Stokes Landing Conservation Area

You would never stumble on this conservation area.  The only people hiking Stokes Landing are locals or those who tracked down a hike with a view of the marsh.  It’s a St. Augustine nature walk with a surprise at the end of the hike.

Located near the St. Augustine Regional Airport, Stokes Landing Conservation Area is 277 acres – largely scrubby wetlands- managed by the St. Johns River Water Management District.  The trail is wide but not always smooth.  Roots to trip over, fallen branches and wet, muddy ground made this a messy hike for our littles.

Still, there were high and dry stretches where the path was more of a road and the sun broke through the canopy.

The sign below was the clearest part of the trail.  This is not the best marked park in the county, but all’s well that ends well… I do suggest that your whole party stay together on this hike so you all end up at the same place at the same time!

We were all excited when the observation tower loomed into view… mostly because that meant a reprieve from the mosquitoes!!

Got one… but not before he got me!

Was it worth the skeeter bites and a few scrapes when littles tripped and fell?  Absolutely.  Look at this view! When we gaze over marsh like this, I’m reminded that my view is much the same as that of the natives and European explorers hundreds of years ago.  This is a glimpse of the REAL Florida!

The observation deck is located at the edge of the marsh.  Our kids had a blast watching the little fiddler crabs dash around.  We also spotted some redfish tailing and many birds.  What a gorgeous reprieve during tourist season! {No offense, tourists. haha}

I read there is also a picnic area along another trail.  We’d jogged most of the path to keep ahead of the mosquitoes, so we decided to wait for a good, hard freeze to kill off the buggars before we check out the picnic area.

Almost back to the parking area, I spotted this tree covered in lichen.  I’ve been told these are an indication of good air quality.  So we found a sunny spot {fewer mosquitoes} and took a few deep breaths… then ran the rest of the way to the car.

protip: Any time you’re walking any trail in any part of Florida, bring bug spray.  Even if it’s “fall”.  Yankee mosquitoes are likely vacationing where it’s still warm… in St. Augustine.

Stokes Landing Conservation Area
I can’t track down a physical address, so I’ll copy the directions the SJCWMD gives:
From U.S. 1 north of the St. Augustine airport, take Venetian Boulevard to Old Dixie Road and turn left on Lakeshore Drive. The entrance is on the right.
{Venetian Blvd is the road beside Kings Head British Pub.}

Comments

  1. Mike says

    I live right next to the park and have for many years, since the new management took over last year, the park is very poorly maintained, most of the trails have grass to or beyond your waist and at some points above your shoulders on the main trails. the trash can at the entrance was removed last year so area residents often have to deal with trash at the entrances blowing around the area which is never picked up by the mowing crew, i have actually watched the mower crew pick up the trash to mow, then leave it in a pile or toss it in the ditch instead of taking it with them. they do however still on occasion come out and cut the entrance the sitting area and the look out tower, however the trails leading to them are never maintained making it very un pleasant to go to the sitting area or look out tower. why not just leave the blades on and mow the trails on the way to the tower and back… oh, yeah that makes too much sense … Please cut the park. it is a mess.

    • says

      Oh no! I hope this is resolved soon- we so enjoyed our walk there. ~Allie O

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