Friday, January 1, 2016

Hiking in Jacksonville Florida

In our six months that we have lived here, we've gotten in a fair share of hikes. Our kiddos have surprised us with how well they do on a hike with lots to look at and discover. They are often filthy by the end but I say that is a day well spent! Each of these is great for adults or if you have kiddos in tow. Just in Florida, DONT FORGET BUGSPRAY.
We still have many places to discover, but out of the hikes we have accomplished, these are our favorites!

1.Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens
Located in the Arlington area, this is our most recent hike. I was impressed by how many different trails weave through the area. There is a large loop around a pond that supposedly harbors an alligator, but we have yet to see him. There are trails of varying lengths that branch off all around. We went in the winter so there were not many flowering plants, but lots and lots of greenery, mushrooms, streams, and wildlife.

2. Dutton Island Preserve
This is our kiddos favorite place to go to see lots of little crabs. They scuttle across the boardwalk all over. You can walk quite a ways out to overlook the Intercoastal waterway. Most of the walking is on built up boardwalk, but there can be a few muddy spots if it has rained recently (likely). You can see our vlog of crab catching HERE- start at minute 4:30 for this particular place!

3. Big Talbot Island
Just north of us you can either take the long way and drive or take the ferry to Amelia Island and go to a number of Florida State Parks, Kinsgley Plantation, and many other great outdoor places. Our favorite is in Big Talbot Island National Park- Boneyard Beach. 

You have to take a little hike in itself to get to the beach, but the scenery is amazing and this beach is full of crabs, sea snails, and critters. You can see our Youtube video of Boneyard Beach HERE.

4. UNF trails
There are a few trails on the campus of University of North Florida. They are easy trails and we have seen a few snakes and interesting lizards here.

5. Cradle Creek Preserve
This Preserve is located in Jacksonville Beach. It is laid out well and is a more structured hike that goes mostly in a loop. There is a viewing area out over the Intercoastal waterway. It is a good place to let kiddos run wild because you can see them easily up ahead because of the wide trails.

These are our favorites so far, but if you are local and have any hiking suggestions for us, we're all ears!

Thanks for stopping by!

Mrs Manlove