Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Timucuan Preserve at Fort Caroline

Willie Browne Trail to Timucuan Trail to Spanish Pond Trail
Trailhead Elevation: 30 ft.
Distance: 2.73 mi. (my Forerunner 230)
Elevation Gain: 67 ft. (my GPS)
Start Time: 11:05am
End Time: 12:18pm

Trip Report:
The State of Florida is certainly not known for its hiking trails. Before our recent family trip, I'm not sure I would have known of anything in the Jacksonville area. Nonetheless, I did my usual research looking for a great option for a family hike and found a gem here in Jacksonville. The Theodore Roosevelt Area of the Timucuan Preserve appears to be well known to locals as an area of beautiful trails and easy access for a morning's workout. We encounter 20-30 people out for their day's walk enjoying the beautiful landscapes and weather.

We parked a the Teddy Roosevelt area and set out to at least do the Willie Brown trail which would be about 1.5 miles. I could see from the maps we would also want to do the slight diversion to the overlook at the saltwater marshes. This was certainly the most beautiful area of the hike. The WB trail was double track and easily hikable with the occasional roots popping up here and there. All the trail intersections had good signage and everything was easy to follow. We were hoping to spot some wildlife but saw nothing but a single egret while we were out at the saltwater marsh.

The trails were mostly flat with a few small ups and downs. The only notable hill was at the north end of the Timucuan trail. It was also here that I believe we had a brief view of the old Fort Caroline area. After completing the loops our hike ended up at 2.73 miles making for a great morning's hike. The skies were blue and the temps ranged from 58 to about 62 degrees.

Double track trail along the Willie Brown trail

Typical vegetation along the trails

Saltwater marshes

Saltwater marshes

Saltwater marshes

Saltwater marshes

The Timucuan trail was mostly singletrack

The open area to the right appears to be the remains of Fort Caroline

I have a track and waypoints from the hike all contained in a KML file that you are welcome to download and use (at your own risk).  

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