Today is National Take a Hike Day – a day designed to celebrate the beauty of a nature walk. We know it’s a Thursday and most of you have work and with the early sunset, a hike on National Take a Hike Day might not be a possibility for you. If that is the case, just celebrate on another day.
Here on the First Coast, we have more than a hundred miles of trails to choose from which may make it hard to pick a park or preserve, so we have a suggestion for you – a hike in the 7 Creeks Recreation Area!
The 7 Creeks Recreation Area has more than 30 miles of trails for you to enjoy. You can make it a long hike, a short hike or something in between.
The long-distance hike is seven miles one way, so unless you want to take a 14-mile hike (7 miles there and back), you might want to bring a friend and park one of your cars at the end of the trail or bring your bike and lock it up at the end to make your return trip easier.
You can begin your hike at the Edwards Creek Trailhead in Betz-Tiger Point Preserve at 13990 Pumpkin Hill Rd. and end at the Horseshoe Creek Trailhead at 9023 Cedar Point Rd., or the other way around.
If you park at the Edwards Day Use Area at the north end of Betz-Tiger Point Preserve, your hike begins at the Edwards Creek Trailhead and takes you through Betz-Tiger and into Pumpkin Hill Creek Preserve State Park, and then Cedar Point Preserve, finishing at the Horseshoe Creek Trailhead. You will pass through piney flatwoods, along salt marsh shorelines, through hardwood forests and coastal hammocks. There are plenty of scenic views along the way.
For a shorter hike, you can select a portion of the 2.3-mile Hammock Trail or the 1-mile Flatwoods Trail at Betz-Tiger Point Preserve, take a walk through Cedar Point on the blue trail to the historic tabby ruins or head over to Bogey Creek Preserve at 5500 Cedar Point Rd. where you can walk the approximately 1.3-mile Bugtussle loop trail. You will see cypress swamps, coastal forests, and salt marsh that support a wide variety of wildlife.
Wildlife in the area include wild turkey, gopher tortoise, armadillo, raccoon and more. You could also come upon wading birds including wood storks, spoon bills and herons. If you see wildlife along the way, remember to be respectful and keep your distance.
If you haven’t been to the 7 Creeks Recreation Area, here’s your chance! Put this place on your planner. You can find out more on our 7 Creeks Recreation Area page. See you on the trails!