Castaway Island Preserve Trail (Jacksonville Beach, Florida)
Date: Sunday 29th June 2014
Company: Myself, Carole and Becky
Distance: 1.6km

Before driving to Castaway Island this morning, I re-visited Doctor's Lake where I saw an Osprey and a Heron.


I found out about the Castaway Island Preserve trail on the excellent Florida Hikes website. It took circa 45 minutes to drive from our base in Florida to the Castaway Island Preserve. This was my first experience of driving in the U.S. without guidance from family . Driving on the right-side of the road with the steering wheel on the left of the car and no clutch made for an interesting experience.

On arrival, we visited the jetty before undertaking the trail. 

Becky on Castaway Island jetty:

View from Castaway Island jetty:

Several signs near the jetty informed us of the history of the Intracoastal Waterway.

Looking towards the Intracoastal Waterway:

Fishing boat (zoom):

The Castaway Island Preserve Trail is ideal for all ages. The entire trail is undertaken on concrete pavement with only a short diversion out, via a wooden walkway, to see the salt marshes. There are numerous information boards along the way describing some of the local wildlife including opossum, rattlesnakes, heron, armadillo, etc. Between the information boards are painted footprints of various animals e.g. a painted rattlesnake trail leads to the Rattlesnake information board. This is a great walk for kids as the vegetation is also well back from the track.

Carole and Becky at start of trail:

Castaway Island Preserve information:

Despite all the excellent wildlife described on the information boards, we saw little in the way of wildlife. We did see a Mourning Dove, numerous lizards, a woodpecker and a cardinal.

Mourning Dove:

Trail information:

Boardway to salt marshes:

Unlike the other two walks previously undertaken, we met several other groups today walking and cycling the same short trail.

View from Boardway:

Salt marshes:

Salt marshes:

Lizards, skinks and azoles are really common in Florida. They are literally everywhere. It was nice to see three different species today, the Green Azole a Six-lined Roadrunner and another that was too fast to photograph.

Green Azole:

Six-lined Racerunner:

This was nice walk albeit a little on the short side.