Soon after returning from our last big road trip, we decided to tackle Fox Lake Sanctuary in Titusville. We’d planned to hike it with our friend Joan, but she’s still recuperating from surgery. As it turned out, it was a very good thing Joan wasn’t along for the trek.
Fox Lake Sanctuary is a relatively new preserve in Brevard County, and the trail system had all the signs of newness about it: brush piled to the sides of the trail (instead of removed), routing across difficult-to-traverse tangles of saw palmetto roots, lots of firebreak crossings, and not a lot of glimpses of its namesake lake. It was just plain tough on the ankles and knees.
We accessed the trail system from a kiosk near the boat ramp in Fox Lake Park, but there is also another entrance at the north end off Dairy Road. It took less than a quarter mile to get to the first map marker at a trail junction, which marked the beginning of a series of loop trails. Right off the bat, we couldn’t find one of the trails shown on the map, so we stuck with what seemed to be a trail paralleling a wide firebreak that led back towards the lake.
Given the weather was threatening and we had a deadline to meet family for lunch, we headed off on the loops we thought would be most scenic. Much of the time, the trail stayed within the lake’s floodplain amid loblobby bay and saw palmetto, with rolling terrain underfoot.
When we took the loop heading towards Moss Point, a marker that looked interesting on the map, that led us out into open prairie and pine flatwoods with scattered pines. Fall wildflowers were still showy.
Moss Point was the highlight of the trek. A peninsula into the marshy expanse of South Lake (located, ironically, at the north end of the hiking trail system) turned out to be well-shaded by moss-draped live oaks and included some boardwalk traverses through hydric hammocks.
Racing against a thunderstorm, we headed back for the trailhead, completing 4.5 miles in two loops. We’ll return on a more pleasant day to finish exploring the trail system.
Learn more about Fox Lake Sanctuary, Titusville