Whether you are looking for mile-long routes to walk or lengthier trails to hike, the Space Coast region has a wide variety of trails to choose from among an amazing diversity of ecosystems.
The prime hiking season around Florida is from October to March because the temperatures are cooler, but during the summer and all year round, there are multiple hiking routes you could walk.
Here are six of the best ones to try out.
What Gear Should You Take on a Longer Walk or Hike?
Before delving into the hiking routes that you can walk in the Space Coast area, it is worth mentioning that you should always take the right gear with you, especially on longer hikes.
You will need plenty of water, enough food, the right clothing to suit the weather conditions and a backpack that contains useful items like a First Aid kit.
You should also take an ABC altimeter watch with you on longer walks. It can be used to predict weather conditions and find out the barometric pressure. An altimeter watch can also tell you how high or low you are, which direction you are headed, and where you need to go. Find out more about ABC altimeter watches in this post,
Now, let us take a look at some of the best hiking routes you could choose.
The Smyrna Dunes Park Trail
If you do not want to go on an overly long hike and want to avoid natural ground, the 1.4-mile boardwalk walk around the luscious Smyrna Dunes Park is a great option.
The route is incredibly scenic. You would pass the windswept cape along Mosquito Lagoon at the Ponce Inlet, taking in mangrove marshes and coastal dunes as you walk.
If you take things leisurely, you should also be able to spot a wide variety of birds. You could even spot gopher tortoises in their coastal scrub habitat.
The Spring Hammock Preserve Trail
For a longer hike, consider walking the enchanting 5.2-mile trail of the Spring Hammock Preserve, where you would travel through palm hammocks, floodplain forests, and pine hardwoods.
You should also check out the nearby Big Tree Park, which includes an incredible cypress tree that is 3,500 years old.
The Spring Hammock Preserve trail can be great fun for all the family too, as, in addition to wonderful natural sights, the Spring Hammock Preserve has an on-site education center and natural history museum.
The Erna Nixon Park Trail
If you are unable to walk long distances, or simply want a short trail to enjoy, the half-mile boardwalk trail at Erna Nixon Park is perfect.
Despite the trail being short, the route winds through three different ecosystems where you can see lots of native plant species. You may come across various small animals, too.
The Canaveral National Seashore Trail
There are several trails to choose from around the Space Coast’s Canaveral National Seashoreso it is an ideal place regardless of your hiking ability.
You could walk the 1.5-mile trail that goes through the maritime forest and coastal habitats.
Alternatively, if you want a proper workout, you could hike the 12-mile dyke trail that connects the north and south ends of the park. Along the way, you would get to see a beautiful lagoon and you should be able to glimpse a wide variety of wildlife. You could also take a walk down to the beach to view an almost endless wilderness of sand dunes.
The Lake Proctor Wilderness Trails
The six miles of trails around the Lake Proctor Wilderness Area are definitely worth visiting. Trails loop around scenic ponds that are surrounded by pine Flatwoods, bay-head swamps, and sand pine scrub.
The area is also home to an abundance of wildlife. If you are lucky, you might come across gopher tortoises, gray foxes, white-tailed deer, sandhill cranes, and Florida worm lizards,
The Bull Creek Wildlife Management Area Trail
This is a popular section of the Florida Trail. If you are looking for a long hike in nature, the 20.5-mile loop of the Bull Creek Wildlife Management Area trail could be ideal.
You would cross cypress swamps alongside Crabgrass Creek, then trace the trail to Bull Creek, while winding through pine trees with the glorious expanse of the open palmetto prairie beneath.