Exploring NE Florida's Julington-Durbin Creek Preserve

Jun 5, 2017

WJCT presents a collaboration between the University of North Florida's Environmental Center and Public Trust Environmental Legal Institute of Florida on 19 short videos showcasing the city, state and national parks of the First Coast, produced by Sean Lahav, a project leader in the environmental leadership program.

Julington-Durbin Creek Preserve

Located in the Mandarin neighborhood of Jacksonville, Julington-Durbin Creek Preserve is an expansive peninsula wedged between the Julington and Durbin creeks.

The area bustles with wood and marine life, including bald eagle and deer, and is only a couple of miles away from Interstate 95.

Hours: Daily, sunrise – sunset 

Description

Covering more than 2,000 acres, the Julington-Durbin Creek Preserve stretches for roughly 9 miles along the two creeks. The preserve features sandhills, flatwoods, swamps and marshes that sustain vibrant flora and fauna. The preserve is home to bald eagle, osprey, turkey, gopher tortoise, bobcat and deer. Manatees can also be spotted as they seasonally swim in the creeks.

Amenities

  • Julington-Durbin has an observation deck that rises in the marsh close to Durbin Creek.
  • Picnic tables are available at the entrance by the parking lot.

Activities

  • Multi-use trails are intended for hiking, biking and horseback riding.
  • A boat ramp at Hood Landing or the kayak launch is at the nearby Palmetto Leaves Regional Park.

With miles of easy trails, the park is a local favorite for peaceful strolls in nature.
Credit SEAN LAHAV / UNIVERSITY OF NORTH FLORIDA'S ENVIRONMENTAL CENTER

Trails

The preserve features two trails that form a 6-mile loop. An additional 2-mile spur trail begins at the parking area and leads to an observation deck in the wetlands of Durbin Creek.

  • The white trail snakes around sandhills, where wildflowers bloom year round – tarflower in the summer and aster in the fall.
  • The yellow trail winds close to the marsh, allowing for an unobstructed view of the meeting spot of the Julington and Durbin creeks.

Advice

  • If you're horseback riding at Julington-Durbin Preserve, the wooden bridges cannot support the weight of the animal.

Location

Directions via I-95: Head south on I-95. Take exit 335 and merge onto Old St. Augustine Road. Turn left onto Bartram Park Boulevard. After a mile, Julington-Durbin Creek Preserve emerges on the right.

Vince Kong can be reached at vkong@wjct.org, 904-358-6349 or on Twitter @teamvincek