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Walter Jones Historical Park

Originally published June 2010: Located on the banks of the St. John’s River in Mandarin, the Walter Jones Historical Park offers a quiet stroll through what the area was like in the 19th century.¬† While hardly a hike through a completely natural setting, the easy, paved trails through lush surroundings provide a nice respite from […]

Castaway Island Preserve

Originally published January 2011: Located just off of San Pablo Rd, about half a mile north of Beach Blvd is a secluded park – Castaway Island Preserve.  It’s a park that’s been built out into the intracoastal between two quiet neighborhoods.  Surrounded by marsh, it’s an excellent location for walking or jogging.  The main entrance […]

Spanish Pond

Originally published May 2011: After a grueling 40 mile march from St. Augustine through dense vegetation and in heavy rain, 500 Spanish troops found a freshwater pond a short distance from the French outpost, Ft. Caroline.  They would camp here before they attacked the fort the next day.  Nearly 450 years later, Spanish Pond is […]

Theodore Roosevelt Hiking Area

Originally published January 2011: On a windy, chilly day, we finally had the opportunity to take a look at the Theodore Roosevelt Hiking Area – the former homestead of William Browne. ¬†Located off of Mt. Pleasant Rd, the entrance was well marked but still somewhat difficult to find – it’s a a one lane dirt […]

Julington – Durbin Creek Preserve

It had been nearly 10 years since we last visited this park, and this neighborhood is nearly unrecognizable from what it was before. The dirt road at the entrance remains, but new townhomes and subdivisions border the park. The entrance has been re-arranged slightly and set back off the road, so drive carefully down Bartram […]

A Redesigned JaxHikes.com

After years of laying sadly undisturbed, this collection of trail reviews and various outdoor-related blog posts has been (hopefully) revived for now, during the age of COVID. Never before have we needed the therapy that comes from the fresh air and stillness that nature provides. I hope you’ll find the photos and information on this […]

UNF Wildlife Sanctuary

Originally published May 2010: For all the time I had spent on the UNF campus as a student, I feel rather ashamed that I never once took the opportunity to explore the nature trails I had heard about until now.  Having imagined a rather shallow collection of nature walks frequented by bored or curious students, […]

Jacksonville Arboretum

February 2021: At long last, dry and mild weather has arrived to Jacksonville, if only for a few days – perfect for examining the upgrades to the Arboretum. The trail layout is the same as it has been in past years, but the area around the lake has been upgraded. New planting beds exhibiting a […]

Washington Oaks State Park

Originally published April 2012:It was a sunny and breezy Sunday – perfect for a trip to Washington Oaks.  The park is about an hour south of Jacksonville.  Taking I-95 to Palm Coast and then east towards the ocean is probably the quickest route, but you will have to pay the toll to cross the bridge […]

Alpine Grove

Having contemplated this admirable grove, I proceeded towards the shrubberies on the banks of the river, and though it was now late in December, the aromatic groves appeared in full bloom. William Bartram South of Fruit Cove, FL is a town called Switzerland.  As SR-13 edges closer to the St. Johns River, the pines fade […]