Along Scenic A1A on one of the prettiest stretches of oceanfront on the Atlantic Coast, the historic seaside community of Flagler Beach is the anchor of an array of natural lands that offer recreation opportunities by the sea and along inland waterways. Historic sites, ancient forests, and excellent birding are part of the mix.
Trails and Parks in Flagler Beach
- Bella Vista Trail- A 1.8-mile loop through the uplands of Washington Oaks Gardens State Park, the Bella Vista Trail walks you through most of the habitats found on this barrier island.
- Betty Steflik Memorial Preserve- Betty Steflik Memorial Preserve protects more than 200 acres of mangrove marsh, mud flats, and coastal uplands right on the edge of downtown Flagler Beach
- Bulow Creek Loop- Stretching 5.2 miles through an primordial forest of sluggish, fern-lined waterways, ancient live oaks, magnolias, and cabbage palms, the Bulow Creek Loop is one of North Florida's most scenic hikes.
- Bulow Creek State Park- It's the trees that catch your attention at Bulow Creek, from the canopied road leading to the park to the imposing Fairchild Oak standing guard over the main entrance to the ancient Bulow Hammock itself, which the park's network of trails winds through.
- Bulow Plantation Ruins State Park- Burned to the ground by a Seminole war party in 1836, the Bulow Plantation fell into ruins, and the remaining towering ruins of a sugar mill are the focus of Bulow Plantation Ruins Historic State Park.
- Bulow Woods Trail- A linear connector between Bulow Creek State Park and Bulow Plantation Ruins, the Bulow Woods Trail parallels the flow of this freshwater creek near the sea.
- Fort Matanzas Nature Trail- On the shores of Fort Matanzas, a significant historic site south of St. Augustine, the dunes are now swaddled in maritime forest, a gentle place with ancient oaks and an accessible boardwalk.
- Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreation Area- Formerly Flagler Beach State Park, Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreation Area stretches from the orange sand beaches of the Atlantic Ocean to the windswept oak hammocks along the Intracoastal Waterway.
- Graham Swamp Conservation Area- Protecting more than 3,000 acres - 2,700 acres of which are covered in swamps - Graham Swamp Preserve offers hikers a glimpse of the dense floodplain where Bulow Creek rises.
- North Peninsula State Park- Neatly accessed via "The Loop," a scenic drive that extends north from Ormond Beach, North Peninsula State Park has two tantalizing miles of oceanfront along a palm-rimmed line of dunes.
- Pine Loop Trail- Nestled in oak hammocks along Pellicer Creek, Faver-Dykes State Park has an easy nature trail, the Pine Loop Trail, for landlubbers to trace the route of the creek through old-growth pines.
- Princess Place Preserve- Four gentle hiking loops showcase wild spaces and cultivated grounds at Princess Place Preserve, an 1880s homestead on Pellicer Creek with a historic lodge and campground on site.
- Tomoka State Park- Walk in the footsteps of the Timucua beneath the ancient oaks at Tomoka State Park. The peninsula was the site of the village of Nocoroco, a thriving community on the shores of the bountiful river.
- Wadsworth Park- 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.
- Washington Oaks Gardens State Park- Notable for its expansive landscaped gardens under a canopy of ancient live oaks, Washington Oaks Gardens State Park is also the home of one of Florida's rare rocky shorelines.