Birding · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife
CREW Marsh Trails are open one hour before sunrise to one hour after sunset.
This trail is part of the CREW Marsh Area, containing approximately six miles of primitive trails. This trail system is free and open to the public. One port-a-potty is available at the trailhead and a kiosk at the trailhead provides maps and information for visitors. There are no trash cans on the trails or at the trailhead; please follow all Leave No Trace principles.
The Corkscrew Regional Ecosystem Watershed (CREW) Pop Ash Slough Trail traverses through Pop Ash trees in a slough, then though an Oak Hammock. The trail starts from the overlook on the Marsh Trail and heads east.
A slough (pronounced slew) is a wide "river" during the wet season allowing water to collect and flow. During the dry season the flora comes out from the nutrient rich soil left from the water during the wet season. A hammock is an "island" in the middle of a slough. It's an "island" as it is slightly higher than the slough and is isolated during the wet season.
This trail goes through both a slough and a hammock, and over top of the marsh on an elevated boardwalk. The trail is flat and wide, minus the portions through the hammock, with minimal obstructions.
Note: The current trail (either due to re-routing or storm damage) ends at this point. The trailhead map indicates there are loops in this area that connect to other trails, however, when I visited in 2018, this was not the case.
Flora & Fauna
The CREW Marsh Trails are part of the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail. Woodpeckers, flycatchers, warblers, hawks and owls are frequently spotted along with Swallow tailed kites, who nest here each spring.
Lots of Pine and Palm scrub is in the area, as well as Pop Ash and Oaks (only in the Hammock). Very low undergrowth (under 10 feet tall) for the majority of the loop, minus in the hammock. This is an active black bear and panther area and many trail cameras are out to record their passing. Deer and small mammal tracks can be found in the mud along the east and south portions of the loop. Alligators may be present in the water under the boardwalk during the wet season.
Shared By: Matt McCreary