VIDEO: Exploring NE Florida's Cedar Point Preserve

Apr 17, 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.

Cedar Point Preserve, Fort Caroline National Memorial

A little-visited park on the eastern flank of Jacksonville, Cedar Point Preserve encompasses 600 acres of hardwood hammocks, salt marshes and tidal creeks.

Description

Part of the Timucuan Ecological and Historic National Preserve, Cedar Point Preserve offers a historical trek through nature at near the city limits. Spanning some 600 acres at the southern tip of Black Hammock Island, the park brings together centuries of human activity, abundant wildlife and pristine landscape. Its Spanish moss-draped upland hammocks, which were once inhabited by the Timucua, give way to a vast salt marsh that teems with black needle rush, glasswort and daisy. Several species of birds also dwell here.

Hours: Sunrise to sunset 

History

Long inhabited by the Timucua people, the area turned into a pine plantation during the 20th century.

Beyond the hardwood hammocks is a large salt marsh.
Credit SEAN LAHAV / UNF ENVIRONMENTAL CENTER

Amenities

  • An upgraded boat ramp sits at the end of Cedar Point Road and allows canoes, kayaks and small vessels access to the preserve’s tidal creeks.
  • A number of tables and benches dot the park.
  • Trails for walking, biking and horseback riding. 

Trails

  • The main unpaved trail at Cedar Point Preserve meanders through the moss-covered woods for two miles — one way.
  • The spur trails cover a little over four miles.

Parking

  • Parking is available at the entrance but spots are limited. There is no admission fee.

Tip

  • If you are to plow the creeks at Cedar Point Preserve, monitor the tides, as low tides can be quite low.

Directions

Via I-95: Head north on I-95 and take exit 358A toward US 17/Zoo Parkway. After 5.5 miles on Zoo Parkway, turn left onto New Berlin Road and stay on it through a series of turns. After about four miles, turn right onto Cedar Point Road. At the four-mile mark on Cedar Point Road, Cedar Point Preserve begins and races to the end of the road.

Dima Vitanova can be reached at dima93vitanova@gmail.com and Vince Kong can be reached at vkong@wjct.org