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Find the top rated birding trails in Vero Beach, 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|
The Green River Parkway Trail parallels the eponymous roadway between Walton Road in Port St. Lucie and Jensen Road in Jensen Road, Florida. the greenway sits between a residential neighborhood to the...
|FL||3.9 mi||Asphalt, Concrete||
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...
A short distance inland of Florida's eastern coast, the Route A1A Trail offers a paved pathway of nearly 22 miles through the coastal hamlet of Vero Beach. The trail is also part of the expansive East...
The Trans-Florida Central Railroad Trail is a 2-mile hiking and biking pathway sitting in a former railroad corridor that once connected Sebastian and Fellsmere. The centerpiece of the trail is the...
|FL||2 mi||Asphalt, Concrete, Gravel||
The number of negative reviews had me apprehensive, but I wanted to give it a try since I live about 70 miles from Clewiston on the Gulf Coast. I am writing in part because no one seems to be writing anything positive. Today, I did the trail from Moore Haven to Lake Harbor, about 20 miles. Except for one screwy detour in Clewiston (someone spray painted ‘LOST’ on the pavement to show how to get around some very stupid fencing), the journey was a pleasant one. This section is paved. The most important thing to note is that this is the best way to see Lake ‘O’, because you are elevated 20-30 feet above the Lake as you traverse the top of the dike. Lake ‘O’ is not a conventional lake, with lots of tall vegetation and no shoreline. When you drive by car (or boat along the Rim Canal), you see nothing to speak of- just the dike and tall vegetation. With the elevation, you can see over that vegetation. I saw plenty of birds and probably a hundred alligators (safely down below the path!) This path does not get enough good press. The pavement was smooth and pleasant. Of course, you have zero chance for shade, so be prepared for that. I will be trying out all the paved sections first and then I’ll take my chances on the rest of it.
Daughter, grandaughter & I (dad) took south turn off #510. Few signs, but found our way. Took left turn heading east over #a1a & short trail to beach. Tide was out, no signs saying we couldn't or could ride - we chose the latter.
Surprised a few walkers, flushed 50+ birds, sand beach was hard enough to support our wide tires. Such a pleasant surprise for a ride we had no knowledge about until we just did it. Would have given 5 stars if signage was a little better & parking areas were available. Found the site today & now we will head north to finish the entire bike hike. "Just do it"! ¿ ¿ ¿
I heard from a friend that the trail was now open all the way to Fellsmere, so went to check it out. The gate into the St. Sebastian River Preserve had been modified to leave an opening for pedestrians and bicycles. West of the gate, the trail was a bumpy dirt track, mostly hard packed and grassy. As I approached a wider cross track marked Red Trail, it had long patches of soft white sand. From the crossing, I could see long patches of white all the way to the vanishing point, so I turned back- too soft for my hybrid bike. It might be OK for a mountain bike or beach cruiser.
Going back east, I followed the trail to its junction with the Sebastian Greenway at the county highway 512 and continued into Sebastian, a stretch I had not ridden before. The Greenway was just wide sidewalk for a mile or so, then was set back from the highway behind a belt of tall cedars, set close like a hedge; it continued like this all the way to the FEC tracks beside US 1. Apparently the cedars were planted on the original railroad grade, up to two feet above the level of the trail. They screen the trail from traffic noise and provide a lot of shade early in the day. There are several street crossings, but the busier ones have traffic signals and walk lights.
Trans-Florida Central Railroad Trail: So read the lettering on a new pedestrian overpass spanning I-95. I'd never heard of it, and couldn't find it on the internet, so I decided to drive down and check it out.
I started at the Fellsmere Trailhead Preserve, just west of I-95 on highway 512. A young mother was watching her child on the playground as I unloaded my folding bike. Inside the shelter I found restrooms and a wall map of the Regional Greenway, which includes the rail trail (see pictures).
Pedaling around the trailhead, I saw no way to the trail until I came to a hard packed sand roadway leading north from the entry road. A road grader operator confirmed that this was the way to the overpass.
At the trail, packed sand gave way to a hard gravel surface with pinewoods on either side. I turned left, to find the end of the trail at a locked gate. Here the old railbed led straight west, through the woods of the St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park towards Fellsmere.
