Find Fall with St. Lucie County’s Guided Hikes this November
- LUCIE COUNTY – Search for signs of fall as St. Lucie County’s Environmental Resources continue its winter guided hikes. These free guided hikes allow residents and tourists to explore the county’s more than 10,000 acres of preserves.
Hikes for November include:
- Saturday, Nov. 3 from 7 to 9 p.m.: Ultra-violet Vision – Colors through Animal Eyes Night Hike at Ancient Oaks Preserve, 4650 Oleander Ave., Fort Pierce. Humans have great eyesight, but other animals can see things we cannot. Find out more about how light waves are perceived by animal eyes and learn about the importance of color in nature. During this night hike, we will be using ultraviolet lights to see a “new side” of plants, insects and more.
- Wednesday, Nov. 7 from 9:30 a.m. to noon: St. Lucie River Kayak Excursion at Richard Becker Preserve, 3398 Selvitz Road, Fort Pierce. Escape from hectic daily life and discover one of the wild tributaries of the St. Lucie River. This guided kayak adventure will take participants along 10-Mile Creek. Learn to identify numerous birds, trees, and flowers along the way. Kayaks, US Coast Guard-approved personal flotation devices, and paddles provided (you may also bring your own equipment if desired). The cost is $10 per person. No online registration, please call 772-462-2526 to reserve your space. Reservations are required.
- Saturday, Nov. 10 from 8 to 11 a.m.: Fire and Rain Hike at Bluefield Ranch Preserve, 30501 Bluefield Ranch Road, Port St. Lucie. Fire and rain are both necessary to have a healthy ecosystem and Bluefield Ranch Preserve has had plenty of both this year. Explore recently burned and flooded areas as new growth begins.
- Saturday, Nov. 17 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.: Special National Take a Hike Day: One Day – Four Preserves to Explore. Hit the trails on the American Hiking Society’s annual “Take a Hike Day.” St Lucie County’s Environmental Resources Department in partnership with the Health Department’s Billion Steps Program is proud to host an event that challenges St. Lucie residents and visitors to explore four of the county’s most beautiful preserves. You can select one, two, three or embrace the full challenge and attend all four hikes. This event is free and appropriate for ages 8 and older.
o George LeStrange Preserve, 4911 Ralls Road, Fort Pierce, from 8:30 to 10 a.m.
o Oxbow Eco-Center, 5400 NE St. James Drive, Port St. Lucie, from 10:30 to noon
o Citrus Hammock Preserve, 6511 SE Citrus Ave., Fort Pierce, from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.
o Ancient Oaks Preserve, 4650 Oleander Ave., Fort Pierce. From 3 to 4:30 p.m.
- Sunday, Nov. 18 from 9 to 10:30 a.m.: Fitness Hike at Spruce Bluff Preserve, 611 SE Dar Lane, Port St. Lucie. Enjoy the outdoors and get in shape at the same time by joining us on this moderately paced fitness hike along the north and south trails. Participants should anticipate hiking approximately 2.75 miles.
- Friday, Nov. 23 from 9 to 11 a.m.: Talking Turkey Hike at Bluefield Ranch Preserve, 30501 Bluefield Ranch Road, Port St. Lucie. What better way to celebrate a thankful spirit than a walk through the woods, enjoying the tranquility of nature and delight in seeing wildlife and flowering plants. This hike will focus on the endemic Florida Turkey. Learn all about this fascinating bird and impress your friends and family with your knowledge of this true Florida native while enjoying Thanksgiving this year.
- Friday, Nov. 23 from 6 to 8 p.m.: Black Friday Full Moon Hike at the Oxbow Preserve, 5400 NE St. James Drive, Port St. Lucie. Tired of the Black Friday shopping stress and crowds? If your answer is a resounding yes, then take the opportunity to spoil yourself and get away from it all on an enchanted moonlit hike through the Oxbow forest. In the beautiful glow of the moon we’ll see what other animals are also relishing a quiet and peaceful night.
- Saturday, Nov. 24 from 7 to 9 p.m.: Full Moon Night Hike at Steven J. Fousek Preserve, 8551 Carlton Road, Port St. Lucie. Moonlight, critters, and woods, oh my! We’re looking for and listening to wildlife at dusk as the daylight transitions to the night. The “changing of the guard” from daytime to nighttime brings a host of changes to the preserves in terms of which creatures are active and gives us extraordinary moonlit viewing opportunities.
- Sunday, Nov. 25 from 9 to 10:30 a.m.: Becoming a Preserve Pal Program and Hike at Walton Scrub Preserve, 10809 Indian River Drive, Fort Pierce. Get involved in one of St. Lucie County’s newest citizen engagement opportunities. During this interactive hike, participants will learn about the Environmental Resources Department’s “Preserve Pal Program” and how it invites local residents, neighborhoods, schools and homeowners’ associations (HOAs) to take stewardship of the natural areas that surround them. This is appropriate for ages 13 and older.
- Friday, Nov. 30 from 3:30 to 5 p.m.: Scrub Specialists Hike at Indrio Scrub Preserve, 4100 Old Dixie Highway, Fort Pierce. Have you ever wondered how some animals could survive in some of the harshest environments? The scrub is much like a desert and the creatures here have many adaptations for survival. Let us introduce you to a small and mighty preserve full of life on this short afternoon walk.
Programs are usually limited to 15 people helping to allow participants to immerse themselves into the county’s beautiful natural areas. Programs target ages 12 and older unless otherwise noted. All minors must be accompanied by an adult. Proper footwear and water are required for all programs and please leave pets at home.
Purchased through a voter-approved bond referendum, St. Lucie County manages more than two dozen preserves that are open to the public for passive recreation. For more information about St. Lucie County’s Environmentally Significant Lands visit: www.stlucieco.gov/erd. For a list of all St. Lucie County parks and preserves visit the interactive map at http://gis.stlucieco.gov/parkspreserves.
Courtesy of: St. Lucie County, Erick Gill, Communications Division Director