A Walk in the Park...
Sunday morning was nice and cool in Jacksonville. It was overcast, a bit misty, and in the low 60s. Just a lovely temperature to be outside. Yes, I could have gone fishing, but I didn't. Instead, stretching the legs felt appropriate, and I took a leisurely hike on the sandy trails of the Julington-Durbin Creek Preserve about ten minutes from my house.
One of the nice things about living in an area that's being (perhaps too rapidly) developed is at least they've been good about keeping greenspaces open for recreational activities. This little cache of nature is bordered on most sides by shopping centers and residential neighborhoods, but once your inside, you'd never know it.
Here are few photos from the five mile loop I took. Unfortunately, didn't see much wildlife, but it's not uncommon to see tortoises, turkey, or deer back there.
Related Suburban Development Note:
When I moved to Jacksonville and got a kayak, the first place I broke it in at was the Durbin Creek, which is part of the Bartram Canoe Trail, as mentioned in this post from back in the day. Well, back then, the creek was accessible down a gravel road that ran right off the main road down to the water. Fast forward 6 or 7 years, that gravel road is gone as there's now a fancy overpass going over the creek and each side is gated off.
I was pleased to see that after investigating retention ponds for fishing opportunities in the parking lot of the giant shopping center they built nearby, that they actually did maintain access to the creek. Although you can't drive down to the launch, they built a nice little boardwalk down to the water where there's a little floating dock.
It's not exactly the most convenient way to access the creek with a kayak or canoe, but it can be done, so I thought that was pretty great. I thought the access was lost forever.
I'll have to do a little more exploring in future days to see if there's an easier, nearby spot to "put in," perhaps accessible from the other bank; my guess is that there is, I just need to find it.