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Explore St. Lucie County’s Natural Beauty with Guided Hikes

Explore St. Lucie County’s Natural Beauty with Guided Hikes

Explore St. Lucie County’s Natural Beauty with Guided Hikes

 

  1. LUCIE COUNTY – From fireflies and bunnies to taking better photos with your smartphone, St. Lucie County’s award-winning guided hike series continues in April, offering residents and visitors a chance to tour some of the more than 11,000 acres of nature preserves managed by Environmental Resources Department.

Topics for the April hikes include:

  • Friday, April 1 from 5 to 7 p.m.: April Fools Evening Hike at Spruce Bluff Preserve, 611 Dar Lane in Port St. Lucie. We’re not fooling around: Experience the historically significant preserve on a spring afternoon.
  • Saturday, April 2 from 7 to 9 a.m.: Start Your Day Hike at Petravice Family Preserve, 5445 Palmetto Ave. in Fort Pierce. Start your day with a hike in the county’s newest preserve. This is an excellent opportunity for fresh air, beautiful views and glimpses of local wildlife to usher in your weekend activities.
  • Sunday, April 3 from 8 to 9 a.m.: Good Morning Sunrise City at Sheraton Scrub Preserve, 2222 N 41st St. in Fort Pierce. Enjoy the beautiful morning at a preserve right in the middle of Sunrise City. This one-mile loop will focus on the sights and sounds around us, looking and listening for evidence of Fort Pierce’s non-human residents. We will also stop at the observation tower to discuss some of our favorite Sunrise City Slickers.

  • Sunday, April 3 from 3 to 4:30 p.m.: Hammock Hike at Captain Hammond’s Hammock Preserve, 5445 Palmetto Ave. in Fort Pierce. Wander Captain Hammond’s Hammock and find out how it will connect with other new preserves in the area.
  • Saturday, April 9 from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m.: Riverside Morning Hike at 10 Mile Creek Preserve, 3401 Gordy Road in Fort Pierce. Explore the North Fork of the St. Lucie River featuring wildflowers, epiphytes, wetlands, bird life and beautiful views of a living aquatic habitat.

  • Saturday, April 9 from 9 to 11 a.m.: Scrubby Upland & Lake Hike at Gordy Road Recreation Area, 3636 Gordy Road in Fort Pierce. This scrubby upland yields Florida’s spring wildflowers, while a walk around an old sand quarry lake offers varied plant and animal communities to surprise and amaze.
  • Saturday, April 9 from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.: Phone Photography Hike at George LeStrange Preserve, 4911 Ralls Drive in Fort Pierce. Smartphones have made us the most photographed generation in history. Get the most out of the camera you carry every day by trying all of its features on this hike.

  • Sunday, April 10 from 7 to 8:30 a.m.: Florida’s Coastal Gems Hike at Donald B. Moore Heritage Preserve, 305 Torpey Road in Fort Pierce. Come enjoy this beautiful coastal hammock trail that leads to the Indian River Lagoon, while learning about the preserve’s history and the importance of this coastal ecosystem. You will also learn about the lagoon’s aquatic preserves, the spoil islands and the challenging balance between recreation and protection of our coastal resources.
  • Sunday, April 10 from 9 to 11 a.m.: Tree Hugger Kayak Tour at Richard E. Becker Preserve, 3398 Selvitz Road in Fort Pierce. This leisurely paddle trip down the Nork Fork of the St. Lucie River includes a discussion about the hardwood trees found within its floodplains and along its banks. Participants will learn to identify and distinguish various trees ranging from Sabal Palms to Water Hickories. The program also covers the significance of these tree species to both people and wildlife. Appropriate for ages 12 and old. Kayaks, U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal flotation devices and paddles provided (you may also bring your equipment if desired). The cost is $15 per person; $10 if you bring your own kayak. No online registration; please call 772-462-2536 to reserve your space. Reservations are a must.

