Savannas Preserve State Park

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We decided to step out a few times a week and go on some day hikes instead of just around the block on our daily walks.

This past sunny Saturday morning, Penny and I took a look around the trails at the Savannas Preserve State Park on Walton Road in Port Saint Lucie.

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You can pick up a map at the entrance and get an overview of the trails at the park. It’s also a good idea to familiarize yourself with the markings for the trails you choose to follow.

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Savannas are an endangered natural system of freshwater marshes. This preserve is the largest and most intact remnant of Florida east coast savannas. The park stretches 10 miles from Fort Pierce to Jensen and hosts 8 miles of trails and is open from 8 a.m. to sundown.

Guided walks as well as canoe and kayak tours are available on weekends with reservations required. The park also hosts an environmental center, but I didn’t think I could bring Penny inside for a tour. ; )

You can find more detailed information about navigating the Savannas Preserve online at Florida Hikes.  Happy hiking!

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Saint Lucie County Fair

February Fun at the Saint Lucie County Fair

Who doesn’t get a little excited when they see a Ferris wheel in the distance?

Fairs always make me want to watch Charlotte’s Web. They call to the child in each of us; our day at the Saint Lucie County Fair did just that.

We started our day at the petting zoo. After paying a dollar for a cup of carrots, we entered the feeding frenzy. The animals were all happy and healthy. Playful baby goats entertained us as their siblings stuck their heads through the bottom of their pens and snatched at our cup of carrots. Sneaky goats. The piggies posed for us while the emus remained aloof. We expected cows – but kangaroos and a zebra? That’s what I’m talking about – best petting zoo ever!

More animals awaited us as we meandered down the wide paved paths that were a welcome addition to the “new” fairgrounds, as were the barns built especially for the horses, steers, and hogs on concrete flooring. Those visiting the fair with strollers or wheelchairs had great accessibility to all events.

Ever seen a Clydesdale? They are a creature like no other. You slow down and bask in their presence differently than the other animals. I kinda stood there in awe for a little while, like my nephew did when the camel bent down to visit him. I walked away glad to have had the moment.

As night fell, the lure of the lights drew us over to the rides and games, but first to the ticket booth for a $20 wrist band. The rides were plentiful, clean, well maintained, and had friendly attendants. We mainly kept to the kiddie rides and enjoyed some “shark” fishing where my nephew won a glow in the dark light saber.

We rode home with the dim glow of fair magic beaming in the back seat as the little ones drifted off to sleep. A day well spent…

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Oxbow Eco Center

So much to explore and get your hands on and your eyes around at a nature center. We are blessed to locally have “The Oxbow.” I love to watch the wonder in a child’s eye when they experience something for the first time, like standing eye to eye with an otter.

Ever lay your hand across the back of a bobcat? Curious about a crane’s beak? Then head to the Oxbow. Your experience can be different every time. On our last visit, the staff had just received a nest of baby birds that had fallen out of a neighboring tree – we were mesmerized as their little beaks chirped up at us.

Peek through the glass at the snakes and turtles, run your fingers through the sand at the sensory table, take a hike on the trails…all part of a day well spent.

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