Along the Treasure Coast around Vero Beach, there are many more hikes on the coastal strands than inland, thanks to agricultural lands in the interior. But being on the barrier islands immerses you in tropical habitats creeping close to the northernmost part of their range.
Trails and Parks in Vero Beach
- Avalon State Park - With a sandy strand more than a mile long, Avalon State Park offers an escape to an uncluttered seashore along the Treasure Coast where sea turtles retreat to lay their eggs.
- Centennial Trail - Designed the first National Wildlife Refuge in 1903, Pelican Island NWR celebrated its century mark by creating this short, scenic, accessible boardwalk for birding.
- D.J. Wilcox Natural Area - In pine flatwoods and scrub along the Indian River Lagoon, D.J. Wilcox Natural Area features the ghost town of Indrio along its 2.3-mile loop
- Fort Drum Marsh - Fort Drum Marsh Conservation Area covers more than 20,000 acres, but this hike zeroes in on 3 miles in two loops - at Horseshoe Lake and Hog Island - near Yeehaw Junction.
- Indrio Savannahs - Only a mile from the Indian River Lagoon, Indrio Savannas has 3.5 miles of hiking around freshwater wetlands where sea breezes wash across the landscape.
- Indrio Scrub - Atop the Atlantic Coastal Ridge, Indrio Scrub is a place where unique scrub species thrive. A short interpretive loop trail leads you through the preserve
- McKee Botanical Gardens - Established as McKee Jungle Gardens by local legend Waldo E. Sexton in 1929 with the guidance of landscape architect William Lyman Phillips, a carefully designed tropical garden emerged under a canopy of old and venerable native trees.
- Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area - Lush tropical hammocks, great birding, and a dash of history along the Indian River Lagoon make Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area a diverse and interesting place to explore
- Sebastian Inlet State Park - One of few places where the Indian River Lagoon mingles with the Atlantic Ocean, Sebastian Inlet is the central feature of Sebastian Inlet State Park, which protects the tips of both barrier islands.
- Tegus establish a foothold in Florida (7/31/2014) - It's big. It's colorful. And it's the newest non-native species to establish breeding populations in Florida. Meet the black and white tegu.