In Cedar Key Florida it is so convenient to visit a State Park or State Trail. I have listed a few of the State parks in our area. In addition, there are some glorious National Refuge Islands in the Cedar Key area that warrant visiting.
Museum State Park – 12231 S.W. 166th Court – Cedar Key, Florida 32625 –
A short nature trail gives visitors the opportunity to see wildlife and birds, as well as native vegetation. Small gray squirrels, doves, mockingbirds, blue jays, woodpeckers, and green tree frogs can be seen on the museum grounds and along the walking trail.
Well-behaved dogs are welcome at Cedar Key Museum State Park. They must be kept on a 6-foot leash at all times and cannot be left unattended for more than a half-hour. Dogs are not permitted in the museum or St. Clair Whitman house.
The Shell Mound Unit of Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge is adjacent to Cedar Keys National Wildlife Refuge. This unique feature was created by archaic period Eastern Woodland Indian cultures by discarding oyster and clam shells they used as a food source. The area was inhabited by this culture for at least 1,000 years from about 450 to 1,800 years ago. Once used as a source of materials for road construction (prior to Refuge ownership) the mound is now protected from all but foot traffic, attracting about 60,000 visitors per year, yet it never seems like anyone else is there.
This is a sea kayakers playground, a shallow ocean area often only inches deep over hidden oyster bars, located among barrier islands and thick with wildlife. For inexperienced sea kayakers, these serene waters are a safe, accessible place to get comfortable with ocean kayaking without the interference of constant motor boat traffic. Experienced kayakers will love the area for its tranquil beauty or as a jump off point for greater adventures, such as paddling five miles up the coast to the Suwannee River, or wilderness camping on Clark Island, just an hour paddle north of Shell Mound.
Call (352) 221-4466 for information on the Shell Mound Campground and county park.
Cedar Key Scrub State Park
The site is located 6 miles NE of Cedar Key on SR 24.
Hours of Operation
Florida state parks are open from 8 a.m. until sundown 365 days a year.
There is no entrance fee for this park.
Cedar Key Scrub State Reserve is a joint managed area located in the western edge of Levy County. The property is managed by the Division of Recreation and Parks, Florida Fish and Wildlife ConservationCommission, and the Division of Forestry.
Saltwater fishing is popular in the adjacent waters.
The reserve utilizes existing jeep trails for multi-use trails, totaling about four miles on the east portion and eight miles on the western portion. The reserve is divided into two portions by CR347 which runs between Cedar Keys and Fowlers Bluff. These trails are primarily used for hiking, but are also available for bicycling and horseback riding. The diverse habitats of the reserve provide opportunities for nature studyand wildlife observation.
A small picnic area with a waterless composting toilet is located at the trail head on the eastern portion of the reserve. A picnic shelter, picnictables, grills, and informational kiosk are also located in this area. The trailhead has a stabilized parking area to accommodate about 15 vehicles.
VISIT A STATE PARK OR STATE TRAIL ON THANKSGIVING DAY
~ Most state parks and trails are open 365 days a year ~
If you enjoy a traditional turkey feast on Thanksgiving, get some exercise and work off your meal with a hike at a state park, like this turkey did at Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park. Photo by Paul Strauss.
TALLAHASSEE – The Florida Park Service invites all Florida residents and visitors to enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday in a state park. Most of Florida’s state parks will be open their regular hours, 8 a.m. to sunset on Thursday, Nov. 28. So, after the feast or when out-of-town visitors or children need to be entertained, head to your local state park or state trail for a hike, bicycle ride or to soak up the sun.
“This is an excellent time to enjoy nature, fresh air and Florida’s famous sunshine with family and friends,” said Donald Forgione, Florida Park Service Director. “I encourage Floridians to bring their visiting relatives to their local state park for fun activities and to make unforgettable holiday memories.”
Most of Florida’s award-winning state parks are open 365 days a year and some museums or historic sites have different hours, and may be open only five days a week. Visit www.floridastateparks.org for information about all 171 state parks and trails.
To celebrate the fall season, Florida’s state parks offer a variety of fall festivals and fun family events. Whether you’re interested in making family memories, longing for an outdoors trip or simply looking to take a break, Florida’s state parks offer the perfect setting for outdoor recreation. Visit the website for special events and guided tours, hikes and paddles and ranger programs to celebrate the fall season.
In October, the Florida State Parks System won its third Gold Medal of Excellencefrom the National Recreation and Parks System. This makes Florida the first three-time gold medal award recipient. Since 1935, the Florida Park Service has provided recreational activities, while preserving, interpreting and restoring natural and cultural resources.
For a list of parks or activities are closed for Thanksgiving, Nov. 28, click here.
About Florida State Parks, Greenways and Trails
The Florida Park Service is the proud recipient of three National Gold Medals for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management, making Florida America’s first three-time Gold Medal winner. The awards were received in 1999, 2005 and 2013 from the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration and the National Recreation and Park Association.
Florida’s 171 state parks and trails inspire residents and visitors with recreation opportunities and scenic beauty that help strengthen families, educate children, expand local economies and foster community pride. With 161 parks, 10 state trails, nearly 800,000 acres, 100 miles of beaches and more than 1,500 miles of multi-use trails, visit soon and often to enjoy Florida’s natural treasures. Download the Florida State Parks Pocket Ranger® mobile app, available on iTunes and Android Market, to plan your trip and enhance your experience while visiting. For more information, visit www.FloridaStateParks.org