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Exploring 7 Creek Recreation Area: A Guide to Pumpkin Hill Creek Preserve State Park



After a brief break from my blog, I'm back just in time for the vibrant spring season. It's the perfect time to embark on an adventure and uncover the multitude of trails in our area.  In the upcoming months, I'll be delving into each of the seven preserves of the 7 Creeks Recreation Area, sharing the journey, the highlights, and some valuable tips.   You might discover the perfect trail to venture on with your family, friends,  or even out-of-town visitors.


Located just a stone's throw away from I-295 on Jacksonville’s Northside, the 7 Creek Recreation Area is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Spanning a vast 5,600 acres, these parks and preserves are a testament to the collaborative efforts of local, state, federal, and private agencies.  With a network of 30 miles of interconnected trails, you can easily explore the parks and the surrounding communities on foot, bike, or horseback.  The area is also blessed with the natural marvel of the Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve, offering a maze of tidal creeks for kayaking, paddleboarding, or fishing.  The seven preserves that compose this pristine area are:

  • Beta-Tiger Point Preserve

  • Bogey Creek Preserve

  • Cedar Point Preserve

  • Cedar Point (NPS)

  • Jim Wingate Preserve

  • Pescatello Island

  • Pumpkin Hill Creek Preserve State Park 


On my mission to visit all seven preserves, I visited Pumpkin Hill Creek Preserve State Park with three of my companions as my first stop. The park is located in a remote area where visitors can explore over 15 miles of trails that connect to other trail systems and preserves. Since dogs are allowed in the preserve, we leashed our dogs and began our pre-planned 3.6-mile hike.


The towering pine trees at the beginning of the trail caught our attention, and we felt a strange sense of tranquility. The trail took us through various terrain, including scrubby flatwoods, maritime hammocks, and marshlands. The dense vegetation in the area attracts a variety of wildlife, including gophers, tortoises, bald eagles, and white-tailed deer. We saw signs of wildlife but unfortunately, we didn't see any on our hike.


We learned a lot on our hike. Educational signs along the trail explained that gophers are considered a keystone species because other animals depend on their burrows for food, shelter, and protection from predators and the elements. In fact, more than 350 different species of animals and insects live in their burrows! We also learned that the land we walked on was home to the Timucuan Indians in 1562, and during the 1800s, the turpentine industry, along with other structures, thrived on this property. Regrettably, there were no remnants of the past for us to see.


Geocaching is available and can be a fun and exciting activity for those who are seeking adventure. You can find the map and coordinates for the geocaches by clicking the link. My husband and I are planning to take our 12-year-old grandson on one of these geocaching adventures and we believe it will be a great experience.


On our way back to the trailhead, the pristine wilderness reminded us of the importance of slowing down and reconnecting with nature. This is so important in maintaining a balance in life. Before returning home we wanted to find a great place to eat. We stopped at Palm Fish Camp, and as always, we were not disappointed. They had an outdoor seating area perfect for us and our dogs to relax after our hike.


II'll be heading back to one of the other seven trails this month, so watch for my review and highlights. I'd love to hear about your favorite trails in our area. Please share your thoughts in the comments below.


Recommendations:

We had a great time hiking at Pumpkin Hill Creek Preserve State Park. The sandy trails are not great for biking, and the hike is best done before it gets too hot. The trails are more suitable for horseback riders looking for long-distance options.

Other things that are available:

  • Canoe/Kayak Launches

  • Fishing

  • Scenic Overlooks

  • Picnic Tables

Three simple rules for geocaching:

  • Take something for the cache.

  • Leave something in the cache.

  • Write about it in the logbook.

Address:

13802 Pumpkin Hill Road

Jacksonville, FL. 32226

Hours:

Sunday - Saturday 8:00 a.m. - Dusk

Fee:

There is no Fee for parking or park access, enjoy


4 comentários


Cindy Arnold
Cindy Arnold
09 de abr.

Beautiful Article! A peaceful pocket of calm to explore and escape . Thanks for continuing to find these wonderful places 🙏.

Curtir

Cathryn Close
Cathryn Close
09 de abr.

Thanks for the introduction to these protected habitats and scenic trails so nearby!

Curtir

kat
08 de abr.

This looks like a fun place to visit. I would like to investigate the kayaks! Thanks for the overview and suggestions!

Curtir

Jim Ramage
Jim Ramage
08 de abr.

Hi Lee Ann,

Very informative. Love your blog.

J. Ramage

Curtir
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