hills and the return to Mannfield ghost town

This past week I made a return trip to Central Florida.  That being the case I wanted to revisit some of the places I enjoyed when I was a Florida resident.  I made my way up US Route 98 in Brooksville towards Hernando/Citrus County Road 491 in the Lecanto Sand Hills.  The first stop I had in mind was Withacoochee State Forest and the ghost town Mannfield.


Hernando/Citrus County Road 491 is an approximately 36.5 mile County Highway.  Hernando County Road 491 begins at Hernando County Road 484 near the Spring Hill Cemetery at Fort Dade Avenue and travels generally northward terminating at Florida State Road 200 in Citrus County.

As stated above I turned onto CR 491 northward from US 98 near a small community in Hernando County known as Ringgold.



CR 491 from US 98 13 miles north to FL 44 is known as the Lecanto Highway.  Most of the land east of CR 491 between US 98 and FL 44 is part of the Citrus Wildlife Management Area of Withlacoochee State Forest.



The Lecanto Sand Hills has a relatively high elevation (for Florida) which means CR 491 northward has several large hills.  Approaching Stage Coach Trail CR 491 northbound enters Citrus County.








CR 491 intersects CR 480 upon entering Citrus County.  CR 480 is carried by Stage Coach Trail east of CR 491 and Oak Park Boulevard west of it.


As CR 491 meets a cross street with Lone Court there is parking for Trail #22 on the east side of the highway.


 

Trail #22 is an easy route eastward to the Dames Cave.













The Dames Cave essentially is a collapsed sink hole that appeared to be approximately 15 feet deep.  There was a way down into the Dames Cave but there was a steel cable in the way which insinuated that it probably wasn't something that was meant for access.




Continuing northward from Trail #22 the route of CR 491 intersects CR 482 at Cardinal Street.




North of CR 482 the route of CR 491 intersects Mansfield Street which is the only remaining evidence that the former Citrus County Seat of Mannfield was once directly to the east.


At Noble Street CR 491 has parking for Trail #17 which is part of the route to Mannfield.




Immediately east of Trail #17 there is an unnumbered trail heading directly eastward to the Florida Trail.









At the fork below I headed southward on the Florida Trail towards Mannfield.


The Florida Trail southward is fairly filled with sand and termite mounds but it wasn't long before I found myself in the remains of Mannfield.






My last visit to Mannfield was back in 2015.  In a previous Ghost Town Tuesday I wrote a blog about the history of the community.

Ghost Town Tuesday; Mannfield, FL and the stairway to Hell

Not much in Mannfield had changed since 2015, some of the remaining building foundations were within sight of the Florida Trail.



Mannfield Pond was still high and dry despite many of the local waterways being close to flooding over.




I had a difficult time finding "the stairway to Hell" given it was largely obscured by plant growth from the Florida Trail.


Returning to CR 491 I continued northward into Lecanto.







At FL 44 in Lecanto I turned west towards Homosassa.



On a historic note CR 491 was previously a State Road of the same number.  I'm unsure of when FL 491 was relinquished to County Level maintenance but it does appear under State control as late as 1988 on local topographical maps of Lecanto.  The 1964 State Road map below shows FL 491 when it was under state maintenance.

1964 Florida State Road Map


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Deer Isle Bridge in Maine

As graceful a bridge that I ever set my eyes upon, the Deer Isle Bridge (officially known as the Deer Isle-Sedgwick Bridge) surprisingly caught my eye as I was driving around coastal Maine one Saturday afternoon. About 35 miles south of Bangor, Maine , the Deer Isle Bridge connects the Blue Hill Peninsula of Downeast Maine with Little Deer Isle over the Eggemoggin Reach on ME 15 between the towns of Sedgwick and Deer Isle . It should be noted that Little Deer Isle is connected to Deer Isle by way of a boulder lined causeway, and there is a storied regatta that takes place on the Eggemoggin Reach each summer. But the Deer Isle Bridge holds many stories, not just for the vacationers who spend part of their summer on Deer Isle or in nearby Stonington , but for the residents throughout the years and the folks who have had a hand bringing this vital link to life.   The Deer Isle Bridge was designed by David Steinman and built by the Phoenix Bridge Company of Phoenixville,

Former US Route 99 through Athlone and the last Wheeler Ridge-Sacramento corridor expressway

Athlone was a siding of the Southern Pacific Railroad located in Merced County on the alignment of what was US Route 99 between the cities of Chowchilla and Merced.  The Athlone corridor of US Route 99 was one of the first in San Joaquin Valley to fully upgraded to four lane expressway standards.  The Athlone expressway corridor was inherited by California State Route 99 when US Route 99 was truncated to Ashland, Oregon during June 1965.  The four-lane expressway through Athlone was the last segment of what had been US Route 99 in the Wheeler Ridge-Sacramento corridor to be bypassed by a freeway.  The Athlone expressway corridor was bypassed by the modern California State Route 99 freeway in 2016.  Despite being put on a road diet and narrowed what was the Athlone expressway corridor still displays evidence of being part of US Route 99.   Above the blog cover photo displays the Athlone expressway corridor of US Route 99 south of Merced as depicted in the July 1939 California Highways &

California State Route 38

California State Route 38 is a fifty-nine-mile State Highway located entirety in San Bernardino County and a component of the Rim of the World Highway.  California State Route 38 begins at California State Route 18 at Bear Valley Dam of the San Bernardino Mountains and follows an easterly course on the north shore of Big Bear Lake.  California State Route 38 briefly multiplexes California State Route 18 near Baldwin Lake and branches east towards the 8,443-foot-high Onyx Summit.  From Onyx Summit the routing of California State Route 38 reverses course following a largely westward path through the San Bernardino Mountains towards a terminus at Interstate 10 in Redlands.   Pictured as the blog cover is California State Route 38 at Onyx Summit the day it opened to traffic on August 12th, 1961.   Part 1; the history of California State Route 38 California State Route 38 (CA 38) is generally considered to be the back way through the San Bernardino Mountains to Big Bear Lake of Bear Valley