Historic Jungle Trail


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Historic Jungle Trail Facts

States: Florida
Counties: Indian River
Length: 7.9 miles
Trail end points: 13014 Florida A1A (Vero Beach) and FL A1A at Old Winter Beach Rd (Indian River Shores)
Trail surfaces: Sand
Trail category: Greenway/Non-RT
ID: 6351401

Historic Jungle Trail Description


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 Making its way through wetlands teeming with birds and marine life and upscale golf communities, the trail offers a serene backroad curving between the Indian River and Atlantic Ocean. Although open to cars, the trail is mostly used by cyclists, walkers and joggers. The surface is mostly hard packed sand. While the trail can get soft in some places, it’s mostly easy going for wide-tire bicycles.   

About the Route 

The Historic Jungle Trail’s northern endpoint is at13014 Florida A1A, in the North Beach section of Vero Beach. The northern-most part of the trail goes through Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge, the nation's first wildlife refuge established in 1903 by Theodore Roosevelt to protect birds from feather hunters. At the northern end-point, trail-users can explore a 2.5-mile walking path (no bikes) along a peninsula on the Indian River. 0.5 miles south, at Wildlife Way, an additional parking lot is available, just west of the trail. Similarly, here, trail users can access Centennial Trail (walking only, accessible; bike racks available), a part-paved and part-boardwalk trail leading to a lookout from which the original Pelican Island is visible. (The refuge has expanded greatly since 1903.) 

Heading south, the trail remains close to the river, passing a kayak/canoe launch point. Fishing, too, is popular along this stretch. Check local regulations for these activities. After continuing 1.3 miles along the Indian River, the trail turns inland, passing gated golf course communities on each side of the trail. This stretch is more shaded though the road may be covered in debris if the vegetation-trimming crew has recently been around. Watch for snakes here warming themselves on the road in early morning or around dusk. Upon crossing Orchid Island Way, trail-users can make an on-road connection to Route A1A & A1A Urban Trail by traveling 200 feet east on the road. The trail continues south, weaving between residential communities, before crossing Wabasso Beach Road. Take caution with both of these crossings since there are no pedestrian signals.  

South of Wabasso Beach Road, the trail becomes much less shaded as it reunites with the bank of the Indian River. At Captain Forster's Hammock Preserve, trail users can step off the trail to explore the the 110-acre area, which has additional nature trails winding through the trees. The preserve also offers bike racks, bathrooms and drinking fountains. The trail continue south where it meets Old Winter Beach Road, which it follows on a paved segment from the river to the ocean. The Historic Jungle Trail’s southern endpoint is at Old Winter Beach Road and Florida A1A.  


At both it’s north and south endpoints, the Historic Jungle Trail connects to the Route A1A & A1A Urban Trail. Trail-users can use this trail as a more direct route to return to the endpoint they originated from. Around the trail’s midpoint, an additional connection to the Route A1A & A1A Urban Trail is available by going 200 feet east on-road via Orchid Island Drive.   

Trail History 

The Historic Jungle Trail was built in the 1920s as a sand road for the barrier island’s citrus growers. In 2003, the trail was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  


Parking and Trail Access

The Historic Jungle Trail runs between 13014 Florida A1A (Vero Beach) in Vero Beach’s North Beach area and FL A1A at Old Winter Beach Rd (Indian River Shores), with parking available at the northern endpoint in Vero Beach. 

Parking is also available: 

  • 11455 Jungle Trail, at Pelican Island NWR Wildlife Viewing Area (Vero Beach) 
  • 650 Jungle Trail at Captain Forster Hammock Preserve (Vero Beach)


Historic Jungle Trail Reviews

pelican island historic trail

Rode this trail by bike and by car. Overgrown with Mangoes and underbrush. Very boring cannot see a darn thing Rode up to Sebastian state park and going over bridge ( over the inlet) is unprotected and windy and dangerous park ranger Whois a local resident advised not go over bridge. She also only gave us a 30 minutes pass to ride thru the state park.

Really enjoyed it.

