Cedar Key Scrub State Reserve is located on the State Road 24, just six miles east of Cedar Key. This gorgeous reserve is host to rare animals, diverse ecosystems and unique plants and animals. Take advantage of the many miles of trails to explore the region. Whether you’re on foot, on a bike or on horseback, you’re sure to love the great Florida state reserve.
The more than 5,000 acre reserve became a reserve in 1978. This diverse ecosystem was recognized early on by state officials and was quickly purchased for preservation. Home to Bald Eagles, scrub jays and gopher tortoises, these rare and endangered animals are just as important as the unique plants and trees that these animals call home.
Florida Scrubs have been an integral part of western Florida and are primarily dominated by three distinct species of trees. Live oaks, scrub oaks and saw palmettos. Prescribed fire helps keep these rare ecosystems alive with new growth.
There are numerous multi-use trails that run through both sides of the reserve. The reserve is cut into two sections by CR 347. The eastern portion of the park is the smaller section and boasts four miles of scenic trails. The western section is twice the size and has twice as many trails at eight miles.
The western half of the reserve takes you through parts of Black Point Swamp. While the name denotes wet and mosquito filled visions, it’s really a giant salt marsh with some very fantastic views. The trails meanders near many streams slough and rivers that provide ample opportunities to land the big one.
It’s also a good place to canoe or kayak. While the park doesn’t yet offer a boat launch, nearby Cedar Key has several outfitters that rent canoes and kayaks with a large boat ramp that leads directly into the Gulf of Mexico.
While enjoying the trail during fall and winter months, it is advised that hunters orange be displayed on your person at all times. Limited hunting does occur in the park during the months of September through November. Here’s a link for the hunting brochure if you have any questions.
A small picnic area with covered pavilion, picnic tables and grill is located at the entrance to the preserve. A small composting toilet is available, however there is no water here so pack it in with the hamburgers and hot dogs.
For more information about this amazing Florida preserve, visit the website here for directions and other questions about Cedar Key Scrub State Reserve.