Land Management to take 8 participants on ‘A Walk in the Park in the Woods’ April 10

Striped newt

 Flagler County Land Management is hosting the 10th in its limited guided tour series called a “A Walk in the Park in the Woods.”

This tour begins at 8:45 a.m. sharp on April 10 at Princess Place Preserve on the Longleaf Trail loop. It is limited to eight (8) registrants, and participants are asked to arrive a little early for the safety briefing, and additional details about the two-hour hike – which is described as “easy” – on sandy trails and service roads.

Forestry Supervisor Ralph Risch will guide the walk.

“During this hike, we will look at overgrown sandhill habitat that has become upland hardwood hammock,” Risch said. “We will also examine a restored, healthy sandhill, which is a unique and increasingly rare Florida habitat due to fire suppression and conversion to citrus. We will see the plant species typical of sandhill – wiregrass, turkey oak, and longleaf pine – and discuss some of the animals that can be found there.”

These animals include the striped newt, for which Princess Place Preserve and the adjacent Pellicer Creek Conservation Area have the third largest population in the world based on the number of breeding ponds these threatened amphibians use. Many spring migrant birds are anticipated to be seen, as they stop to forage on their way north.

Participants who register (an account must be created) – and sign the two waivers: liability and photo/video release – will meet at 8:45 a.m. the park’s equestrian parking area, roughly 1.25 miles from the entrance. Registration is open through April 9.

Those who are participating should:

  • Expect a two-hour hike that may have some areas of uneven ground
  • Wear long pants and closed-toe shoes
  • Bring water, sunscreen, and insect repellent
  • Bring binoculars
  • Dress for weather – wear a hat and raincoat if necessary

Directions (please note that Old Kings Road is closed at U.S. 1)

  • Take either Old Kings Road from the south, or the Matanzas Woods Parkway detour at U.S. 1 to Old Kings Road and head north
  • At the Princess Place Preserve sign, turn east into the preserve
  • Drive east about one mile and go through the open gate in the wooden fencing
  • Drive about another .25 miles to the equestrian parking area on left (north side) and park there
  • Risch will be waiting there

By Chancelor DeWind

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *