Hiking the Coastal Strand Trail

Coastal Strand Trail found at North Peninsula

Take a walk on the wild side

Gopher Tortoise  on Coastal Strand Trail
Gopher tortoise burrow along the trail

The Coastal Strand Trail is an invigorating 2.5-mile hike that begins at Smith Creek Landing.

The first portion of this leisurely hike takes place in a shady maritime hammock. It occurs on old coastal dunes that have been stabilized long enough for the growth of a forest that can be found in interrupted patches along much of Florida’s coast. The vegetation is pruned and flattened by the salt spray, angling away from the ocean. 

Once you reach the powerlines, you will be traversing through sunny coastal strand and looping back. These coastal dunes are vegetated with a dense thicket of salt-tolerant shrubs, which provide excellent cover for small mammals, rodents, reptiles and birds. You might even catch a glimpse of the Atlantic Ocean from one of the high points on the trail.

Be sure to look for the well-placed, interpretive signs located along the hiking trail. They highlight special resident species such as the gopher tortoise and garberia, an increasingly rare plant that lives in dry, scrubby habitats. 

We recommend you bring:

  • Sturdy, comfortable walking shoes/boots and a hat.
  • Plenty of water, sunscreen, insect repellent and snacks.
  • Map, compass and cellphone.