Give Thanks to Nature This November with St. Lucie County’s Weekly Educational Hikes

Saint Lucie County

Saint Lucie County

FORT PIERCE – St. Lucie County’s Environmental Resources Department continues its weekly educational nature series with seven different hikes to choose from this November.

These free programs give participants an opportunity to explore some of the 42 miles of hiking trails that are located throughout the county’s nearly 11,000 acres of Environmentally Significant Lands.

The November Nature Series includes:

  • Sunday, Nov. 7 from 5 to 7 p.m. – Talking Turkey 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.
  • Wednesday, Nov. 11 from 9 to 11 a.m. – Welcome to the Uplands at Walton Scrub Preserve, 10809 South Indian River Drive, Fort Pierce. Enjoy a leisurely hike through a coastal, upland environment just yards from the Indian River Lagoon. Visit the sandy ecosystem and learn about its native plants and animals, as well as exotics invading this preserve. Explore, with a local naturalist, the oak species, flowering plants, and animal life existing in a dry, otherworldly habitat so near the life-giving waters of the lagoon.
  • Saturday, Nov. 14 from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. – Raptor Rhapsody at Steven J. Fousek Natural Area, 8551 Carlton Road, Port St. Lucie. This bird walk is perfect for cooler “Flori-days” to enjoy the many species of raptors inhabiting St. Lucie County. In addition to hawks, kites, falcons, caracaras and eagles, we will search for the many other species of birds that reside in this beautiful 300- acre paradise.
  • Sunday, Nov. 15 from 8 to 11 a.m. – Prehistoric Paddle at Spruce Bluff Preserve, 611 SE Dar Lane, Port St. Lucie. Paddle down the St. Lucie River discovering the prehistory and pioneers that once call this stretch of river home. Although we will be riding in modern canoes, we will discuss the history of the dugout canoe and other forms of watercraft that native peoples have used in Florida. Space is very limited. Canoes will be provided. However, paddlers are welcomed to bring their own canoe/kayak.
  • Wednesday, Nov. 25 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. – Harvest Full Moon at Indrio Savannahs Preserve, 5275 Tozour Road, Fort Pierce. A full-moon hike for the adventurous. Work up an appetite for your Thanksgiving meal with this evening hike to listen for frogs, owls and other night creatures as they fill the evening air with trills, hoots and melodies.
  • Thursday, Nov. 26 from 5 to 7 p.m. – Turkeys of the Wild at Pinelands Preserve, 7601 VPI Grove Road, Port St. Lucie. Gobble, Gobble (Part II) offers an opportunity to get up off the couch after the ultimate Thanksgiving sinner feast which will be well worth it! Join us for an evening hike as we learn about and search for the gregarious Florida Turkey. A local naturalist will take you on a journey through natural history, past and present, to walk off our food and make room for dessert.
  • Sunday, Nov. 29 from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. – Riparian Plants & Animals at Richard E. Becker Preserve, 3398 Selvitz Road, Fort Pierce. Journey through one of the county’s newest preserves to explore plants and animals on this unique site. Enjoy new trails created for hiking, a view of the St. Lucie River, and stop to enjoy flowering plants in the hammock and the water’s edge.

These educational programs are free, but space is limited, so registration is required. For more information and to register, contact the Environmental Resources Department at 772-462-2528 or visit www.stlucieco.gov/erd.

These hikes are geared toward ages 12 and older, unless otherwise noted. All minors must be accompanied by an adult. Proper footwear and water are required for all programs. 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 a list of all St. Lucie County parks and preserves visit the interactive map at https://gis.stlucieco.gov/parkspreserves.

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