Let’s be Thankful for St. Lucie County’s Preserves With Free Guided Hikes
- LUCIE COUNTY – If you haven’t taken a trip to a St. Lucie County preserve, you’re missing an experience like no other. Come explore with the Environmental Resources Department through its free, award-winning guided nature program series. There are more than 11,000 acres of protected land for you to discover.
Topics for November include:
- Friday, Nov. 4 from 8:30 to 10 a.m. – Ten Mile Creek Preserve: Riverside Morning Hike. Riverine habitat on the St. Lucie River boasts flowers, epiphytes, wetlands, bird life and beautiful views of a living aquatic habitat.
Saturday, Nov. 5 from 8 to 9:30 a.m. – DJ Wilcox Preserve: Ancient Invertebrates: Horseshoe Crabs. The Atlantic horseshoe crab (Limulus Polyphemus) is a fascinating creature that has gone unchanged for millions of years. DJ Wilcox Preserve lies along the Indian River Lagoon which is an estuary home to many aquatic animals including horseshoe crabs. Come learn about this “crab” species that isn’t a true crab and how they’re a key to modern medicine.
- Saturday, Nov. 5 from 7 to 9 p.m. – George LeStrange Preserve: Full Moon Night Hike. Imagine a moonlit lake, a gentle breeze and the sounds of the night all around. Insects trill, owls hoot and critters scurry under the moon and stars of this scrubby upland and forested hammock.
- Monday, Nov. 7 from 5 to 8 p.m. – Bluefield Ranch Preserve: Monday Moonlight Hike. Watch the sunset and the moon rise in the scrub habitat of St. Lucie County’s largest and wildest preserve.
Tuesday, Nov. 8 from 6 to 8 a.m. – Bluefield Ranch Preserve: Monday Moonlight Hike. Bring your morning coffee to Bluefield Ranch Preserve to watch the lunar eclipse. The open space should give us a good view and you still have time to get to work or school.
- Friday, Nov. 11 from 7:30 to 10:30 a.m. – Jones Hammock Preserve: Birders’ Excursion. It’s an all-avian hike along a secluded wetland and river at this preserve adjacent to the North Fork of the St. Lucie River. Prolific resident and migratory birdlife attracted to the site’s bountiful food supply is sure to impress.
Saturday, Nov. 12 from 9 to 10:30 a.m. – Indrio Savannahs Preserve: Wonders of Weather. Walk with us through Indrio Savannah Preserve as we focus our attention on something that affects our daily lives: Weather. We will hike and make a few stops on our 1.5-mile journey to chat about the wonders of weather and some of the science behind it.
- Sunday, Nov. 13 from 4 to 5:15 p.m. – Indrio Scrub Preserve: Quiet Evening Stroll. A scrubby, upland forest replete with juniper, scrub hickory, wildflowers, and wild grasses is a cozy and scenic hike, tucked away within this 13-acre site.
Friday, Nov. 18 from 3 to 4:30 p.m. – Citrus Hammock Preserve: Afternoon Escape Hike. Wind down your day with a refreshing afternoon hike. The green trail beside the floodplain riverbank is ideal after a busy day as we transition into the evening.
- Saturday, Nov. 19 from 8 to 10 a.m. – Steven J. Fousek Preserve: Teague Hammock Restoration. Enjoy a walk through the restored wetlands and hammocks while looking for birds and wildlife.
- Sunday, Nov. 20 from 5:30 to 6:45 p.m. – Sweetwater Hammock Preserve: Twilight Chorus Stroll. Conclude the day with a setting sun while being serenaded by the “twilight chorus,” courtesy of the area’s resident and migratory bird species that are more vocally active in the evenings.
Monday, Nov. 21 from 9 to 10:30 a.m. – Richard E. Becker Preserve: Kayak Safety and Skills. Never paddled a kayak before or not for a while? Come learn basic skills for safe paddling and then practice them on the water. 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.
- Tuesday, Nov. 22 from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. – Richard E. Becker Preserve: Pre-Thanksgiving Kayak Trip. What better way to celebrate Thanksgiving than to get your exercise before devouring turkey and trimmings on Thursday. Build up an appetite by paddling the beautiful river. 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.
Saturday, Nov. 26 from 8 to 9:30 a.m. – Donald B. Moore Preserve: Thanksgiving Wildcard Hike. Come walk off the turkey and pumpkin pie at St. Lucie County’s beautiful Donald B. Moore Preserve with a surprise hike topic. This hike will be a great way to get you outside on your holiday weekend. The preserve trail leads down to an overlook of our beautiful Indian River Lagoon.
- Sunday, Nov. 27 from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. – Sheraton Scrub Preserve: Thankfulness Walk. There’s no better way to close Thanksgiving weekend than a reflective and rejuvenating hike. After a busy holiday, come join a guided hike focused on thankfulness. Slow down with us as we enjoy the golden hour at Sheraton Scrub in Fort Pierce. This one-hour stroll will be mostly silent, with just a couple of guided discussions, and will conclude with a visit to the observation tower.
Visit www.SLChikes.org for more information and to register. For more information, call the Environmental Resources staff at 772-462-2536 or email email@example.com. Nature hikes and family programs are free, kayak tours are $15 per person and $10 if you bring your own kayak. Reservations are required and space is limited. The Guided Nature Program season runs from October through August 2023 with a variety of topics, locations and distances all designed for different ages and abilities.
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.