Are you big into birding? Or perhaps have the kids in tow? We match your interests with one of the many nature preserves and parks in Jensen Beach.
The variety of nature preserve and parks in the Jensen Beach region, where Hutchinson Shores Resort & Spa is located, is almost overwhelming. So which one is right for your preferred vacation style? Here, we give a breakdown of the most unique and varied, according to the type of visitor it suits best.
Best for Walking Your Dog: Kiplinger Nature Preserve
The one-mile loop trail that runs through Kiplinger Nature Preserve passes wetlands (including freshwater and mangrove swamps, wet prairie, and estuarine river), goes over raised boardwalks, and finishes back along the river, making it an easy but scenic stroll to take with your pup (Hutchinson Shores Resort & Spa welcomes your canine companions, too). It’s a good spot for the occasional wildlife sightings, too, like manatees, Great Blue Heron, the Golden Silk Spider, Snowy Egret, raccoons, and the rare gator.
Best for Recreation: Halpatiokee Regional Park
Bring your A-game to what is known as Martin County’s largest park (65 acres of active park space is surrounded by 500 acres of wetland preserve). While Halpatiokee offers a vast network of hiking, biking, and paddling (feel free to bring your own kayak or canoe) trails, what really sets it apart is all the room for recreation: there are soccer and football fields, a disc golf course, softball and baseball fields, tennis courts, and even pickleball courts.
Best for Birding: Ocean Bay Preserve
Pelicans, sandpiper, and gulls are just a few of the frequently spotted birds at Ocean Bay Preserve, a 53-acre upland wetland preserve. A mile-long, self-guided trail (lush with cabbage palm, sea grape, wild lime, and more) brings visitors through the beach and dune ecosystem, while the trail across A1A spills out into the Indian River Lagoon, where visitors report plenty of sightings.
Best for Kayaking: Savannas Preserve State Park
For just a $3 fee deposited into an “honor box,” visitors can explore Savannas Preserve State Park’s 15 miles of multi-use trails, rich with vegetation, to get an idea of what Florida looked like pre-humans. While the water levels occasionally get too low (call beforehand), the park gives visitors easy entry to the largest freshwater marsh system in southeast Florida. If looking to get familiar with the area before going out on your own, book a guided tour held Friday and Saturday mornings at 8:30 a.m.
Best for Families: Indian Riverside Park
Indian Riverside Park, located along the Indian River Lagoon, is the perfect setting for a family afternoon at the beach – that is, if you’re able to pull the kids away from the splash pad, spewing up streams of water seven days a week, from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. Four picnic pavilions make it easy to enjoy a picnic and get some reprieve from the sun, too.
Where to Stay Hutchinson Shores Resort & Spa