  • Wednesday, April 13 from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.: April Showers Kayak Trip at Richard E. Becker Preserve, 3398 Selvitz Road in Fort Pierce. Knowing the weather forecast determines whether you have a dry and fun kayak trip or a wet and uncomfortable paddle. Learn how to be prepared for Florida’s quirky weather. Appropriate for ages 12 and older. Kayaks, U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal flotation devices and paddles provided (you may also bring your equipment if desired). The cost is $15 per person; $10 if you bring your own kayak. No online registration; please call 772-462-2536 to reserve your space. Reservations are a must.
  • Friday, April 15 from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.: Firefly Bioluminescence Hike at Indrio Savannahs Preserve, 5275 Tozour Road in Fort Pierce. Fireflies have enchanted humans since the beginning of time, and this is the season to enjoy their flashes of light in the twilight hours of the early evening. Experience nature’s own twinkling lights in the air and on the ground. The habitat at each program site offers a new experience.

  • Saturday, April 16 from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.: Firefly Bioluminescence Hike at the Steven J. Fousek Preserve, 7793 State Hwy 613, Port St. Lucie. Fireflies have enchanted humans since the beginning of time and this is the season to enjoy their flashes of light in the twilight hours of the early evening. Experience nature’s own twinkling lights in the air and on the ground. The habitat at each program site offers a new experience.
  • Sunday, April 17 from 9 to 10:30 a.m.: Pollinator Palooza Hike at DJ Wilcox Preserve, 300 Michigan St. in Fort Pierce. Join us at DJ Wilcox Preserve as we walk with the butterflies. We will be scouting for our colorful pollinator pals on this 1.5-mile stroll along the lagoon. On our walk, we will make several stops to discuss butterfly and bee ecology, biology and conservation. Feel free to bring your cameras and binoculars.
  • Sunday, April 17 from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.: Firefly Bioluminescence Hike at Petravice Family Preserve, 5445 Palmetto Ave, Fort Pierce. Fireflies have enchanted humans since the beginning of time and this is the season to enjoy their flashes of light in the twilight hours of the early evening. Experience nature’s own twinkling lights in the air and on the ground. The habitat at each program site offers a new experience.
  • Monday, April 18 from 9 a.m. to noon: Trash Round-up on the River at Richard E. Becker Preserve, 3398 Selvitz Road in Fort Pierce. Celebrate Earth Day and show your love of the environment by taking part in this river clean-up along the St. Lucie River North Fork and Five Mile Creek. All kayak equipment, gloves and bags provided.
  • Saturday, April 23 from 6 to 7 p.m.: Twilight Chorus Stroll at Sweetwater Hammock Preserve, 4100 S 25th St. in Fort Pierce. Conclude the day with a setting sun while being serenaded by the “twilight chorus,” courtesy of the area’s resident and migrant bird species.
  • Sunday, April 24 from 8 to 9:30 a.m.: Hip Hoppin’ Hike at DJ Wilcox Preserve, 300 Michigan St. in Fort Pierce. You always see them hopping over the trail or peeking from behind a bush on your hikes, but what do you really know about Florida’s rabbits? Come join us on a hike in this beautiful lagoon-front preserve and learn the details about the two species of rabbits we have here in Florida.
  • Saturday, April 30 from 9 to 11 a.m.: Florida Panther Hike at Bluefield Ranch Preserve, 10270 Bluefield Road in Fort Pierce Come enjoy this two-hour hike through a gorgeous prairie hammock while learning about some of Florida’s iconic mammals. We will discuss the Florida panther and their favorite prey: The white-tailed deer. We will also discuss critical conservation efforts attempting to sustain populations into the future.

For more information and to find the link for registration, please visitwww.slchikes.org, call 772-462-2526 or email slchikes@stlucieco.org.

Programs are usually limited to 15 people or less helping to allow participants to immerse themselves into the county’s beautiful natural areas. Based on current best practices, because we cannot guarantee safe social distancing at all times during our hikes or paddles, masks are encouraged.

Programs are designed for ages 12 and older, unless otherwise noted.  All minors must be accompanied by an adult. Proper footwear and water are required for all programs and please leave pets at home.

Purchased through a voter-approved bond referendum, St. Lucie County manages more than two dozen preserves that are open to the public for passive recreation. For more information about St. Lucie County’s Environmentally Significant Lands visit: www.stluciepreserves.com.

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