Mobility and Activity: Biking and Hiking in Brevard
Authored by Angelika Keene
Last week of October and first week of November are Mobility week. Mobility Week is a celebration of making smart, efficient, and safe multimodal transportation choices. In honor of mobility week this blog post is going to highlight multi-use and hiking trails within Brevard that are great for individuals and families. As with any outdoor activity it is important to be prepared by bringing water, sunscreen, and bug spray to stay safe.
Before heading out to these multi-use trails, take a moment to review some important biking and hiking safety tips with your children.
Here are 5 of our top tips for youth when riding their bicycle or hiking trails:
- Wear a properly fitted helmet while riding a bicycle.
- Ride or walk on the designated trail or path.
- Follow all trail, roadway, and path rules.
- Wear bright colors, especially while riding or walking at night.
- Ride or hike with a responsible adult- don’t go alone.
Did you know Titusville is considered a trail town? It has access to three converging multi-use trails: Florida Coast to Coast Trail (not completed East Coast Greenway, and St. John’s River to Sea Loop (not completed). Florida Coast-to-Coast Trail plans to connect the Atlantic Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico (250 mi). The East Coast Greenway connects Florida to Maine (3,000 miles) and the St. John’s River-to-Sea Loop (260 mi) will connect five Florida counties in a loop. These trails are made up of many smaller multi-use trails that stem from Titusville. You can find more information about these three trails at the links below:
East Coast Central Regional Rail Trail (ECRRT)
The ECRRT is a 51-mile multi-use, paved, 12-foot-wide trail connecting Titusville to Enterprise, Florida. This trail can be accessed at the Titusville Welcome Center located at 419 S Hopkins Ave, Titusville, FL 32796. This trail can be traveled in both directions and includes a 15 mile stretch through Brevard from Canaveral Avenue in Titusville to the Brevard/Volusia County line.
Chain of Lakes
Chain of Lakes has multiple multi-use trail options to choose from: 1, 2, 3 or 3+ mile trails. All these trails are mostly paved, with the off-road sections still being accessible and easy for bicyclists. These trails border a series of interconnected lakes that treat stormwater before it filters into the Indian River Lagoon. The trails are accessible from 2300 Truman Scarborough Way, Titusville, FL 32796.
Fox Lake Park
Fox Lake Park offers a selection of multi-use trail paths suitable for bikers, walkers, and equestrians. The trails form two loops but there are options to go different ways which makes the length of the trails vary between 3.6 – 5.2 miles long. The path is a mixture of off-road and paved. The park is located at 4400 Fox Lake Rd, Titusville, FL 32796.
Enchanted Forest Sanctuary
The Enchanted Forest Sanctuary encompasses 471-acres of natural Florida habitat with over 4 miles of hiking trails. According to the City of Titusville, multiple habitats can be seen here including oak, scrub, mesic, hydric hammock, wet prairie, and pine flatwood. This trail is for walkers only and the site offers guided tours based on appointments. This sanctuary is located at 444 Columbia Blvd, Titusville, FL 32780.
Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge
The Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge is a 140,000-acre sanctuary that houses various ecosystems such as coastal dunes and saltwater marshes. This refuge includes multiple hiking trails: Oak Hammock (1/2 mi), Palm Hammock (3 mi), Cruickshank (4.5 mi loop), and Scrub Ridge Trail (1 mi). First time visitors are encouraged to visit the Visitors Center which is located at 1987 Scrub Jay Way, Titusville, FL 32782. In addition to the multiple hiking trails, there is a quarter mile, 15-minute leisure boardwalk stemming from the visitor center that walks by two ponds and a butterfly garden.
Canaveral Marshes Trail
The Canaveral Marshes Trail is a 4.8 linear walk that goes through the St. John’s River floodplain, cow pastures, and an Indian mound. This trail is off-road and includes two-foot bridges crossing the Addison Canal. The Marsh Trail lacks shade and can include the occasional wild animal. Caution is encouraged! It is located at 4755 Cheney Hwy, Titusville, FL 32780.
Did you know Palm Bay and Melbourne offer a wide selection of beautiful boardwalks, wildlife hikes, and cyclist paths that immerse you into wild Florida? This is a list broken up into multi-use and pedestrian only trails. This list is not all inclusive and just highlights some of the biking and hiking opportunities these cities have to offer.
Brevard Zoo Linear Park Trail
The Linear Park Trail is a predominant 10-foot wide boardwalk trail that allows access to walkers, bikers, and pets. This trail follows a portion of the Hernández–Capron Trail, which was created by the Spanish when they occupied Florida as the first road to connect St. Augustine and the Fort Pierce Area. Educational markers can be viewed along the trail offering information about the local culture and wildlife. This trail also will overlook the Richard M. Gramling Pond. The trail is 2.6 miles in one direction which connects Brevard Zoo to Pineda. There is a 0.6 mi extension that passes Pineda to connect to Turtle Mound. Linear Park trail can be accessed from the south end of the Brevard Zoo parking lot located at 8225 North Wickham Road, Melbourne, 32940 or the North East corner of the Pineda Causeway I-95 Interchange.
*This trail offers very little shade – come prepared!*
The Viera Wetland’s trail takes you through the 54-acre Ritch Grissom Memorial Wetlands. There are multiple loops located within these wetlands which include an observation tower approximately 0.5 miles into the area. Certain times of the year, this trail is open to vehicles. This trail offers no shade but tons of wildlife including but not limited to birds, deer, otters, alligators, turtles, and the occasional bobcat. Pets, pedestrians, and bicyclists are welcome but be on the lookout for alligators and vehicles. This trail is also subject to close without notice due to multiple factors including weather. This hotline number can be called to check hours and status: 321-255-4488. The Viera Wetlands is located at 10001 N Wickham Rd, Melbourne, FL 32940. *This trail offers very little shade -come prepared!*
Moccasin Island Tract
The Moccasin Island Tract is a rural 7.2-mile trail with a loop that is part of the River Lakes Conservation Area. This trail will take you to the edge of the St. John’s River and includes three separate paths: red, yellow, and white. This trail is the most rugged of the trails on this list and should be done with proper precautions in mind. The Moccasin Island Tract is not shaded, unpaved, and includes dangerous animals such as alligators and the occasional Florida Cottonmouth. Cyclists, pedestrians, and leashed pets are welcome, but cyclists are encouraged to use “fat tires.” Also, hunting seasons should be noted and researched. This trail is located at 23002 N Wickham Rd, Melbourne. *This trail offers very little shade -come prepared!*
Erna Nixon Park
The Erna Nixon Park Boardwalk is a 0.8-mile loop that takes you through the 54-acre hammock preserve. The boardwalk is elevated to keep you dry while enjoying the sights which are clearly marked with informative markers. This trail is wheelchair accessible and includes a butterfly garden at the entrance to the boardwalk. This trail does not allow cyclists or pets, but birdwatchers are encouraged. This trail can be accessed at 1200 Evans Road, West Melbourne.
Turkey Creek Boardwalk
The Turkey Creek Boardwalk is roughly 3.4 miles of multiple trails. The main section is a numbered boardwalk that includes sections of unpaved trail options to diverge from the main trail. All these trail options are marked with signage and markings on trees that line the path. The habitats offered on this trail is eclectic including views of sand pine scrub, saw palmettos, live oak, the Turkey Creek, and hardwood hammocks. This trail is for pedestrians only – pets are not welcome. The trailhead is located at 1518 Port Malabar Boulevard NE Palm Bay, FL 32905.