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Tis the Season to Be Outdoors at St. Lucie County’s Preserves With Free Guided Hikes

Tis the Season to Be Outdoors at St. Lucie County’s Preserves With Free Guided Hikes
Tis the Season to Be Outdoors at St. Lucie County’s Preserves With Free Guided Hikes

Tis the Season to Be Outdoors at St. Lucie County’s Preserves With Free Guided Hikes

  1. 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’s through our award-winning guided nature program series. There are more than 11,000 acres of protected land for you to discover.
Topics for December include:
  • Friday, Dec. 2 from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. – Petravice Family Preserve: A Tale of Two Preserves Hike. Start your day with a hike beginning 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. We’ll compare the nursery trade landscape with the untouched native forest.
  • Saturday, Dec. 3 from 8 to 10 a.m. – Indrio Savannahs Preserve: A Morning with the Florida Scrub-jay Hike. Endemic birds found in Florida, but nowhere else, these charismatic, cobalt blue corvids steal the hearts of their admirers. Learn about this listed species, its habitat and the conservation planning to ensure they have a future in St. Lucie County for the next generation of Floridians.
  • Friday, Dec. 9 from 7 to 9 p.m. – Bluefield Ranch Preserve: Moonlight Night Hike. Head to western St. Lucie County and hike under the light of the long night moon. Enjoy the rare opportunity to experience a preserve at night.
  • Sunday, Dec. 11 from 1 to 3 p.m. – Richard E. Becker Preserve: Afternoon Delight Kayak Trip. Enjoy kayaking on the river as we leisurely paddle during the holiday season.
  • Monday, Dec. 12 from 9 to 11 a.m. – George LeStrange Preserve: Morning Lake Walk. Need to unwind from the holidays already? Walk the serene woods and lake trails at George LeStrange Preserve and find tranquility in a busy season.
  • Sunday, Dec. 18 from 8 to 9 a.m. – D.J. Wilcox Preserve: Florida’s Wading Birds. Come learn about wading bird biology and nesting as you enjoy the sights and sounds of D.J. Wilcox Preserve. This preserve boasts one mile of interpretive trail and is home to flatwood, hammock and swamp habitats. Species discussed will include our native herons, egrets, spoonbills and wood storks.
  • Sunday, Dec. 18 from 4 to 5:30 p.m. – Spruce Bluff Preserve: Bobcat Beat. Come bounce along with us on our bobcat beat at Spruce Bluff Preserve in Port St. Lucie. Learn about Florida’s charismatic and adaptable native species, found in “the ‘burbs and the boonies.” We will make several stops along the Spruce Bluff Ais trail to learn some bobcat facts and have a conservation about bobcats. We will wrap up our banter at sunset, when most bobcats are gearing up for their night beat.
  • Monday, Dec. 26 from 9 to 11 a.m. – Steven J. Fousek Preserve: The Day After Relaxing Hike. Tired of your toys already?  Can’t wait for the New Year? Had enough family for the entire year?  A peaceful walk through the wetlands and hammocks of Teague Hammock Preserve will do wonders for holiday stress.
  • Thursday, Dec. 29 from 3 to 5 p.m. – Donald B. Moore Preserve: Disc Golf Experience. Disc golf is one of the fastest-growing sports around the world and with six different disc golf courses in St. Lucie County, there is plenty of room for more players. Members of the Treasure Coast Disc Golf Club will provide an overview of the game, including basic instruction, etiquette, equipment and area courses. Find out what makes this sport so appealing.

Visit www.SLChikes.org for more information and to register. For more information, call the Environmental Resources staff at 772-462-2536 or email slchikes@stlucieco.org. 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.

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