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Make a Resolution to Connect with Nature Via St. Lucie County’s Guided Hikes

Make a Resolution to Connect with Nature Via St. Lucie County’s Guided Hikes

Make a Resolution to Connect with Nature Via St. Lucie County’s Guided Hikes

 

  1. LUCIE COUNTY – If you made a resolution to get out and enjoy nature, St. Lucie County’s guided hike series can help. The Environmental Resources Department’s award-winning series continues with socially distanced, in-person programs offered on weekdays, weekends and some evenings.

Topics for the January’s hikes include:

  • Saturday, Jan. 1 from 9 to 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.: Annual New Year’s Day Hike at DJ Wilcox Preserve, 300 Michigan St., Fort Pierce. Join a local naturalist for a fun New Year’s Day Tradition – the family hike. A wonderful way to ring in the new year by enjoying the fine Florida weather and time with family and neighbors in the community – people and wildlife.
  • Sunday, Jan. 2 from 8 to 9:30 a.m.: Holiday Recovery Stroll at Donald B. Moore Heritage Preserve, 305 Torpey Road, Fort Pierce. Grab your to-go coffee mug and join us for a lovely holiday recovery walk. Nothing is better than enjoying the trees, the fresh air and sitting by the water after a busy holiday weekend. We will make our way through some of the most beautiful oak trees in the county to the lagoon shoreline where we will sit, enjoy our coffee or tea and discuss whatever folks would like.
  • Saturday, Jan. 8 from 9 to 11 a.m. – Intro to Disc Golf Hike at the Lakewood Park Regional Park, 5990 Emerson Ave., Fort Pierce. More than 37 million rounds of disc golf were played last year in the United States, according to UDisc – a company that tracks the sport. It is considered to be one of the fastest-growing sports in the world. Learn more about this growing outdoor activity as participants get an overview of the game, the different types of discs that are used and get the chance to play a few baskets with members of the Treasure Coast Disc Golf Club.
  • Saturday, Jan. 8 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.: Ultraviolet Night Hike at Spruce Bluff Preserve, 611 Dar Lane, Port St. Lucie. Plants and small animals reveal unusual ambience at night, reflecting new views in black light. Light wavelengths or the absence of them helps plants and animals “change clothes” from day to night in the ultraviolet spectrum.

  • Make a Resolution to Connect with Nature Via St. Lucie County’s Guided Hikes
    Make a Resolution to Connect with Nature Via St. Lucie County’s Guided Hikes

    Sunday, Jan. 9 from 6:45 to 7:30 a.m.: Sunrise Salutation Hike at Donald B Moore Heritage Preserve, 305 Torpey Road, Fort Pierce. Wake up before sunrise to experience sunrise over the Indian River Lagoon. Join us as we journey through Walton Scrub preserve at first light. This will be a short hike to the observation tower and back (half a mile). We will not have an educational component for this early morning hike, just bring some coffee and maybe a camera.

  • Sunday, Jan. 9 from 10 to 11:30 a.m.:  Bare Naked Sediment Hike…How Life Thrives in the Desert-like Florida Scrub at Walton Scrub Preserve, 10809 South Indian River Drive, Fort Pierce. The Florida Scrub ecosystem is a unique and imperiled habitat that grows in extreme conditions on Florida’s highlands.  Here, the soil is devoid of nutrients. And yet, this natural system is rich with both plant and animal species.  Discover its secrets on this stroll through the scrub.

  • Sunday, Jan. 16 from 9 to 11 a.m.:  Leave No Trace Kayak Trip at Richard E. Becker Preserve, 3398 Selvitz Road, Fort Pierce. We’ll learn and follow Leave No Trace principles applied to kayaking as we paddle the North Fork of the St. Lucie River. Free swag bag for each paddler. 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.
  • Monday, Jan. 17 from 6 to 8 p.m.: Monday Wolf Moon Howl Hike at Bluefield Ranch Preserve, 10270 Bluefield Road, Port St. Lucie. Enjoy a rare chance to howl at the rising full moon on the scrub trails of Bluefield Ranch preserve.
  • Friday, Jan. 21 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.: Nocturnal Nature Hike at Citrus Hammock Preserve, 6511 S Citrus Ave., Fort Pierce. Wildlife sounds and sights shift according to the movement of the sun and moon. Sounds change, as do the activities of various plants and animals. Stillness and insect choruses alternate, with a view of night-blooming flowers.
  • Saturday, Jan. 22 from 7:15 to 8:30 a.m.: Dawn Chorus Stroll at Sweetwater Hammock Preserve, 4100 S 25th St., Fort Pierce. Start the day with the rising sun while being serenaded by the “dawn chorus,” courtesy of the area’s resident and migrant bird species vocally active in the mornings.
  • Saturday, Jan. 22 from 9 to 10:30 a.m.: Snakes of Florida Hike at Indrio Savannahs Preserve, 5275 Tozour Road, Fort Pierce. Slither into the scrublands, flatwoods and marshes of Indrio Savannahs Preserve. This 297-acre site boasts three miles of trails and is home to numerous bird, reptile and small mammal species. Snakes of southern and central Florida will be discussed along with snake biology.
  • Saturday, Jan. 22 from 5:30 to 6:45 p.m.: Twilight Chorus Stroll at Sweetwater Hammock Preserve, 4100 S 25th St., 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 more vocally active in the evenings.
  • Sunday, Jan. 23 from 8 to 9:30 a.m.: Walk Through Time Hike at Spruce Bluff Preserve, 611 Dar Lane, Port St. Lucie. Spruce Bluff Preserve holds incredible historical significance in St. Lucie County. Join us as we walk through time, visiting the home of the Ais Native Americans and early Florida pioneers. We will make multiple stops to take ourselves back in time, imagining what it would have been like to live in Florida as an aboriginal Ais Native American thousands of years ago, as well as a Florida pioneer in the late 1800s. Spend about 90 minutes time traveling with us with during our estimated one-mile walk.

  • Friday, Jan. 28 from 7:30 to 10 a.m.: Birder’s Morning Hike at Jones Hammock Preserve, 2002 Bell Ave., Fort Pierce. It’s an all-avian hike along a secluded wetland and river, adjacent to the North Fork of the St. Lucie River. The site boasts a wealth of resident and migratory birdlife attracted to the river’s bountiful food supply. Binoculars and cameras a must.
  • Friday, Jan. 28 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.: Starlight Hike at Bluefield Ranch Preserve, 10270 Bluefield Road, Port St. Lucie. Venture west to Bluefield Ranch Preserve where light pollution is low.  After the sun sets, the stars shine bright.
  • Saturday, Jan. 29 from 9 to 10:30 a.m.:  Florida’s Large Cats Hike at the Steven J. Fousek Preserve, 7793 State Hwy 613, Port St. Lucie. Come enjoy this beautiful hike through an ancient forest while learning about some of Florida’s most iconic and elusive mammals. We will discuss the Florida panther, the bobcat and the difficult dynamics of conservation efforts attempting to sustain panther populations into the future.
  • Saturday, Jan. 29 from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.: Afternoon Escape Hike at the Donald B. Moore Heritage Preserve, 305 Torpey Road, Fort Pierce. Wind down your day with a refreshing afternoon hike. Green trails and a lofty lagoon view is ideal after a busy day transitions into evening.

For more information and to find the link for registration, please visit www.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 target 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 Environmentally Significant Lands visit: www.stluciepreserves.com.

(Thanks to Eric Gill @stluciegov for the great content this year especially the hiking posts!)

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