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Find the top rated birding trails in Florida Ridge, whether you're looking for an easy short birding trail or a long birding trail, you'll find what you're looking for. Click on a birding trail below to find trail descriptions, trail maps, photos, and reviews.
|Trail Image||Trail Name||States||Length||Surface||Rating|
Palm Beach County's Bluegill Trail follows the eastern side of the C-18 Canal between Riverbend Park in Jupiter and Karen T. Marcus Sandhill Crane Access Park in Palm Beach Gardens. The trail features...
|FL||5.4 mi||Crushed Stone||
The Historic Jungle trail winds for nearly 8 miles along a sandy road through the hammock habitat of Florida's barrier islands north of Vero Beach. The trailreally a roadis on the National Register...
Notice: Sections of the Lake Okeechobee Scenic Trail are closed while the Army Corps of Engineers conducts Herbert Hoover Dike maintenance and rehabilitation. Please see the Army Corps of Engineers...
|FL||110 mi||Asphalt, Grass, Gravel||
The Martin County US Route 1 Sidepath offers a straight, paved pathway paralleling the west side of its namesake roadway along the southeastern coast of Florida. On its northern end, the trail...
The Route A1A Trail runs along the west side of Route A1A in Indian River County, FL, linking the barrier islands off the coast of Vero Beach. There are numerous driveway and road crossings, and in...
We started in the Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge and rode the unlabeled Old Winter Beach Road to A1A. We would label the trail surface a 3 requiring some caution, but the scenic value of the trail and nice people is a 5. Therefore, we rated the trail a 4.
Initially we approached this trail with caution due to the last 2 reviews. However, they must have been written before the trail got cleaned up from the September hurricane. The trail looked like it had been recently graded and there were no downed trees.
The sand surface was mostly firm. On the entire trail there were maybe only 3 or 4 soft spots where the surface had been disturbed. Soft spots were easily avoided even on our tandem bike. The surface was a lot better than loose gravel or freshly laid ground-up asphalt that hasn’t weathered over summer. Wider tires, such as those on a mountain bike, would definitely work better than thin road bike tires.
Quite a few people were enjoying the holiday by walking, dog-walking, biking, golf carting, and driving down the trail. Saw a family with small kids. Everyone was courteous. The drivers drove slowly and carefully.
We enjoyed the windy road with the vegetation on both sides. We saw many wild birds, including white pelicans, egret, blue heron, etc. No snakes. Happy about that. Initially there was not much shade but further in it got shadier. You might want to wear sunglasses for the sun and the occasional cloud of insects you might pass through. Not a big deal as they didn’t bite. I found out about them from my husband on the front of the tandem.
I don’t like not safe many car coming too narrow when car coming and too many beach sand hard to ride a bike on tires make lot of control. That’s not bike trails! Idiot design!!
I parked at the Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge (which was closed), and really enjoyed the beginning of the trail. It was a hard-packed dirt road with some muddy spots. After the first mile, the condition of the road really degraded, with many downed branches. Still fun, with a wide-tired bike. But the trail dead-ended at 2.6 miles, with several downed trees making the trail impassable. A big disappointment, as I had been looking forward to an 8-mile ride!
Beautiful winding route. This is not a "trail" as you may imagine but an unpaved sand/gravel road. I biked this yesterday, arriving from the south on A1A. There was minimal vehicle traffic on the jungle trail. After turning on to Winter road, drive for about a mile and the road becomes gravel. Travel a bit more and there ARE designated parking spots next to a white building. The trail is mostly shaded, and there are some sandy spots and but nothing too obstructive. At the north entrance, there is parking at Pelcian Island Refuge (also a bathroom, water fountain). If you are feeling more adventurous, check out the trails within Pelican Island. There are two 3 mile loop trails, and an observation tower. Pack plenty of water and sunscreen!!!
Started at main parking lot at Riverbend Park off Indiantown Rd. You want to follow the Ocean to Lake Trail on the east side of the park to the intersection of Grove Traik near the equestrian trail. Go around the orange metal gate and over the bridge to access Bluegill to Trail. Riding this to PGA and then looping back is just over 14 miles. Nice quiet ride with a bit of nature. They have removed the water fountain from the PGA rest area so bathrroms are available there but no potable water.
