Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge: Florida Hiking

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It is crazy what you find when you do a little research. Dad and I have been on the hunt for good Florida hikes to help get ourselves ready for Yosemite this summer. Our first Florida hike was at Wekiwa Springs. Dad found a 5 mile loop inside Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge.

IMG_0596Entering the Park is simple, and you pay $5 per car on a honor system. Driving to the trail was beautiful. Water is on both sides of the narrow dirt road and birds and other wildlife are abundant. Catching a glimpse of pink in the water caused me to squeal with delight thinking I had discovered FLAMINGOS in Florida, sad to report they were not Flamingos…

DSCN2305but these little guys were super cute, and all over the place. We constantly saw them flying across the sky. It was incredible to see their bright pink feathers in contrast to the bright blue sky. I do not think this picture does it justice.

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Birds were not the only wildlife we spotted. We spotted TWO alligators. One along the trail and one on our drive out of the park. Both gators were just sunning and enjoying the beautiful Florida day.

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So now onto our hike. We did the Cruickshank Trail which is about a 5 mile loop. The best part of this trail is that you are constantly surrounded by water. This provided many opportunities for fun wildlife sightings. The majority of the wildlife we saw was birds. If you are into bird watching this trail is for you! Another perk to this trail was that there was NO ONE hiking. We maybe passed three other groups. There is nothing like having the entire trail to yourself.

DSCN2312The morning was quite chilly when we started, so we layered in the morning. It is a good thing we did because by mile 2 we were shedding layers. The trail itself was pretty easy and flat. If you find yourself heading out to do this hike I definitely recommend doing it in the cooler months. I can only imagine this hike as MISERABLE in the summer heat.

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Mom and I trekking along the trail. We have been using these little day hikes as an opportunity to break in our new hiking boots. So far I love mine, well minus the one blister I keep getting on my left heel. The trail ended with a tiny overlook treating you to a glimpse of the beautiful scenery.

IMG_0025Brother Ryan and I at the top of the observation deck.

During our hike I tried my hand at shooting video. When we go to Yosemite I plan on creating an EPIC video. This was my practice. Check out the short video below!

Stay tuned to see where our next Florida hiking adventure will be!

 

 

 

 

3 thoughts on “Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge: Florida Hiking

  1. Jeannie says:

    Loved both blogs! Awesome. So proud of you. Tell me how to find you or at least give me a heads up when you write another one.

  2. Donna says:

    This is in my backyard, never knew there was a 5 mile trail. Great post….I now have an off road run this Saturday set up with friends out there. Love Florida!

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