Ponce Preserve Park

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Ponce Preserve Park

Ponce Preserve Park

Ponce Preserve Park

Ponce Preserve Park-Over the River and to the Ocean

  There are a lot of parks packed into this small town at the edge of the peninsula, but none are  as     unique as Ponce Preserve. The stunning 40 acre park is sandwiched between the Atlantic  Ocean   and the Halifax River.

Two and a half miles of trails await both hikers and those seeking solace  amid a natural  setting. On the west side of Peninsula Drive, follow the wide elevated boardwalk  to the river.  On route you will see a dense scrub habitat, native mangroves that protect the  shore from  erosion, and a  variety of birds and other animals that frequent the preserve. The  unspoiled  views arebreathtaking and provide an insight as to what Native Americans saw when  they initially ventured into the area.

day_PoncePreserve_PreserveDock-3002Three, covered gazebos provide some shelter and a place to sit and take in the view. For those looking for a different perspective, there is a launch for canoes and kayaks. Anglers will discover a distinctive place to fish and reflect amid breathtaking surroundings.

When you’ve seen the west side, head east. There are picnic areas, play areas for the kids and two additional hiking trails that end at the beach. These trails are shorter than those to the west, but the path is more rugged. As you head toward the ocean, you will see the heart of the park, the Green Mound State Archaeological Site, a Native American midden. If you are wondering what a midden is, it is a place where Indians tossed shells leftover from the food they ate. Think vintage garbage dump.

day_PoncePreserve_OldOakTree-3003

Green Mound is one of the largest Pre-Columbian shell mounds in the Country, built by Native                Americans around 800 AD. It is the highest elevation in Ponce Inlet, rising about 40 feet in the air.    Located directly in front of the Green Mound is a 350 year old oak tree. There is an observation tower on  route where you can get a bird’s eye view of the scrub habitat.

Once you cross A1A, you are at the ocean where you can take in the quiet beauty of the lapping surf  before heading back.

If you go, wear plenty of sunscreen as there is little shade on either side. Remember, you are in a natural  wetland habitat, which means you will encounter mosquitos and other insects that could prove  bothersome. It would be a good idea to bring along some mosquito repellent to better enjoy your visit.

 

Ponce Preserve Park provides a nice balance for advanced hikers and for those just taking a stroll. Several trails are completely wheelchair accessible making the hike a viable option for everyone.
~Deborah Boyd

Ponce Preserve Park
4401 Peninsula Drive
Ponce Inlet, FL 32127

Admission and parking are free, but parking spaces are limited. Open seven days from dusk to dawn.

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