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Savannas Schooling Middle Trails

Defending a string of basin marshes between Fort Pierce and Jensen Seaside, Savannas Protect State Park stretches throughout two counties with its practically 7,000 acres.

Radiating from the Schooling Middle trailhead, a pair of trails present a simple introduction to the habitats protected by this huge state park.

The Glass Lizard Path is a brief interpretive loop with an accessible overlook on the wetlands, whereas the Gopher Tortoise Path rambles farther afield.

Grassy path in open savanna Pathway by means of the pine savanna



Location: Port St. Lucie
Size: 1.9 mile loop and round-trip
Trailhead: 27.29975, -80.27204
Tackle: 2541 SE Walton Rd, Port St. Lucie
Charges: $3 per automobile
Restroom: At trailhead
Land supervisor: Florida State Parks
Cellphone: 772-398-2779

Open 8 AM to sundown. Leashed canines welcome. Day use solely.


From Interstate 95 exit 120 in Port St. Lucie, comply with Crosstown Parkway east for 7 miles to US 1. Flip south. Drive half a mile and get within the left lane for the sunshine at Walton Rd. Flip left and proceed 1.9 mile to the Schooling Middle trailhead. Flip proper instantly contained in the gate and pay your price on the iron ranger. Trails begin behind the Schooling Middle.


Comply with the accessible sidewalk previous a big picnic pavilion round to the again of the Schooling Middle.

Numbered interpretive markers are keyed to a brochure which can be accessible on the kiosk alongside the sidewalk.

Paved path to building Strategy to the Schooling Middle

Two named trails department out from this well-marked trailhead and interconnect with others. Begin your hike with the shorter one, the Glass Lizard Path.

Curving behind the middle on the sidewalk, go by a path turnoff at Marker 3. The sidewalk ends a tenth of a mile from the parking space at an overlook.

Winding sidewalk in woods past sign Begin of the Glass Lizard Path

Take within the expanse of freshwater wetlands, which lengthen from Fort Pierce to Jensen Seaside behind a sand ridge alongside the Indian River Lagoon.

The collection of pure linear basin marshes lies lower than a half mile from brackish waters for many of its size.

Marsh beyond grassy area Marsh view

Return to the path turnoff and make a left on the pure floor path. On the subsequent path junction at Marker 5, flip left to comply with a spur footpath.

It opens up onto the sting of the wetlands for a greater panorama than the accessible overlook, extra appropriate for birding.

Worn path in edge of wetland Soggy spur path

Initially established as a loop, this path now lifeless ends as everlasting hydrological change alongside the marshes have swallowed it up.

Comply with the swampy rim of the wetlands for higher views of the rafts of lily pads. Be alert for alligators and again off in case you spot any. Return the way in which you got here.

Lilies floating on marsh View from the soggy a part of the spur

Flip left onto the white-blazed path, a part of the unique White Path throughout your entire park, strolling by means of scrubby flatwoods.

Amid a sea of noticed palmetto, go a number of markers earlier than a junction on the suitable at Marker 10. You’ll return up to now. Bear left.

Trail marker in pine flatwoods Passing Marker 5

Proceed alongside the white blazes. A everlasting rise in waters within the wetlands has now made the White Path impassible south of Walton Rd.

Nevertheless, the spur to the that street crossing is a nice meander by means of scrubby flatwoods. Vegetation crowds in carefully alongside a well-defined grassy footpath beneath scattered pines.

White blaze on blackened palm trunk White-blazed hall

A vista seems on the left of the open waters of the marsh by means of a niche the place the loop path seemingly linked to this one prior to now.

At a half mile emerge from the forest right into a firebreak paralleling Walton Rd. The white blazes proceed to a street crossing, however flip round right here to return the way in which you got here.

Vista of marsh framed by low plants Vista throughout the marsh

At Marker 10, flip left to comply with the Glass Lizard Path. Circle previous extra interpretive markers across the entrance of the Schooling Middle.

Finishing this path at 0.9 mile, return to the sidewalk to the T intersection adjoining the middle and take the Gopher Tortoise Path to the left.

Trail sign and footpath towards pines Begin of the Gopher Tortoise Path

A mowed path into the pine savanna, it might be soggy in low spots. Visibility is in depth due to the low profile of the palmetto prairie beneath the pines.

Grassy spots are dotted with colourful wildflowers in spring and fall, with yellow globes of candyroot notably eye-catching.

Yellow flowers along trail amid pines The pine savanna

Comply with the curve of the path to a T intersection at a bench. Per the arrow marker, flip left, passing a white blaze on a pine on the subsequent curve.

A sluggish meander by means of this huge habitat reveals magnificence in miniature. Wildflowers thrive between tufts of grass in soggy spots alongside the path’s edge.

Grassy trail between pines Grassy path in lowlying prairie

1 / 4 mile into the Gopher Tortoise Path, the white ribbon forward is the graded street resulting in the canoe launch. It’s additionally blazed because the White Path.

A linear north-south path, the White Path extends to the north boundary of the park. Cross the street to immerse within the palmetto prairie, the place the noticed palmetto grows extra thickly.

Road in prairie Highway crossing

Amid charred spars of pines, cabbage palms add shade and texture to this open panorama, rising in quantity the place the path reaches a T intersection.

Flip proper. Cross an out of doors classroom, a cluster of benches and podium in a clearing, offering a relaxation cease.

Junction of trails amid pines and palms Path junction

Now broader, the grassy path marks an ecotone between palmetto prairie and a dense thicket of wax myrtle. The understory thickens, the pine-palm flatwoods turning into damper.

At a half mile, curve previous a tannic slough edged by lush vegetation, an excellent dwelling for turtles and alligators.

Slough with palm fronds to edges Trailside slough

The spur path ends at a big gated-off parking space with a kiosk, the Sandhill Crane trailhead. It lies simply across the nook of the street from parking at Sandhill Crane Park.

Return alongside this spur previous the slough and the outside classroom. On the path junction, proceed straight forward alongside the mowed path.

Trailhead with kiosk Sandhill Crane trailhead

Cabbage palms rise above a dense noticed palmetto understory. The white ribbon of the graded street is seen nicely earlier than you attain it.

Cross between a trio of posts to exit onto it and switch proper, in the direction of the park entrance.

Palmetto adjoining posts across trail Wanting again on the posts

Go away the street earlier than the entry gate. Comply with the arrow posts and the mowed strip across the parking space in the direction of the picnic pavilion.

Reaching the trailhead, you’ve accomplished a mile circuit of the Gopher Tortoise Path, tallying 1.9 miles in case you hike each of the Schooling Middle Trails.

picnic pavilion Picnic pavilion at trailhead

Path Map

Savannas Preserve Education Center Trails Map
Inexperienced: Gopher Tortoise Path. Blue: Glass Lizard Path. Purple: White Path connector to East Coast Greenway. Yellow: White Path connector to North Finish Trails.

Discover Extra!

Be taught extra about Savannas Protect State Park

Pine savanna grassy understory beneath pines Savannas Preserve State Park Uncover a grand expanse of moist prairies and pine flatwoods extending throughout two counties to the west of the Indian River Lagoon.


A stroll by means of the Schooling Middle Trails


See our photographs from this hike

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