Turning around, I pedaled a half mile eastward to the paved section, twelve feet wide, beginning at the approach to the overpass. Out to the left were several structures of the FIT Challenge Course: horizontal rope nets, wooden walls to scale- challenges I might have tried half a century ago.
Descending the overpass, the trail turned a few degrees south of east and ran board-straight between stands of tall pine to the vanishing point. Not much shade; a summer afternoon sun would shine straight down the trail, and this morning there were only a few patches of broken shade.
It was busy on this Saturday morning- two couples walking abreast, pushing a tandem stroller; two young girls walking a huge, furry poodle-ish dog; other couples and individuals pedaling or strolling. The mile and a half of pavement led to North County Regional Park and its large, well attended swimming pool. I could hear shouts and splashes as I passed. A trailhead shelter here was closed.
From the pavement's end, a nicely wooded mile of gravel trail meandered through thick woods, over several boardwalks across the wetter places and through an oak hammock with some magnificent trees. I passed a young lady jogger, then a fast moving male cyclist, who confirmed that the trail ran on into Sebastian.
It popped out of the woods at a bridge over an arm of the St. Sebastian River, where it joined a wide sidewalk on highway 512, continuing the Regional Greenway northeast into town. I didn't have time to ride it, but looked it over by car- a true greenway. More than half its length was set back from the roadway and screened by tall, thick rows of cedar. Some of these sections adjoined neighborhood streets. A number of walkers and cyclists were using it.
Four miles of greenway led from the end of the rail trail to the downtown Sebastian waterfront, at US 1, which boasted a mile of wide bike lanes. A block east, Indian River Drive followed the shore of the Indian River Lagoon, with a half dozen seafood restaurants overlooking the water.
Starting at US 1, a rider could go about six and a half miles to the east end of the existing rail trail. Plans call for the rail trail to extend about three miles further west, into downtown Fellsmere.
Fellsmere has two very authentic Mexican restaurants, one including a bakery, plus a local pizza parlor. Southern comfort food is on offer at the century-old Fellsmere Estates Building, in a small historic district along Broadway St. The town has the oldest operating library in the county, and was the first town in the south where a woman voted in a municipal election.
Despite its imposing name, the Trans-Florida Central Railroad was never more than a feeder for the main rail line along the east coast. It reached about fifteen miles inland, to the St. Johns marshes and the former town of Broadmoor, planned for development but abandoned after a hurricane flooded the area in 1916.
The rails brought lumber and building materials inland to Fellsmere, carrying out whatever products were harvested from the marshy land over the decades- sugar, citrus, potatoes, muck for fertilizer, pulpwood. Early in the last century, passenger service ran four times a day between Fellsmere and Sebastian.
This short rail line buoyed the region's economy for half a century. Its legacy is a pleasant greenway, well used by locals and worth a visit for anyone seeking a leisurely ride.
As per previous review, basically a large sidewalk along US 1. But to the west there is some wild vegetation especially on the north end along the park. Staying at a hotel (Jupiter Waterfront Inn) on the south end of trail so was nice to be able to pick up the trail within feet of the hotel and not have to run on US 1!
We came to Florida from the north to get in some riding at the start of spring. This route is perfect. It is 22 miles from end to end but you could continue. Wide shoulder, courteous drivers and lots of beaches to stop at.
Tips: 1) do not take the Jungle Trail - it is sand, has no view and is frustrating; 2) you can eat in San Sebastian Inlet State Park and though it is $2 to get in, it is worth it; 3) if you come from the South cut in at the 7 Eleven at Sea Gull Dr. and go into the beach part of Vero Beach as it is great back there, lots of shops, foods and a market on Saturdays; 4) Spend some time in Round Island Beach park as you can see manatees and go to the ocean for a swim on the other side.
This ride really made our trip and was a nice compliment to General Van Fleet and others that are totally segregated. Highly recommended.
Perhaps I should have read the reviews more closely. We were on cross bikes with 28 mm tires and we started at the north end. All sand until we got off and rejoined the A1A trail. Very hard to ride even though we ride cottage roads up north with the same style of bike. Too much soft sand.
The biggest disappointment is that there is nothing to see. No cut outs so you can see the reserve, no easy access benches or tables or wooden walkways. No animals and then the brutal part where you have million dollar houses on either side with a thin row of jungle in between.
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!!!
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.
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