Welcome to the Traveling Jones blog, where every weekend is a new adventure.
First up – Ft. Pierce, Florida, where I spent this past Saturday hiking and having fun. Ft. Pierce is an hour and a half north of my home in Ft. Lauderdale. I was last up to this area of Ft. Pierce about 2 years ago, where I discovered a bunch of cool parks and nature areas, including Oxbow Eco-Center and Wildcat Cove. I couldn’t wait to go back to these two parks, and the weather couldn’t have been nicer – sunny, in the low 70’s with a gentle breeze. The first stop was at Oxbow Eco-Center. A beautiful park with a very nice nature center, this park sticks out as having one of the coolest and funnest hiking trails I’ve ever been on in south Florida, It didn’t disappoint the second time either. This is not your typical flat south Florida trail. The curves and elevation alone make it incredibly fun and a bit tough too; throw in the scenic St. Lucie River, and you got yourself a trail that I can’t wait to go back to…for a third time and more!
Up next was Heathcote Botanical Gardens, which I’ve never been to before but found out about it online. I’m glad I didn’t know what to expect because it had to be one of the smallest botanical gardens I’ve ever been to. I could’ve walked the whole thing in 5 minutes, but since I just paid $6 to get in, I figured I might as well get my money’s worth and take my time. Despite its size, though, it was very quaint and beautiful. It had a nice little Japanese garden, complete with a Japanese fountain and tea house. There was also a replica of a Pioneer Home from 1880. The grounds themselves were immaculate, and the colors of the flowers and foilage sparkled in the noon-day sun.
A natural area called Wildcat Cove was the next stop. The last time I was there, I remember walking along a path, with a pier every 200 feet or so, so I nicknamed it the Land of Piers. Since I didn’t go to all of them last time, I made sure I did this trip. Ten piers in all, numbered from…you guessed it…one to ten. There were quite a few fisherman out on these piers, and from what I saw, they were having pretty good luck. I asked one of them what he’s catching. “Sheephead”, he replied. I’m sure you’re thinking the same thing I was thinking when he told me that. Blaaahhh!
I ended my day with a nice late afternoon walk around the historic downtown section, where I checked out all the boats at the marina, and even saw a manatee swimming in the water at the Manatee Observation & Education Center. Despite its name, this the first time I actually observed a manatee there. And I’ve probably been here about half a dozen times. Nothing yet planned for next weekend, but you’ll be sure to hear about whatever I do and wherever I go.