Yesterday morning I had the pleasure of joining a group of hikers along a small section of the Florida National Scenic Trail. You may learn more about the Florida Trail Association by clicking HERE.
About a quarter mile past Portofino you will notice the sign above on the north side of the road. This is where our hike began. Don't forget to click on any of the photos you'd like to see in more detail. I can assure you my photos don't do justice to the beauty of the dunes and marshes.
Turning north, we followed white path markers which have an orange stripe at the top of the pole, making our way around the dunes. You can see one of the Portofino Towers to the west.
Hurricanes and tropical storms in the past few years have seriously eroded our dunes, but the surviving vegetation such as sand live oak allow the dunes to re-grow.
I was delighted when one of our trail guides pointed out wild rosemary which is blooming now.
The small shrubs smelled similar, though less pungent, to the potted variety I grow on my patio.
A beautiful piece of driftwood along the trail.
Our area is denoted as the Western Gate section of the Florida Trail.
An osprey nest! I'll have to come back this spring and try for photos of the osprey and its fledglings.
Nothing but 'bones' of this once beautiful, dense pine grove remain after the damage it received from hurricanes in 2004 and 2005.
There are several canals which run through Big Sabine Point. To me, they appear to be man-made, which is possible considering there are remains of an old fish hatchery in the area.
Remains of the fish hatchery which was built five or six decades ago. Though I've been unable to find details about the project, our trail guides had heard they were trying to raise pompano.
What a lovely day and a great hike. Be sure to check out the Florida Trail Association and try to join one of their hikes this spring. Hikes like these are halted during the summer months, but you can always check out their schedule by clicking HERE. The next dunes hike will be held (weather permitting) on March 13.