Flat Island Preserve.

Florida Guide > Days Out

If you enjoy walking during your holiday and especially if you enjoy walking in the Old Floridan areas then this article will be right up your street!

One area I would like to recommend to you is Flat Island Preserve (The Daubermile Trail) This was named after Jean and Rexford Daubermile who were keen botanists. They did much to ensure the preservation of this area for the enjoyment of future generations.

There are some 2000 acres to enjoy here and they are divided into 3 distinct areas. First is Magnolia Island, then Flat Isand and finally Okhumpta Marsh.

To get to Magnolia Island you wil need to hire a canoe from Fat Island Boardwalk (more of that later)

The marsh is in an unusual situation, since it is sited on a hydrologic dividing point on the waters that take you to Ocawaha River one way and Withacoochee River the other. And for those of you that did not know (and I had to ask) a hydrologic divide is a boundary across which water cannot flow. So another reason to visit this area to view something that most of the worlds population has not seen.

There are over 100 different species of plants here on the marsh and Flat Island. These incude some colourful mushrooms, lots of unusual trees and plenty of rare wild flowers.

The trails are made up of three and a half miles of natural habitat. The main trails are identified by orange markings and the cross trails by blue. A side trail takes you to the canoe launch area via a boardwalk. This overlooks the marsh. Marshes attract mosquitos (particularly during the summer)so bear that in mind.

This is how to get there:

From the 27 (south of Leesburg) take the S. R. 25 A.
Turn on to Owen Road and follow the road til you get to the well marked trail head.

I cannot stress enough that this is a natural area without shops and cafes so take everything you could possibly need with you.

Here is a list

To wear

Comfortable shoes, a couple of layers of clothes, roll up mac (in case of sudden heavy rain) long trousers to protect your legs) a sun hat.

To Take

Sun cream
Sun Glasses
Insect repellant
antihistimines (in case you react to a bite)
lots of water
Snacks (trail mix is good)
Small book that identifies local flora and fauna
(all in a back pack)

This possibly will not entertain you all day so plan a route that takes you past another nice trail. State Parks are usually good for that.

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