Saturday, June 5 is National Trails Day—a day to recognize and celebrate all the benefits our local, state and national parks provide. You are lucky to live in an area with over 100 miles of trails in our many “wilderness” parks and preserves. Not sure where to go? We have some suggestions for you from all around town.
On the Westside, you can enjoy the Jacksonville-Baldwin Rail Trail, a 14.5-mile paved trail that runs from Imeson Road to the town of Baldwin. You can walk, ride, jog, skate or bike the trail. Along the way, there are unpaved trails the spur off the main trail. For a shorter trip, you can start or end at Camp Milton Historic Preserve which is at the midpoint.
On the Northside, the 7 Creeks Recreation Area is sure to please. You can enjoy more than 30 miles of trails on about 5,600 acres of contiguous parklands formed by city, state and national park properties along with two land trust properties. The 7 Creeks Recreation Area starts near the intersection of New Berlin and Cedar Point roads and runs east to Black Hammock Island. Enjoy hiking, biking, fishing, horseback riding, kayaking and more.
In South Jacksonville, check out Julington-Durbin Creek Preserve. It is a peninsula formed at the confluence of Julington and Durbin creeks and offers options for your walk or bike ride in nature. You can take the trail from the parking area to the Durbin Creek/Red Blaze Spur Trail which is two miles round trip or chose the White Blaze Loop Trail which is 3.9 miles round trip. If you would like a longer hike, take the Yellow and White Blaze Loop Trails which combined is 6.1 miles round trip. You can also customize your hike or bike to whatever works for you.
A final suggestion takes you east to the beaches. If you haven’t already, pay a visit to Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park which has more than 20 miles of scenic trails for hiking and biking. The off-road biking trails offer a variety of difficulty levels from “easy” to “very difficult.” When you are done with the trails, stay awhile and enjoy the 1.5 miles of sandy beaches or the 60-acre lake where you can fish, kayak, canoe or pedal boat.
There are plenty of other trails around our area to enjoy. You can visit our interactive parks map to find more by selecting the “hiking” or “biking” activity icon. And remember, whenever you enjoy the trails, practice Leave No Trace: make sure you leave them better than you found them.
To celebrate National Trails Day, share and tag your photos with @timucuanparks or #timucuanparks so we can see you out there enjoying these trails!