Florida Fossils on Display

The Fantastic Fossils exhibit at the Florida Museum of Natural History (Gainesville) runs through December 30, 2022. As visitors enter the exhibit, they are greeted by Triceratops and Albertosaurus skeletons. Although these replicas are amazing to look at, no dinosaurs have been found in Florida, which was covered with water during the dinosaurs’ reign. However,Continue reading “Florida Fossils on Display”

The Swamp Comes Alive in Spring

The weather was pleasantly cool and breezy; a good day for day-hiking. Since many trails in northeastern Florida remain flooded, I opted to walk the elevated trails at Sweetwater Wetlands. Water levels being high, the park’s dry basins had filled. Alligators of all sizes took advantage of the expanded habitat. One young gator amused visitorsContinue reading “The Swamp Comes Alive in Spring”

Eagans Creek Greenway in Fernandina Beach

Pre-Covid, I’d visited Eagans Creek Greenway in Fernandina Beach, Florida; but the weather was hot, I found the trail signs difficult to interpret, and swarms of mosquitos turned me back at the halfway point. Today, the temperature was moderate, the sun was shining, and many trails in Central Florida were flooded, so I decided toContinue reading “Eagans Creek Greenway in Fernandina Beach”

Urban Hike to St. Augustine from Vilano Beach

Most of North Florida is only 19-250 feet (6-76 meters) above sea level so, when it rains for successive days, many trails are closed or are so mucky that they’re nearly impassible. At these times, I resort to an urban hike. This week, I walked from Vilano Beach Town Center (115 Vilano Rd A, St.Continue reading “Urban Hike to St. Augustine from Vilano Beach”

Sawmill Slough Preserve at University of North Florida (UNF)

I had been dissuaded from visiting Sawmill Slough Preserve. The University of North Florida web site warns that people should hike in pairs, and a sign at the trailhead reiterates this. However, I started on the trail at 9:15 on a Sunday morning, and there were already many cars in the lot. A short distanceContinue reading “Sawmill Slough Preserve at University of North Florida (UNF)”

Theodore Roosevelt Area trails at Fort Caroline

There are three trailheads crossing the Theodore Roosevelt Area adjoining Fort Caroline: Paved lot at Fort Caroline National Memorial (12713 Fort Caroline Road, Jacksonville FL). Restrooms. Picnic area. Paved lot opposite the entrance to Fort Caroline. No facilities. Unpaved lot at Willie Browne Trailhead (13303 Mount Pleasant Road). Restrooms. Today I walked from the WillieContinue reading “Theodore Roosevelt Area trails at Fort Caroline”

Learn to Hike at Jacksonville Arboretum

Jacksonville Arboretum is a city park that is managed by a non-profit organization and maintained by volunteers. Its stated goals are to: Sustain biological diversity Maintain a natural area that can be used for research Educate the public about nature and natural resources Provide a peaceful place where people can self-reflect and enjoy nature [ResourceContinue reading “Learn to Hike at Jacksonville Arboretum”

Native Pine Trees in Florida

There are seven pine species native to Florida: Loblolly Pine (Pinus taeda)Longleaf Pine (Pinus palustris)Pond Pine (Pinus serotina)Sand pine (Pinus clausa)Slash Pine (Pinus elliottii)Spruce pine (Pinus glabra)Shortleaf or Yellow Pine (Pinus echinata) Below are photos of four of the seven, taken during early spring at Jacksonville Arboretum. All trees were mature and of similar girth.

Lost in Seaton Creek Historic Preserve

Yesterday I visited a new-to-me park, Seaton Creek Historic Preserve in northern Jacksonville (Florida). There was ample parking at the trailhead, although the parking lot looked as though it may sometimes be muddy and impassable. I had downloaded a trail map, and planned to do a figure 8: Take the 2.3 mile Houston Creek TrailContinue reading “Lost in Seaton Creek Historic Preserve”

Fort George River Timucuan Trailhead Reopened

The Fort George River Inlet trailhead (Jacksonville, FL) was closed for refurbishment during Covid, but has since reopened. Although there was initially a fee to use the paved lot, the fee-box has been removed, as has the portable toilet. As one stands at the edge of the lot and gazes toward the waterway, there appearsContinue reading “Fort George River Timucuan Trailhead Reopened”