Starting adjacent to the Visitor Center at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, the Plum Orchard Pond Trail is an easy loop that takes you out along Plum Orchard Pond, a gathering place for ducks, coots, and wading birds.
Location: St. Marks
Length: 0.5 mile
Lat-Long: 30.150867, -84.146867
Fees / Permits: $5 cars and motorcycles, $1 bicycles and pedestrians. $15 annual pass.
Bug factor: moderate to high
Restroom: in the Visitor Center
Be sure to visit the Visitor Center before your hike to learn about the abundant bird life at the refuge.
From US 98, follow Lighthouse Road south until you reach the Visitor Center on the left.
Follow the loop counterclockwise to first walk along a boardwalk through the flatwoods under tall longleaf pines, emerging at the shores of Plum Orchard Pond. The trail continues along the shore of the pond to complete the loop. Birders will appreciate the excellent views across the pond, but be sure to watch for alligators!