Historical Significance · River/Creek · Wildlife
The trail winds through a variety of habitats, including oak forest on sandy soil and into wet mangrove forest. Parts of it are sometimes waterlogged, depending on tides and rainfall, but you can easily detour onto adjacent roads. Many parts of the trail follow the former path of a kiddie-train that used to circle the park.
There are various parking spots throughout the park, but I prefer to park just past the entrance guard booth. Start on the paved road, which runs one-way around the park, until you reach the trailhead on the right. This is a straight section where the old kiddie train used to run.
The trail will intersect with and cross the park road, continuing into forest on the other side. This section winds through the edge of the mangrove forest and is sometimes wet when tides or high or after a lot of rain. In the thick of summer, golden orb weaver spiders stretch their webs across the trail; recommend skipping this section and sticking to the adjacent road at these times unless you want a giant spider on your head.
After winding through the forest, the trail will emerge onto the park road again. Cross the road onto a short section of boardwalk before passing through a mangrove swamp and coming to the seawall at the Intercoastal Waterway. You can stay on the path along the seawall or jog off to the left, across the road and onto a gravel path that borders the mangroves. The trail turns onto a dirt road that comes in from the left that leads to the group campground. Just down this road, on the left, is the trailhead for a short loop trail that circles a former illegal dump site that used to be located in the middle of the park.
It is now lushly overgrown and is a great addition to the route with some mild elevation gain. After completing the loop, hike back out the way you came on the dirt road to the continuation of the trail on the left. This section of trail cuts directly through the heart of the mangrove swamp and you'll likely get your feet wet at high tide. You'll cross one of the creeks that run through the mangroves and the trail will soon come upon grassy areas with a playground and picnic areas.
Continue past the enormous banyan tree with many hanging roots and the entrance to the next section of trail is directly behind the picnic pavilion to the left. This trail winds through a lovely oak forest before emerging back onto the park road near where you parked.
Shared By: E B