Fort Caroline National Memorial | HIKING TRAILS

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There are two hiking trails at Fort Caroline National Memorial. The Hammock Trail lies completely within the original park property, while the Spanish Pond Trail runs between the Memorial and the Theodore Roosevelt Area of Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve. Both parks are run by the National Park Service, and there really is no distinction between the two as far as boundaries go. There are also two additional trails within the Roosevelt Area.

The trails are really a pleasure to hike during the bug-free winter months, and on a nice day expect to find many people on the trails, most of them locals who use the park on a regular basis for exercise. However, once the bug season comes around (May through September) the crowds all but disappear. Even when I visited in March, mosquitoes and gnats were bothersome, though not unbearable. Starting in May the yellow flies and mosquitoes will become a big problem, though it is the flies that are the worst since bug repellent does not deter them. To hike on the trails during the summer you need long pants, a long sleeve shirt, and a mosquito net on your head to keep from getting attacked by the flies.

HAMMOCK TRAIL
The Hammock Trail is a 1.2-mile loop trail that passes Fort Caroline. While visitors can travel out-and-back to the fort, those wanting a little more exercise can continue around this easy to moderate trail.

SPANISH POND TRAIL
Spanish Pond lies within the original Fort Caroline National Memorial boundary and a boardwalk leads to it. This was probably as far as the trail went when the Memorial was created in 1953, but it has since been extended into the Theodore Roosevelt Area of the Timucuan Preserve and connects with the Timucuan Trail and the Willie Browne Trail. Round trip to the pond is .1 mile, while hiking to the very end is .95 mile, one way.

TIMUCUAN TRAIL
This trail is outside of the original park boundary and lies within the Timucuan Preserve. It is the only “true” hiking trail in the park and is actually quite difficult for a Florida trail. The other trails are mainly old roads, some even suitable for strollers and wheelchairs. The Timucuan Trail lies in the middle of the Roosevelt Area and cannot be hiked on its own. Top get to it you must hike on either the Spanish Pond Trail from the north or the Willie Browne Trail from the south.

WILLIE BROWNE TRAIL
This trail is also outside of the Fort Caroline National Memorial property. It is the easiest of the trails and is suitable for strollers and even wheelchairs. If hiked on its own, the distance is 1.6 miles, round trip. However, you can combine it with the Timucuan Trail and a section of the Spanish Pond Trail to form a loop of 2.7 miles. Keep in mind that the Timucuan Trail is not suitable for wheeled equipment.

HIKE THE ENTIRE TRAIL SYSTEM

For a longer hike, combine the Spanish Pond Trail, Timucuan Trail, and the Willie Brown Trail. This entails out-and-back hikes on both the Spanish Pond Trail and the Willie Brown Trail, with the Timucuan Trail at the center. Total distance is 4.3 miles, and it takes about 2.5 hours. The route from the Spanish Pond Trail parking lot is as follows:

  1. Take the Spanish Pond Trail to the end
  2. Hike the western half of the loop portion of the Willie Brown Trail
  3. Take the stick portion of the Willie Brown Trail to the end, and then return
  4. Take the eastern half of the loop portion of the Willie Brown Trail
  5. Take the connector trails (black on the map) to the Round Marsh Observation Deck
  6. Hike the Timucuan Trail until if ends back at the Spanish Pond Trail
  7. Take the Spanish Pond Trail back to the parking lot
Roosevelt Area Trail Map (click to enlarge)

Roosevelt Area Trail Map (click to enlarge)

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Last updated on April 15, 2022
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