Before Canaveral National Seashore, there was Eldora. Established in 1877, this fishing village prospered along Mosquito Lagoon, with access only by boat. Now, the shoreline is dominated by the Eldora State House, the last remaining building on the old village site. To showcase the beautiful coastal hammock which Eldora bordered, the half-mile Eldora Hammock Trail leads you through an interpretive loop in these woods.
Location: New Smyrna Beach
Length: 0.5 mile
Fees / Permits: national park entrance fee
Bug factor: moderate
Restroom: at the Eldora village complex
Do take the time to visit the Eldora State House, too, accessed via a wheelchair-accessible path to the lagoon’s edge from the first parking area. Stop there before taking this hike.
Canaveral National Seashore website
From Interstate 95 exit 249A for SR 44, follow SR 44 east into New Smyrna Beach for 5.2 miles to cross the causeway to the barrier island. The road will arc to the right, becoming A1A. Drive another 7 miles south to Canaveral National Seashore. Continue down the park road about 2.4 miles and turn right on Eldora Road. Continue to the fourth parking area to find the trailhead at the “Eldora Hammock” sign.
Start at the trailhead and walk into the shady hammock, where a canopy of red bay blocks the sun so wild coffee, sparkleberry, and marlberry thrive. The trail is somewhat overgrown and wild. The forest has a very dense, tropical feel, and resurrection fern wraps the red bay limbs. Take your time to enjoy the unique interpretive markers—a lot of thought and research went into the information provided here. At one point, the trail drops down into a corridor of silvery saw palmetto tinted by salt breezes. It’s a spectacular sight. Continue through the dense understory and emerge back at the parking lot after a half mile.