At 2,568 acres, Fox Lake Sanctuary is one of the larger public lands in the Environmentally Endangered Lands program managed by Brevard County.
It forms a buffer between Titusville and the St. Johns River floodplain, one piece in the puzzle of a larger conservation landscape.
Resources for exploring the surrounding area
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Length: 10.7 miles in 3 loops
Trailhead: 28.588660, -80.874806
Address: 4400 Fox Lake Rd, Titusville
Restroom: Near Pavilion I in Fox Lake Park
Land manager: Brevard County
Open 7 AM to dusk. Pets are not permitted. Insect repellent is a must. Trails may be soggy or under water after a rain.
Snap a photo of the trail map at the kiosk before setting out on the trail system. Trail maps are posted at major named trail intersections, but some are faded from the sun.
From Interstate 95 exit 215 in Titusville, take SR 50 east to the major traffic light at SR 405. Turn left. Drive north on SR 405 for 2.2 miles. Turn left at the traffic light for Fox Lake Rd. Follow it to where it ends at Fox Lake Park. Turn right and follow the one-way road through the park. When it turns away from the boat ramp, look for the trailhead kiosk against the trees near Pavilion I.
About the Preserve
Along with Seminole Ranch Conservation Area, Salt Lake Wildlife Management Area, and St. Johns National Wildlife Refuge, Fox Lake Sanctuary is an important wildlife corridor.
Its entrance is somewhat secretive. A trail kiosk against a screen of trees at the back of popular Fox Lake Park is all the heads-up you get that this massive preserve exists.
Trails are open to hiking, biking, and equestrian use. Orange diamonds mark the multiuse trails while yellow diamonds mark the hiking-only trails.
We’ve hiked in two different directions on two very different loops. Both start from the same entry point, but diverge at the first trail junction.
Connecting the highlights of the yellow-blazed hiking trail between Fox Lake and South Lake, we followed the outer perimeter of what we call the North Loop, a 3.6-mile hike.
When attempting to follow the orange-blazed multiuse trail through the south end of the preserve, we stumbled across another hiking-only trail.
It makes a loop to the east of Fox Lake Park. It wasn’t until we’d finished most of the 1.7-mile loop we discovered it was called the Wetland Extension Trail. For good reason.
Looping between Fox Lake and South Lake, the North Loop at Fox Lake Sanctuary circles 3.6 miles through bayheads, flatwoods, and scrub to a showy peninsula at Moss Point
Beyond the entrance trail to the trail system, off-road cyclists share the Orange Trail with equestrians.
The 5.5-mile perimeter of this trail mainly follows established forest and maintenance roads.
Several cross trails enable a variety of rides along the Orange Trail, with the potential for three different loops through the preserve in addition to the perimeter.
Especially in the wet flatwoods and prairies in the middle and southern parts of the preserve, the trail can be under water in spots after a rain or during the summer season.
Thick grass and soft sand are also issues to contend with along this route. Fat tires are a must on these trails.
The Yellow Trail is for hiking, so intersections with it are clearly posted as closed to cyclists and equestrians.
We haven’t tried to tackle it ourselves, but seeing kayakers at South Lake made it obvious that they had to have gotten there from Fox Lake.
The put-in for the Fox Lake Kayak Trail is within sight of the trailhead kiosk for Fox Lake Sanctuary.
Marked posts lead the way along the eastern shoreline of Fox Lake, with a landing along the shoreline at the hiking trail.
The paddling route continues up a narrow passage connecting Fox Lake with South Lake.
South Lake has a lot of open water with rafts of water lilies on it, a quiet place for kayak anglers to escape to.
Past the outflow of South Lake into marshes draining to the St. Johns River, the Kayak Trail ends 4 miles from the put-in, an 8-mile round-trip.
Primitive camping is available for organized youth groups. Call the county at the number listed above to make arrangements to bring your Scouting or other outdoor group to the preserve.
The designated camping area, set in a beauty spot at the south end of South Lake, is 1.3 miles by foot from the trailhead, or 4 miles via the Kayak Trail.
See our photos from Fox Lake Sanctuary
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