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Titusville, Florida, "Nature's Downtown" and a Birders Paradise!

April 03, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 106

The City of Titusville, located along Florida's Space Coast at the gateway to Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge and Canaveral National Seashore to the east, is already known as a world class birding destination. But considering the over 88,000 acres of wilderness and wildlife conservation lands west of the city, and great birding and hiking venues within the city itself, Titusville can justifiably be called "Nature's Downtown", a birder's and outdoor adventurer's paradise!

You would think that a town of 40,000 people and directly across from Kennedy Space Center would not be a town whereas you could have much in the way of opportunities to enjoy Florida as it was 100 years ago, but considering that Titusville is the only mainland town along Florida's Space Coast that has the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge and Canaveral National Seashore as it's beachside neighbors, Titusville is already considered by some to be a world class destination for birding, and upon visiting them you will see that it's no wonder these sites are included in the Great Florida Birding Trail. Miles of kayaking and 7 hiking trails offer the more adventurous opportunities to get have a great Florida adventure, but they are barely scratching the surface of Titusville's nature based tourism opportunities.

What really sets Titusville apart, and is so often overlooked, is the St. Johns River Basin, home of one of America's "Nile". This basin provides an extensive development buffer between Titusville and the Greater Orlando Area, our nearest major city to the west of Titusville. The majority of these lands are contained within state or county conservation lands and offer a multitude of outdoor adventure opportunities.

In fact, a drive from Titusville to State Road 46 west to the small town of Geneva, then southwest to Chuluota, southeast to Christmas then returning to Titusville by State Road 50, you will never be more than about five minutes from a birding or hiking location. You will pass by 12 separate public properties encompassing 88,679 acres of birding and hiking, with many of these properties also offering boating, kayaking, off road or mountain biking, fishing, seasonal hunting, and backcountry or primitive camping accessible by auto, mountain bike, hiking trails, or kayak, and again, many of these are listed on the Great Florida Birding Trail.

Within the city of Titusville you have the flagship property of the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program, the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary, another Great Florida Birding trail location, with over 300 acres of hiking trails. Several lesser known hiking and birding venues include the 44 acre Dicerandra Sanctuary with a plant only known to exist in the Titusville area, Dicerandra Thinicola, and a population of Florida Scrub Jays near the northwestern section of the property adjacent to the City's South Area Well-fields. Wuesthoff Park offers more hiking and birding, and another even smaller property hidden away within Titusville, the Six Acre Walking Trail, offers a quick hike through a scrubby sand pine habitat and surprisingly good birding for migrants during the late fall through early spring. The Titusville Well-fields Trail is a paved multi-use trail winding through 300 acres of native scrub habitat offering birding by foot, bike, and wheelchair. Fox Lake Park, also in the Birding Trail located along the west side of town offers a chance for sighting birds normally associated with freshwater habitats such as Limpkins and also has resident Sand Hill Cranes. The Blue Heron Wetlands just west of Titusville on State Road 50 offers great birding along the berms that line the treatment ponds for the city's wastewater and is another listing on the Great Florida Birding Trail. On the north end of Titusville, the Chain of Lakes Storm Water Park offers 3 miles of paved trail and bridges around a serpentine storm water lake with views of restored wetlands, an Indian River Lagoon observation tower, and is yet another Great Florida Birding Trail Site.

Titusville's Indian River Lagoon Waterfront boasts several parks along the shoreline of this America's most biologically diverse estuary offering chances to see many species of waterfowl, and wading birds, as well as West Indian Manatees, Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphins, and the occasional American Alligator. Some of these are also sites along the Great Florida Birding Trail.

While many cities the size of Titusville are suburbs of even larger cities, Titusville, surrounded by conservation land, is more of a suburb of Florida Nature and can justifiably be called "Nature's Downtown", just big enough to have the quality hotels, RV parks, campgrounds, restaurants, and even some nightlife for visitors to enjoy, but not so big that you'll be fighting traffic just to enjoy the area.

For more information about birding or other outdoor activities in the Titusville Area, go to, click on your recreational pursuit of choice from the upper menu, and choose "Space Coast North" on the locations menu, and then scroll down for information on each property including GPS co-ordinates, and links to satellite images for each listing.

Happy Birding!

Dean R. Pettit is the author of Space Coast Outdoors, an online resource for self guided outdoor adventures along Florida's Space Coast, and includes locations and other information about Fishing, Birdwatching, Kayaking, Hiking, Biking, Backcountry Camping, Surfing, Windsurfing, Snorkeling, Golf, and more.

Source: EzineArticles
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