Really enjoyed it.

rougher than described

Rode from the north end, parking at Pelican Island Nature Preserve. (Note that start point described by gps wasn’t available as there was just a locked gate.) There was hard rain two weeks ago, which might have caused or worsened the surface. Bumps, potholes and some ruts. Couldn’t just steer around many decayed of passing cars and pickups. Miserable for a bike ride.

Great Trail.

We rode this on our Ebikes 12/22/2022. The Jungle parking lot and restrooms were open as was the parking lot for the Pelican Island Nature Walk. The road is wide and hard packed sand. Pretty smooth overall. Great jungle scenery. Even though you are on a populated barrier island it feels like you are in the middle of nowhere. Then part of the road runs along the channel inlet and past gorgeous houses and boats. We rode the whole 8 miles then caught the A1A road back up to the trailhead parking lot. Fun to do once for sure.



Went to ride this today, however, the road is closed to the parking lot for the jungle trail. Also, the Pelican Island National Reserve was closed. Probably due to storm damage was our guess.

Great Trail

This is a great scenic trail, the only down side is that cars are allowed on this road also. With lots of sharp corners, it can be scary at times wondering if a car is coming the other way. But overall great scenery!

Rode 10 miles

We were in the Vero Beach area so we rode the trail one morning after a rainstorm. Note that if this is the case, the sand/dirt trail might have some puddles on it. Some we were able to ride around and others we had to get off our bikes and walk through since we didn't know how deep they were. We parked and started at the Pelican Wildlife Preserve which worked out great with restrooms access. The rest of the trail is pretty woody through the hammocks and not really much to see until you get to the golf courses where you can see the backyards of large houses. Since we went in late June, it was hot, humid and sunny. Since we live in Florida, we were prepared but bring your water with you, there are no stations that we saw. We passed 3 cars the whole ride with one local flooring it down the trail splashing mud everywhere in her Volvo. We also got behind a lawnmower near the gold course. It was a nice ride and we can say we did it but not one we would go out of our way to ride again.

Vero beach area —- Jungle Trail

Sat. Feb 14, 2021
I rode this trail today and it was really nice. The surface is packed sand and I had no problems riding on it with my smaller hybrid tires. In 15 miles I probably only had 5 total cars pass me . The scenery was very nice along the water and through the jungle. There were some areas with homes along the way.

Don’t miss it

My wife & I rode this trail today. We loved it. We parked at the Pelican Wildlife Refuge & rode south the entire length & back. 15 miles in 1.5 hours. Very few street crossings, a few bumpy spots.

Very nice!

Just did this one today and practiced social distancing along the way. There were a decent amount of bikers and walkers. The sand was a bit heavy and slippery in a certain section so be careful--I've got a hybrid so maybe if you have fatter tires it's not bad. Liked the water views, big homes and heavily "jungled" tree areas and the distance was very manageable for inexperienced & more active riders both. Was surprised they let cars on this road at all--there were just a few but when they pass they kick up a lot of dust due to the hard-packed sand surface. It was a great day overall and nice to do during this crisis.

Fantastic, mostly shady, clean, safe!

This is a great trail. We were worried about the dirt as our bikes are really hybrid road/trail bikes. But the trail was hard packed, clean, and mostly smooth. A few areas had ruts from car tires where water had pooled but we could easily ride on the other side. The scenery is lovely and there is a lot of shade on most of the trail. You do share the path with an occasional car but everyone is super polite and gives the bikers a wide berth. The trail head has a clean bathroom and there are places to sit about 1/4 mile in or so at the beginning portion of the trail. You won't be disappointed

We loved this trail¿¿¿¿¿¿

Last weekend we have a marvelous Sunday experience in this trail. It has everything and more ...toilets, beautiful river view, parking and access to the river. The sand is OK and in the pavement part is almost without traffic. 5 stars for this trail.

Great Scenic Trail

WoW, We rode this trail in April on a clear sunny day. My third trail in Florida and this one was my favorite. The scenic value is fantastic. The trail is a sand trail but was well compacted. We started out at the trailhead and instantly we were hit with fantastic sights. A ton of wildlife coupled with tropical vegetation that I could only describe as a tropical dessert. The trail is in between the Indian River and the Atlantic Ocean and sights of each. The trail is well labeled. Bring extra water on this ride. Not much area for shade. Short ride but I am sure you will find yourself like us and just slowed it down and took it in.

