REI

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Doris Leeper Spruce Creek Preserve & Spruce Creek State Park - 3/7/2017

Doris Leeper Spruce Creek Preserve



There re many trails that are in this massive preserve. We did the 1/2 mile loop (to start with) located in the bottom right of this map. 


The trails are primitive nature trails. Some were still being widened and needed a little maintenance. 



This trail curves around and has a good part next to the water. It looked to be a hot spot for kayak/canoe launching. At this point there was a natural "round about". 



This is one of the launches at this location. If launching a kayak or canoe make sure you have water shoes. This location has lots of oyster beds. 



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Such a beautiful natural view. This is the side of the Florida coast that is rarely seen. When people think of Florida all they see if white sandy beaches and fruit drinks. However, a true Floridian knows that this is what Florida actually looks like. 




Here are some of the oyster beds. It was low tide so many of them were visible. 


My mom loved walking around and seeing the sites. This is her "backyard" so to say. She lives in New Symerna Beach so she was exploring her neck of the woods. 


There were lots of stumps from palm trees in the water or at the water's edge. 



The water was so clear, and really beautiful. 




Walking back the trail got more narrow. And there were some brush that crossed over. So be prepared for that. 



This is yet another kayak.canoe launch at this location.



Before returning to the parking lot to go tot he next park we turned to the right and found another trail. There were great views once again and lots of flowers hidden in the brush. 








There were wild berries along the trail. Just don't eat them; especially if you don't know if they are poisonous or not. 




Walking out we passed this pavillion that had a BBQ and picnic tables. 


This was a very small preserve, and you could tell it was in the beginning stages of being made. There was not too much to see, and everything was on the more primitive side. I'll be interested to see is and how it progresses in a few years. It's definitely worth a second trip, just not right away. 

SPRUCE CREEK STATE PARK 


After the short hike at the preserve we drove less than a mile down the road and went to the park on the left. It's called Spruce Creek State Park. 


As soon as we parked we found a gopher turtle. He was just sitting in the field eating grass. My daughter was mesmerized by him. And the butterflies that were also in the same field. 


This park has a campground. The trails go right between and behind the camping locations. There were two different places that had bathrooms. And the trails were extra wide. 





This was a fishing boardwalk and pier. The water levels were extremely low. You could see where people waded in the mud just to launch a kayak or canoe. But, this was an extremely pretty place to take pictures at. Very old rustic florida style!



There were lots of fallen trees from Hurricane Mathew this past fall. This part of Florida got hit with some of the highest winds, so damage is still visible. 



My mom and I were supporsed to see how far people were willing to walk in the mud to launch their kayak/canoe. The funny thing was seeing all the flip flops stuck in the mud. 





I just couldn't get enough of the double pier at the end of the boardwalk. It's something you see if photos everywhere, and to finally be able to take a picture of one myself (such a great moment for me). 






The wetlands were covered in tall grass. 



Florida Pine Trees were really green that day. The hints fo spring were definetely in the air. 


Back onto the trails there were lots of forks in the paths. All lead back into one another, so it's hard to get lost. Most of them tke you to different parts of the camp sites. 




I've said it once before and I'll say it again. This is true Florida. The photos this day came out so much better than planned. With the blue skies and the green foliage, it was a hikers delight. 




We also learned alot about the foliage on the trails. Well, I learned a lot. My mom is a "plant person", she can look at a plant and tell you the name of it, where it's from, how to grow it, and more. 





We found another hidden trail that lead us back around to the front entrance. 




These must be canoes they rent out. I don't think they've been used in a while though....


This was the front entrance of the park. At this point, we just walked the short distance back to our car to finish our day of hiking. It was a great mother-daughter hiking day. And one that I would do again, but just like the previous hike in this entry, I'd wait a few years to see if they expand it. But, all in all, both hikes showed the natural beauty of coastal Central Florida.

For more information on these two parks go to:

Doris Leeper Spruce Creek Preserve:

Spruce Creek State Park:


Also, for a short video of both hikes visit our youtube page at: