Looking for a new outdoor adventure? We have the top hiking spots to enjoy our amazing Florida landscape.
It’s hard to resist getting outside, especially here on the Treasure Coast. For some, local nature trails are a quick and convenient way to work in exercise while enjoying Florida’s great outdoors. For others, they’re a great way to escape the rush of work-life and experience the wild side of Florida. Below are five of our favorite nature trails in the area. Lace-up your walking shoes, grab a friend, and head outside!
Kiplinger Nature Preserve
Conveniently located south of Veteran’s Memorial Bridge, the Kiplinger Nature Preserve showcases the diversity of South Florida’s ecosystems in a one-mile loop. Walkers and runners of the trail may come across sandhill cranes, blue herons, tortoises, and other animals. The preserve’s proximity to the South Fork of the St. Lucie River means that people on the trail will also get up close to mangrove forests, wet prairies, and estuaries.
Jonathan Dickinson State Park
Whether hikers are there to see the diverse ecosystems that call this park home or to learn about the land’s role in Florida’s early history, they’ll find something to enjoy at Jonathan Dickinson State Park. Four major trail systems wind their way throughout this socially significant state park, the shortest being the White Trail to Kitching Creek at .3 miles, and the longest being the ocean to lake trail at 9.4 miles. Each trail has plenty of breakaways, so guests can take time to climb Hobe Mountain for amazing panoramic views, search out the remains of Camp Murphy and learn about the land’s role in WWII, or even take time to kayak and paddleboard down the Loxahatchee River.
Savannas Preserve State Park
A variety of trails encompass the 6,800 acres that this park covers. Those who are looking for a gentle hike to enjoy the fresh air with younger kids would do to take one of the hikes that start at the Education Center. Whether taking the Gopher Tortoise Trail or the Glass Lizard Trail, eagle-eyed walkers are likely to see some of South Florida’s magnificent bird species along the way. Anyone looking for something more strenuous would do well to try one of the North End Nature Trails. Cutting through pine flatwoods and basin marsh, the four trails that make up this part of Savannas Preserve State Park’s trail system offer a total of nine miles of walking one way. Furthermore, perceptive hikers might spot the rare scrub jay or gopher tortoise along the way.
LCpl. Justin Wilson Memorial Park
Named after a local marine who died while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, the LCpl. Justin Wilson Memorial Park has become a centerpiece of Palm City. Children gather on its playground, friends, and neighbors share good times on its tennis courts, and a short trail that supports the wetland environment that it runs by. Ospreys build their nests here, and rabbits have been sighted running through the scrubland. Visitors to the park have also reported sighting water lilies blooming come springtime.
The Trails at Harbour Ridge
One of the best trail systems in Palm City is located within Harbour Ridge, a private waterfront community. The unique location is near some of South Florida’s natural landmarks and includes the St. Lucie River, allowing for residents to experience the animals and plants that make up Florida’s wildlife in their neighborhoods, and sometimes even in their own backyards. Furthermore, the trails that wind through Harbour Ridge make for a great way to work a run or a walk into a busy schedule. Whether you prefer to fly solo or want to enjoy walking with your friends, the trails at Harbour Ridge are the perfect way to do such.
The residents of South Florida are used to living right by nature. No one blinks an eye when egrets show up in the backyard, or a deer is sighted on an early morning run. In fact, these encounters are encouraged, and even coveted by those who enjoy the great outdoors and everything that it has to offer. That’s what makes Harbour Ridge Palm City the perfect fit for those who want to live as close to nature as they possibly can.
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