Month: May 2020

A Day Trip to Titusville

View from the Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge

We took a little trip up to Titusville last week, to explore the enchanted forest and to stop back by the Merritt Island National Wildlife refuge. If you haven’t been to Titusville, it’s most well known for it’s rocket launches from the Kennedy Space Center. However, there are several undeveloped areas of Florida lands and beautiful wildlife.

We have taken several trips to this area to enjoy it’s beauty, and I want to highlight two of our favorite places in the area.

The first stop we made is at the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary. The sanctuary is located right off of 405, between downtown Titusville and Port St. John. There is no entrance fee to the sanctuary.

Outside, you will find the entrance and a map of the network of trails. Inside is a nature center where kids can explore (most of it is currently shut down to COVID19). They also have an indoor and outdoor classroom for when they host classes for the community and for homeschoolers.

Just behind the main building, they have the butterfly garden. We didn’t see too many during our visit in the early summer, but I would imagine there would be many had we come earlier in the spring.

Here are some views of the trails. There is one big hill in the back (so weird- hills in Florida!) and there are some trails which are more shaded than others. The Mesic trail is very shaded (see photo below).

We walked the Coquina trail, the Mesic trail, and Tortoise trail. The Coquina trail is pictured below, it is much more sunny!

Coquina Trail

Along the trails, there were several views of canals and waterways. On the coquina trail, there were stops where you could overlook the water.

We spent a couple hours at the enchanted forest, and then we headed for a drive down black point drive at the Merritt island National Wildlife Refuge. There are other activities to do at the refuge (such as hiking and fishing), but we wanted to check out the wildlife drive after our long hike. To get to the entrance, you are going to want to head here.

Black point drive normally costs $10 to drive. It was free when we arrived, which was a nice surprise!

Black Point Drive offers a 14 mile dirt road you can drive down and look for wildlife. (Note: their website says its 7 miles, but it is much farther!) There are two points in which you can get out of the car was well. Mile 4 has a short path with two pavilion overlooks.

Mile 4 Pavilion Stop

Mile 9 has another overlook where you can get out and walk, plus it has a bathroom. Here is another view from the trail.

Our drive took about an hour and half, with stops. We saw two small gators, tons of birds, soft shells turtles, and a few snakes! One of the gators:

After finishing up our drive, we headed home. But there are more things to do in the refuge and in the Titusville area! To view a map to these two locations, and for more locations in Titusville, visit our page here!

Brevard county Enchanted Forest
Phone:(321) 264-5185
Address: 444 Columbia Blvd, Titusville, FL 32780

Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge
Phone:(321) 861-0669
Address: 1987 Scrub Jay Way #32782, Titusville, FL

Exploring our Local Rail to Trail

Trans Florida Central Railroad Trail

While some of the COVID19 restrictions are easing up here, we decided to explore a rail to trail in the area that I hadn’t had a chance to go to yet. This trail runs for 2 miles, is mostly paved, and is a unique trail because in one section it passes right over route 95 – a major Florida highway.

To access the trail, you can park in one of two locations: The Fellsmere Trailhead or the North County Aquatic Center. (Side note- check if the aquatic center is open because this is another fun stop to make while you are in Sebastian!)

Of the two places to park, The Fellsmere trailhead is much closer to the foot bridge that goes over the highway – which is what attracted us to the trail. Note that it does have a large section of gravel before you reach the footbridge. The aquatic center is farther away from the bridge, about 1.5 to 2 miles. However, if you park there, you will have pavement from the parking area to the bridge.

Fellsmere Trailhead Parking Area

We parked at the Fellsmere Trailhead. In the parking area, there is this large barn (assuming a visitors center and restroom – it was closed due to COVID when we visited). And an adjacent playground for the kids.

From the parking area, it is a bit of a walk to get down to the trail. You walk down a larger gravel service road leading up to the trail. It took us about 5-10 min to get to the end of the service road walking with two children. If we did this trip again, we would probably have brought our mountain bikes, because it would have allowed us to see more in the time that we had.

Service Road

The service road leads down to the trail, then you make a right. The trail down this way is much more shaded and private. You can see the Florida Institute of Technology (FIT) ropes course while you are walking along this route as well – the ropes course is managed by the University and is fairly expensive.

At the end of the gravel, you will reach the highway overpass (pictured at the top of this page). This is where the cement part of the trail starts. It is a very wide trail, room for a couple of people to ride their bikes next to each other. I took this photo from the top of the trail:

We turned around at this point, as we had been walking about 30 min so far. I would have gotten a lot farther with the kids if we had our bikes! We enjoyed the part of the trail that we saw and have plans to go back soon.

Enjoy! If you want to see more activities to do in the Sebastian and Vero Beach area, visit our page here.