Savannas Preserve State Park - Halpatiokee
The Halpatiokee Nature Trails are located in the Savannas Preserve State Park. The Halpatiokee Nature Trails
total one mile in length and meander through several diverse
ecosystems. The side trails wind through oak scrub habitat
and wet hammock communities. Scrub habitats comprise an
increasingly imperiled ecosystem characterized by
nutrient-poor soils, periodic drought, seasonally high
rainfall, frequent wild fires, and plants and animals
endemic to Florida. A number of animals are found in the oak
scrub habitats, including some of Florida's most threatened
and endangered species. Among them are the gopher tortoise (Gopherus
polyphemus), the eastern indigo snake (Masticophis flagellum
flagellum), and the Florida scrub jay (Aphelocoma
coerulescens). Many other animals also utilize scrub areas
for feeding and for shelter.
The main trail is approximately a half mile long and
terminates at a dock on the North Fork/St. Lucie River.
Trail users can launch canoes or kayaks from the dock. The
St. Lucie Estuary and River watershed are drained by several
creeks and canals that flow into the North Fork of the St.
Lucie River before entering the Indian River Lagoon near the
St. Lucie Inlet. Along the river, one is likely to see
several species of waterfowl such as the great blue heron,
little blue heron, reddish egret and the snowy egret.