Buried in a sea of development, Oak Hammock Park is one of those little gems that shouldn’t be missed. The canopy of centuries-old live oaks is a strong counterpoint to the surrounding manicured lawns and water management canals. In addition to the lush, fern-laden hammock, the park encompasses a patch of pine forest and an ancient midden. Bring the kids: there’s a playground on site as well.
Location: Port St. Lucie
Length: 1.5 miles in two loops
Lat-Long: 27.279042, -80.407811
Fees / Permits: none
Bug factor: moderate
The park also offers fishing along the canal, a playground, and picnic area.
This isn’t the easiest park to find. From FL 716 (Port St. Lucie Blvd), drive west from the Florida’s Turnpike entrance for 0.7 mile to Del Rio Blvd. Turn right; drive north 0.9 mile on Del Rio Blvd to California Blvd. Turn left and drive west 1.2 miles to the sign for the park on the left at Pamona; follow signs through the neighborhood to the park entrance at 1982 Villanova Rd.
There are two loops: the Pine and the Oak, each meandering through its namesake. Starting from the parking area and playground, follow the canal east past an observation deck to access the Oak Trail. The Pine Trail begins behind the picnic area and is a short loop through the pines.