Spanning two counties along a slender 10-mile strip, the fragile freshwater savannas and open prairies of Savannas Preserve State Park are just a few miles from the Atlantic Ocean and lie behind a line of ancient sand dunes.
Location: Jensen Beach / Port St. Lucie / Fort Pierce
Fees: $3 per vehicle
Open: 8 AM until sunset daily
Environmental Education Center open Thu-Mon, 9-5.
For an orientation to this long, skinny park, stop in at the Environmental Education Center at 2541 SE Walton Rd, Port St. Lucie before you begin your explorations.
Each spring, the savannas are blanketed in colorful wildflowers. Guided paddling trips enable you to get up close to wading birds amid the water lilies.
One of the more interesting access points is the Hawks Bluff Nature Trail off Jensen Beach Blvd and Savanna Rd, where you can experience five different habitats in less than a mile. Forest roads offer more than 15 miles for bicyclists and equestrians to experience the uplands of the preserve, and a lengthy hiking loop gets you out in the pine flatwoods.
Explore the park
- Fighting bulldozers in a Florida State Park - Savannas Preserve State Park in Port St. Lucie is threatened by city plans to bulldoze a route right through conservation lands to build a Crosstown Bridge - and those plans haven't changed, despite public input and lawsuits by environmental groups.
- Halpatiokee Nature Trail - In Port St. Lucie, Halpatiokee Nature Trail at Savannas Preserve State Park provides an intimate look at ecosystems along the North Fork of the St. Lucie River.
- Hawks Bluff Trail - On its mile-long loop, Hawks Bluff Trail at Savannas Preserve State Park shows off the best scenic views of freshwater savannas near the Atlantic Ocean