On the long dead-end road (SR 24) to Cedar Key, the route John Muir walked nearing his end of his Thousand Mile Walk to the Gulf, Cedar Key Scrub State Reserve protects upland scrub habitat for one of Florida’s rarest birds, the Florida scrub-jay. They travel in families, so if you see one, you’ll probably see several.
Location: Cedar Key
Lat-Long: 29.205068,-82.988127 (East Loop) or 29.1895,-83.0174 (West Loop)
Open: 8 AM until sunset daily
Leashed pets welcome
Trails are open to hiking, bicycling, and equestrians, but deep soft sand makes biking not so fun along the East Loop.
The landscape slopes towards the Gulf of Mexico, slipping from the edge of the great Gulf Hammock, a forest of cabbage palms along the sea, into salt marshes that stretch into the shallow flats near the Cedar Keys. A network of marked forest roads create two loop trails providing access to the east and west sections of the park.
The “Reserve” designation means certain types of hunting are allowed and managed on the land, so check Cedar Key Scrub WMA hunting dates before you visit.