Park hopping in Malabar and Melbourne

I drove up north 2 and a half hours Saturday morning to spend the day in a couple cities that I’ve been to quite often, but only to play the disc golf courses there. This time, I went not for the golf but for all the different parks and points of interest. My first two stops were at Micco Scrub Sanctuary and Jordan Scrub Sanctuary, both in MalabaTurkey Creek Sanctuaryr. Unfortunately. this isn’t the best time to go to these places, as the mosquitos and swampy conditions made hiking on the trails near impossible. After only spending a few minutes at each place, the next Malabar stop was a welcome surprise. Turkey Creek Sanctuary has a great 2-mile boardwalk nature trail that goes along Turkey Creek. After thoroughly enjoying this park and hike, I headed up the road and over to Erna Nixon Park in Melbourne. Another fun hike along a wooded boardwalk, I then headed east towards the beach for all the other parks in the area. My next stop was at Coconut Point Sanctuary, which features a nice trail through a pine scrub area. Then, another quick hike at the Maritime Hammock Sanctuary. It was definitely time for a breather, which I was able to take at the Barrier Island Sanctuary, where I took in the exhibits at the Management & Education Center. After cooling off in the AC for a bit, I hiked the trail across the street from the center. My southeastward adventure Pelican Island National Wildlife Refugethen took me to Long Point Park. Essentially, it’s a campground with a few small hiking trails, which, of course, I did. I then stopped by the Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge.which has the distinction of being the very first Wildlife Refuge in the US. It was designated in 1903 by Teddy Roosevelt. I’ve been to this refuge many times before, and I always enjoy looking out at Pelican Island, even though I didn’t see any pelicans out there this time, which is very rare. I continued my trek south until I got to Vero Beach, where I visited Riverside Park and the Veterans Memorial Island Sanctuary. I’ve also been here quite a few times, and I always love walking out along the sanctuary island. After some time there, I got back onto the highway to head back home. Unfortunately, I only got about 20 miles down the road when I got a flat tire. After changing it, I didn’t feel comfortable driving on 95 on my spare, so I got off around Jupiter and headed along the beach down A1A. Since I hadn’t eaten all day, I stopped by the Captain Charlie’s Reef Grill in Juno Beach for some excellent conch chowder and jerk pork kabobs. I then enjoyed a long but leisurely cruise back to my abode.

Riverside Park

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