Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

SAL TAYLOR CREEK PRESERVE; Peaceful Place to Ride or Run and See the Wildlife

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

SAL TAYLOR CREEK PRESERVE; Peaceful Place to Ride or Run and See the Wildlife

Article excerpt

Every week through October, the Outside section will profile one of the Timucuan Trail Parks that form a ring around Jacksonville.

LOCATION

Sal Taylor Creek Preserve is on Nathan Hale Road, which extends south from Normandy Boulevard just west of Cecil Commerce Center and the Jacksonville Equestrian Center. To reach the trailhead, drive south from Normandy Boulevard on Nathan Hale Road for just under a mile, and the trailhead and unpaved parking area are on the left.

HOURS

Sunrise to sunset, 365 days a year. No admission fee.

DESCRIPTION

The Sal Taylor Creek Preserve is 406 acres of primarily pine plantation, with areas of isolated wetlands and beautiful bottomlands around Sal Taylor Creek. There are approximately 4 miles of trails within the park, some being fairly wide former forest roads and other spur trails being narrower walking paths. The trails are open to equestrian use and are stable enough for trail running and trail biking. There are horse tie-ups and parking for horse trailers. The trails also connect to the Cecil Field Conservation Corridor trails, which are former forest roads.

Sal Taylor is usually quiet and is not heavily used. There is good wildlife viewing (deer, turkey, gopher tortoises) and hikers also can see wildflowers and carnivorous plants. At least one piebald deer (white with brown patches) has been seen using these woods.

HISTORY

The city of Jacksonville purchased Sal Taylor in 2001, with the help of a Florida Communities Trust grant and the Trust for Public Lands. The preserve had been known as the "Nathan Hale Property," but was renamed for the creek system that runs through it. Sal Taylor Creek ultimately flows to Black Creek and then to the St. Johns River.

ACTIVITIES

Activities at the preserve include hiking, horseback riding, biking and wildlife observation. …

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