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!
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 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 Website: https://www.brevardfl.gov//EELProgram/Sanctuaries/EnchantedForestSanctuary Facebook Phone:(321) 264-5185 Address: 444 Columbia Blvd, Titusville, FL 32780 Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge Website: https://www.fws.gov/refuge/Merritt_Island/ Facebook Phone:(321) 861-0669 Address: 1987 Scrub Jay Way #32782, Titusville, FL