St. Lucie County
Halpatiokee Nature Trails
St. Lucie River Preserve State Par
The Halpatiokee Nature Trails are located in the St. Lucie River 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.