I set out early for a ride on the A1A trail, parking at the North Spessard Holland Beach Park and crossing highway A1A to reach the trail, here a wide concrete sidewalk. In half a mile the surface changes to smooth asphalt, which continues for 16 miles down to Sebastian Inlet. It's unshaded, open to sun and wind, with numerous driveways and occasional cross streets. But it's the only long stretch of off-road trail in Brevard County, and maybe in the counties to the south. It lacks the seclusion of a rail trail, but has many points of interest along the way.
East coast Florida has few rail trails, partly because of the Florida East Coast Railroad. FEC doesn't like to abandon track- they just keep on using it. Say what you like about their union busting tactics, but they are survivors.
A1A trail doesn't stop in Brevard. If I crossed the bridge at the inlet, I could continue across Indian River County, through Wabasso and Vero Beach, on into St. Lucie County. Here Ft. Pierce inlet interrupts the barrier island, forcing the A1A trail inland to join US 1- fifty miles from the its nominal beginning at Ocean Avenue in Melbourne Beach. The highway also has bike lane or a fairly wide margin lane nearly all this distance, frequently ridden by faster-moving cyclists.
A long wooded stretch starts in Wabasso, shading the trail by mid-afternoon, though also channeling the wind north or south. There are connections to city bikeways in Melbourne and Vero Beach. South of Vero the woods thin out. Past Round Island Park, the trail has little or no shade. Highway traffic thins out in south Brevard and again in Indian River county south of Vero Beach.
Pedaling south from Melbourne Beach, I soon passed the Ponce de Leon landing site park, where an amateur historian claimed the European discovery of Florida actually happened. He studied de Leon's logbooks and attempted to replicate his voyage, making landfall near this park. (The accepted landing site is 150 miles north near St. Augustine.)
Florida Power was out early today, too, blocking half a dozen sections of the trail. But the flagmen were courteous and mindful of bicycles. One stopped oncoming traffic to let me pass; another waved me through inside his line of pylons.
Half a mile further on, the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge stretched across the barrier island, with entrances to the right and across A1A to the left. Professor Carr promoted sea turtle conservation and protection before the term "ecology" was coined.
Further on, signs pointed to the recently opened Indian River Lagoon Preserve State Park, off to the right on the lagoon side. I wasn't familiar with the preserve, but was watching for signs to Honest John's Fish Camp, where I used to take my daughter fishing decades ago. Had it been swallowed up in some new housing development?
I needn't have worried. Honest John's is still there, surrounded by a preserve which includes a broad swath of the barrier island as well as the archipelago of spoil islands where camp customers usually fish. It's a magical place early in the morning, with pelicans roosting high in the branches of the Australian pines.
South of the park, I turned back, still some miles north of the inlet. Between different rides, I've ridden most of the trail twice or more. Never crossed the Sebastian Inlet Bridge by bike, but it looks safe, with a narrow margin lane and a narrow concrete walkway. Traffic here is usually light.
South of the inlet park, the trail runs along the lagoon shore for two miles, passing a stretch of shallows favored by wade fishermen. As you enter the wooded area north of Wabasso, a sign points to the Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge (the nation's oldest) and the northern end of the Historic Jungle Trail. This is an eight mile dirt road, mostly hard packed, close to the shore of the lagoon. The refuge has walking trails and an overlook for viewing Pelican Island.
Separated from the jungle trail by woods, A1A trail continues past scores of riverside developments, mostly fenced and gated, with tall trees and brush shading the trail to the west. There's a pretty public beach at Wabasso, beachside restaurants in Vero, and a pleasant stopping place at Round Island Park with beach access to the east and a riverside/island park on the west.
Six miles further south, A1A and the trail turn west toward the mainland, and Ft. Pierce Inlet State Park provides access to the inlet and the lagoon.
