Protecting more than a thousand acres near Christmas, Savage Christmas Creek Preserve surrounds the Christmas Creek floodplain.
Among the ecosystems found here are open prairies, pine flatwoods, and scrubby flatwoods, with islands of bayhead swamp and scrub forest.
Resources for exploring the area
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Length: A trail network of 7.9 miles on the north end. More on the south end.
Trailhead: 28.557349, -81.030192
Address: 11046 NW Christmas Rd, Christmas
Land manager: Orange County
Open sunrise to sunset. Dogs and bicycles not permitted.
A picnic table is provided at the trailhead, which also has ample room for horse trailers. Equestrians welcome.
From the intersection of SR 50 and SR 520 in Bithlo, drive east 3.6 miles along SR 50 to SW Christmas Road (which is before Fort Christmas Road) on the left. Turn left and follow Christmas Road for 1.8 miles to the trailhead on the left.
We first hiked the preserve soon after it opened, and found the long loop trails to be more optimized for local equestrians than for hikers.
Since then, hiking opportunities have expanded. A future segment of the Florida Trail runs up the east side of the preserve, providing more possible loops.
Three trails within the preserve – the Blue, Green, and the new orange-blazed future FT, which uses a portion of both – were built as footpaths.
The other trails are old forest roads that can be a bit rough underfoot, especially when they’re been chopped up as firebreaks.
Expanding on our original information on how to hike at Savage Christmas Creek Preserve, we’ve divided the preserve into East and West Loops.
These loop hikes connect together the color-coded trails. You can also follow the perimeter of the two loops for a 4.6 mile hike.
Cross trails enable you to try many different routes hiking this preserve, especially enjoyable when fall wildflowers are at their peak.
The trails on the west side of the preserve tend to get seasonally wet, and you’ll find standing water in some spots on the east side as well.
In addition to the routes we’ve hiked above, the preserve now extends to SR 50 with additional trails linking to the parking area at East Orange District Park.
There are two new loops adjoining the park that extend the miles you can hike. Once we have the opportunity to hike them, we will add them to the map below as well.
See our photos of Savage Christmas Creek Preserve
More worth exploring while you’re in this area.
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