0rchid Jungle Trail Experience ~ ~ ~

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"! ¿ ¿ ¿

Do not use this trail

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.

Unique scenic sandy road trail with a lot to offer

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.

it’s suck!

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!!

Trail impassable due to downed trees

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!

Scenic - wonderful bike route

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!!!

Captain Forster Hammock Preserve in Pelican Island Nat Refuge part of Jungle Trail

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.

Love This Trail

This trail is defiantly one of Florida's best trails as it goes along nature preserves, golf courses, and along the backside of the Islands housing area. The trail is mostly packed sand so you want to use a wider tire bike. I made the mistake my first time in using my road bike, and my tires sank and skid in areas where there was loose sand. The trail ends at another housing area at a paved road, we then take that road to the Vero sidewalk, and head north on it to the Wabasso Bridge intersection - where there are beachside places to eat past the Disney Resort on the beach. At the Wabasso beachside eateries you can eat pizza, healthy sandwiches, (made to order) and grab a cold drink before finishing the route. It's about 15 miles round trip when completed. Biking back on the sidewalk offers little shade, and can get extremely hot if it's done in the midday sun. In all, we love this the route, and will continue to bike it often.

A piece of nature.

My husband and I have lived in Florida for over a year and had never driver the Jungle Trail. Although there are houses inland from the trail, I believe it has remained a habitat for wildlife. The blue crabs were astounding..although I feared a gator might pop out at any moment. I will not be a constant visitor however it was a nice change from the everyday hub bub the city can bring.

This Trail Doesn't Live Up to Its Name

This trail should be renamed Ugly Dirt Road Between Nasty Ditches! No vistas, no wildlife to speak of, just a long slog along a sugar sand-dirt road that occasionally smelled bad! The only carrot at the end of this stick was the Pelican Island Preserve, which was nice but best viewed from a kayak.

Hidden away treasure

This is actually a dirt road that vehicles use, but they are very courteous and the road is wide. We started at the Pelican Island National Wildlife Reserve on Route A1A. The "Jungle Trail" is the road that takes you through the Reserve, past a golf course and if you want across Route 510. We stopped at 510 and came back to Pelican Island and walked the "Centenial Trail" which is a black top walkway that goes to a board walk that has all the NWR's and the date they were created on the boardwalk... worth the stop!
The trail/road is well maintained, some sun, some shade.

Top Trail

Wife and I rode this a week ago while on vacation. Packed sand that seems bull-dozed often to stay firm and level. We didn't think the trail was boring: zillion dollar homes on the residential part and the NWR on the northern end. We found this whole Vero Beach south to Stuart area extremely bike friendly. My wife and I had no qualms riding on A1A. Rent from Orchid Island Bikes and Kayaks. They rent Treks and, best of all, they had the mechanics adjust the bikes before we got them. They put us on a route from their store to Wally's for a great oceanside lunch and from there to the Jungle Trail. Round trip about 38 miles, a slow, very flat, whole day ride with stops. We're early 60s and were able to ride over the 12th Street barrier island bridge. It is a steep incline for FL and rail trails, but it's long-ish and has a wide bike lane.

Nice day ride on the Jungle Trail

We drove south on A1A, went a few miles past the Sebastian Inlet State Park, over the bridge, and on the other side there were road signs pointing to the Jungle Trail. After making the right turn off A1A, there was a nice (and empty) parking lot with flush toilets. The trail is a fairly wide hard-packed sand road that’s very smooth and easy. We saw an occasional car, but nobody seemed to be in much of a hurry.

We pedaled the 8-mile trail that went from fairly open views, to canopies of trees, then condo and marine development toward the south. The trail connects with the A1A Trail, where we turned left onto the trail and headed back north. The trail runs alongside the A1A roadway with about a 10’ greenway strip between the road and the dedicated bikeway. It goes by the usual Florida condos and gated communities, then meets back up with the parking lot where we left the RV at the beginning of the trail.

