Along a cove on a tidal creek that flows out to the Intracoastal Waterway, Wadsworth Park near Flagler Beach provides a gentle introduction to the marshes. While it’s a 45-acre county park with the usual amentities – ballfields, tennis courts, and a “Paw Park” – it’s also a fabulous spot for birding on the edge of the estuary.
Location: Flagler Beach
Length: 0.2 mile
Lat-Long: 29.480050, -81.142867
Fees / Permits: Free
Bug factor: moderate
Restroom: Near the ballfields
For more information: Flagler County Parks and Recreation (386-437-7490), 1200 E. Moody Blvd, #3, Bunnell, FL 32110
From I-95 exit 284, Flagler Beach, drive 2.5 miles east on SR 100 to the park entrance on the left, just before the Intracoastal Waterway Bridge. Keep right at both forks along the park road to follow the road around to the soccer field area, where the boardwalk starts.
On the east side of the parking lot, look for the “Boardwalk and Canoe Launch” sign. A short wooden boardwalk drops down out of the pine flatwoods to follow a tidal creek, where the canoe launch juts out to allow put-in. The boardwalk continues meandering its way through a palm hammock to the edge of the salt marshes, finishing at an overlook. This is a great spot for birding; don’t miss the other (non-contiguous) section of the boardwalk that goes over a freshwater pond filled with lilies; it starts directly across the parking area from the estuarine boardwalk.
Unmarked trails lead through the dense forest behind the skateboarding complex.