I haven't mentioned all the fourteen beach parks along A1A trail, nor all the seven parks and refuges on the lagoon side. The end points are arbitrary. You can bike north from Melbourne Beach along partly urban sidewalk on A1A as far as Patrick AFB. Or ride the bike lane, if you dare, in this heavily trafficked stretch. And there may be biking possibilities southward along US 1 in Ft. Pierce, where A1A crosses to the barrier island again.
The path is fairly easy, solid sand and shell rock with small rocks sticking out just enough to "annoy" your bottom a bit. Don't need a fat bike, normal tires will do fine. One way is 5.5 miles; so 11 miles if you make it back to where you started. The trail has not a single curve; it's not a lot to see riding along the canal, so it's really not that exciting to ride along.
I was vastly disappointed since the Jungle "Trail" is a road. Now everyone can see "nature" from their car. The Trail link gave no map of the actual trails in the Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge. This is the oldest wildlife refuge in the country, and although they say it was expanded over the years it feels like the opposite since there is so little access to water areas. And so little care is taken of anything but the restrooms and parking areas. Trails are in circles. Very little birding in Captain Forster Hammock. Fort Pierce Inlet State Park directly on the inlet has a tiny trail with a few things to see that is better than this one.
There is no trail, where there once was a nice one. Years ago I traversed it successfully, but today only a few miles of it are open. Sections were to be worked in a bit at a time, originally. However, when a new section has begun construction other sections are not re-opened. 30 mile sections are shut down for two miles worth of construction. By the time the construction is finished most of us will not be around to enjoy the trail. I'm sure we will all be safer as a result of today's version of messing with nature to "improve" nature is complete. According to projections, the dike will be complete and reopened when sea level has risen above it.
From PGA National's south entrance at Northlake Boulevard, all side walk, travel west to the Bee-Line highway, turn right onto the paved section of the Bluegill Trail, and enjoy that section all the way to PGA Boulevard, and Karen Marcus Sandhill Crane Park, turn right onto PGA Boulevard and head East, returning to the West Entrance to PGA National, turn right into PGA National, and return to the resort or your community..
A nice 8 mile run for me or you...
Felt that I needed to add a contrasting input to some of the reviews Ive read on this 'trail'. I ride the road shoulder (Bike lane) nearly every day on A1A, over the route described in TrailLink. The scenery is beautiful as you ride along the Indian River Lagoon and continues to be quite pretty through the orchid island stretch. The lane is sufficiently wide on this portion of A1A to provide a healthy margin of safety. As well, the GREAT majority of drivers are courteous and move their vehicles out into the oncoming traffic lane as traffic is usually light. Along the ride there are 2 different parks to stop and get off the bike and enjoy the ocean. A stop at the Wabasso beach area is enjoyable and you can break for a drink and light breakfast. If you are not a road biker and want to meander along the route in a more relaxed manner then there is a 'sidewalk' that is adequate for two riders abreast and is largely used by bicyclists. I would guess that there are more riders using the sidewalk than the bike lane. For the more adventurous soles on wider tire bikes that can navigate on all wether surfaces, there is the jungle trail and pelican island...both are really beautiful areas to check out. In summary, this is an enjoyable ride for locals and people already in the general area. It could be a destination trail if you combined it into a full day exploring great natural areas like Sebastian Inlet State Park, Pelican Island, the Barrier Island Center (Sea Turtle Conservancy); or taking in a great meal in Vero Beach. Hope this helps!
After biking in Fort Lauderdale along side of traffic driving 35 mph or more, this trail was a blessed change. I entered the trail from the southern trail head at the park. There is a nice parking area, clean restrooms and an overlook tower. The entrance to the trail is by the boat launch on the canal. The surface is packed gravel and my Trek hybrid did just fine on the surface. The trail is relatively flat. On the west side of the trail is the canal and on the east is protected marsh and forest. The north end of the trail is not so easily apparent. At the 5.5 mile mark there is a bridge that crosses the canal. The signage indicates parking 1.5 miles south of the bridge. Continuing north on the trail on the east side of the canal the trail becomes more like a service road with soft sand. So I'm not sure where the real north end of the trail is. The trail in completely sunny so be sure to take water and wear sunscreen. There are nature overlooks along the trail and a covered picnic table. Have a great ride.
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