The whole loop was a nice and easy 15 miles or so. Very enjoyable.

Watch out for cars

This trail is old a1a whose bed is coquia shells & sand. The Ranger said to look out for cars going fast because this is still a road for any vehicle. The northern section is more rustic which may resemble a jungle with a wide road through it. The southern part runs adjacent to condos & houses--not exactly what you'd call a jungle!

The entrance points from both north & south ends are poorly marked, so keep a sharp eye out for them. Some of the curves were a bit slippy with the loose material. Neither this nor the A1A are "destination trails" but if you're in the area they are worth a shot, especially if you're here in the winter & you're from a cold northern climate.

Beautiful Trail

Done this trail twice now and just love it!
I do the trail to the end then shoot over to a1a and head
North. At Wabassa we stop at the sandwich shop
for a break then finish the trail for a complete 15 miles.

Ill be doing this trail a lot! Love it.

Jungle trail and A1A loop

I parked in the beach parking lot at the end of CR 510 and road back West on 510 to where the jungle trail crosses , I went to the right (north). Very nice ride along here , it is a sandy, mostly packed trail and fairly easy riding for a mountain bike or a Hybrid. Might be tough with a road/racing bike. There are some soft and muddy spots so you have to watch out. I spun out in a particularly soft spot at one point.
The road breaks out into a plain area that has great views and goes through Pelican Island National Refuge viewing areas and comes bsack out on A1A. I road south on A1A back to the parking area for a very nice easy 45 minute ride. Next time I will ride South on the Jungle trail and see how that is.

Great run!

Very nice trail. Compact sandy road easy to walk/run on. Great place to take your dogs. One area to allow them to take a quick swim to cool off on a hot day.

Note: there are two 2.5 mile loop trails right off the Jungle Trail but dogs and bikes aren't allowed.

Beautiful & Serene

We were staying in the area and loved this trail so much, we explored it every day--by foot, bike, and car. Pelican Island NWR is beautiful (north end of the trail), and the route through here is much more rural, though you will run into a few other explorers. Joggers and dog walkers outnumbered cars by a long shot, especially in the section south of Wabasso Beach Road. This southern section of the trail is more suburban, passing behind the back yards of swanky homes and condos on one side and the Indian River on the other. The trail is much more open here, so bring plenty of sunscreen, a hat and water. We didn't see any manatees on the river, although there are plenty of signs warning boaters to steer clear of them. We did, however, so a river otter at the Centennial Trail pull over (Pelican Island NWR section) and lots of seabirds, shorebirds and waterfowl. The Centennial Trail is well worth the short side trip (walkers only); the trail is only 0.75 mile round-trip. Bike racks are handy for those wanting to lock up and explore by foot.

The surface is mostly hard-packed sand but we did see a few soft spots (easily avoided). During other times of the year, however, the surface might become soft, so wide tires are probably best. I imagine it gets pretty hot in the summer, so we recommend heading out early in the morning or just before dusk. Note the refuge is open between 7:30 a.m. and sunset but the Jungle Trail remains open, you just can't explore the refuge's other trails after dark.

Slow going

We accessed the trail at the southern end from Old Winter Beach Road. There are no signs indicating the trail at this end, and there is no parking lot. We drove in about a half mile and found an abandoned driveway to pull into. A yard maintenance man said it was not private property so we could park there but we backed out to park on the side of the road. The trail is an old sand road that is hard-packed in some spots and a little grabby in others. Our hybrid bike tires picked up the sand and made it slow going. My boyfriend's knees (both are artificial) hurt after riding ten minutes. Rather than continuing north, we turned around and rode back out to Old Winter Beach Road and then north on the sidewalk/bike path along A1A. This trail would be a better ride for mountain bikes.

Jungle Trail, Vero Beach North

I biked this trail in December 2008. It is on an old road that was orginal pathway that early settlers used to get to their fishing shacks. It now passes thru a US Wildlife refuge which has a very interesting display just off the trail. You can make it a circle by using the sidewalk along A1A. Highly recommended. Youker

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